Winter Town by Stephen Emond

8:00 AM

Title: Winter Town
Author: Stephen Emond
Release Date: December 5, 2011 (hardcover)
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 336
Source: ARC provided by publisher

Overall: 4.5 Stars

Every winter, straight-laced, Ivy League bound Evan looks forward to a visit from Lucy, a childhood pal who moved away after her parent's divorce. But when Lucy arrives this year, she's changed. The former "girl next door" now has chopped dyed black hair, a nose stud, and a scowl. But Evan knows that somewhere beneath the Goth, "Old Lucy" still exists, and he's determined to find her... even if it means pissing her off.

Garden State meets Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist in this funny and poignant illustrated novel about opposites who fall in love.  

My Thoughts:
Stephen Emond’s Winter Town is a hilarious and quirky contemporary novel which will warm your heart on a cold winter night. I couldn’t help but imagining all the scenes playing out in my head like I was watching an indie comedy movie. There was simply something about the novel which had me playfully smiling as I steadily turned the pages… and a frown only appeared when obstacles appeared in a character’s way. Stephen Emond has turned very ordinary events in Winter Town and given them his own new spin to fashion a sweet story which captivates you right away. 

Evan and Lucy have two completely opposite personalities, yet they share a close childhood friendship that’s easy for them to slip back into despite the initial awkwardness from the vast time apart during the year. Evan feels pressured by his father to attend an Ivy League school, but he’s unsure if that's what he truly wants; Lucy is not the same girl she was last year, decked out in dark clothes and more moody than ever before. And like any ordinary teenagers, Evan and Lucy are both unsure about themselves and the choices they need to make for their futures. 

Winter Town just wouldn’t have been the same reading experience without the wonderful illustrations which perfectly complemented the text. There were drawings which helped visualized the wintry setting and characters… and there were fun comic strips telling another sort of adventure which Lucy and Evan had undertaken in the fantasy world they created as children, Aelysthia. I say this as a total compliment when I mention that Evan and Lucy are both pretty much nerds. 

If you’re looking for a unique coming-of-age contemporary novel filled with heartfelt moments and endearing characters, I would highly recommend Stephen Emond’s Winter Town. Evan and Lucy are not the same young kids they once were, and as we watched their friendship strengthen and waver, we also waited to see if they could ultimately have the courage to face their fears. It’s not everyday that you stumble across a novel as one-of-a-kind as Winter Town! 

Thanks so much to Hachette Book Group Canada for providing this review copy! You can learn more about Stephen Emond's Winter Town on Hachette's website, and if you're not already doing so, don't forget to follow them on Twitter and "like" their Facebook page!

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  1. Yay for nerds! :D This one sounds cute, I like the sound of the illustrations and comic strips that complement the text.

  2. Sounds really good, I've been seeing this cover around thinking it's lovely and now it looks like the insides are just as lovely!

    Thanks for this review! I actually had no idea what the book was about before now. :D

  3. I've heard only good reviews for this book. It seems to be a very cute read. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for another great review :)