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cover for winter town by stephen emondWinter Town by Stephen Emond
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 331
Ages: Young Adult
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository
Publishers Summmary:

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.

Evan and Lucy have been friends forever. Even with her parents divorce they still connected and every year like clockwork they would meet for the two weeks she had back with her dad for the holidays. During their senior year though something has gone completely wrong with Lucy and Evan can’t help but try and reach out passed the dark clothes & makeup. The sudden relationship that springs up could be what both of them had always wanted or it could end terribly, ruining years of friendship.

Having previously read and loved Stephen Emond’s Happyface I was eagerly anticipating this new graphic novel. Emond’s combination of illustrations and full length novel text make his books something you want to savor and enjoy for days, Winter Town was no exception. In typical graphic novels there’s more of a cartoon-like feel and generally the focus isn’t completely realistic. Emond’s novels are not only gritty and realistic, but they do have a bit of that comic feel through the character’s use of it in portraying his emotions. The combination makes Winter Town by Stephen Emond not only intense but entertaining as well.

Similar to Happyface, Winter Town had characters dealing with real life situations that many readers will relate to. Both Evan and Lucy are coming to the end of high school, but are each in very different places in life. Evan, though he’s generally happy with life, has an overbearing father determined to get him to the college he wants him to go to all while having Evan participate in as many extra-circular activities as possible. Lucy on the other hand spends most of her year with her mother and only two weeks in the winter with her father. Life hasn’t exactly been good to Lucy and the silver lining is seeing Evan every Christmas. These two characters were incredibly real and though there was a bit of a lull about half way through the book I still really enjoyed seeing their relationship grow. It was also interesting to hear from both characters as the book was split with the first half being told from Evan’s point of view and the second from Lucy’s.

Winter Town by Stephen Emond is another fantastic addition to the world of young adult graphic novels. Emond’s storytelling combined with his illustrations make for a gritty realistic look at the lives of two very different teens. Evan and Lucy were a couple I rooted for from the very beginning of the book and their friendship is an aspect I know that many readers will be able to appreciate. Evan’s perseverance with Lucy and his desire to make sure she was not only okay but that their friendship was still intact was a quality I’d love to pass on to my own children. Stephen Emond’s Winter Town is a wonderful follow-up to his successful graphic novel Happyface and one I’d highly recommend to other graphic novel fans!

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 15 and up. Perfect for those new to graphic novels and those that love great storytelling mixed with illustrations. A coming of age story centered around a great friendship.

Find Winter Town by Stephen Emond at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads

Today’s post is part of our month long celebration of all things Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Make sure to stop by the LB Teens Site for more information about this title and more. For more information about our Book Publishers 101 feature take a look at this month’s opening post.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, for coordinating many of this month’s features and reviews! Connect with them on Twitter and on Facebook!
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3 Responses to Book Review: Winter Town by Stephen Emond

  1. I’ve read far too few graphic novels, and really need to amend that. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention!

  2. PragmaticMom says:

    Wow, finally a graphic novel that girls will like. There are so few of these!

  3. Gina says:

    Yay! A review on this one…I saw the cover when it came out but hadn’t heard anything yet. Was left curious. Didn’t realize it was a graphic novel! From the sound of it, I’m going to have to add it to the wish list. Thanks for the great review! ^_^

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