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.
Winter Town is not like any other book I have read. It was a quick, fun read and the best word to describe it is quirky. If Stephen Emond’s other book is anything like this one I will have to check it out.
Stephen Emond’s writing and illustrations are the two best things about this book. The writing very quickly draws you in and the book seems a lot shorter than it is because it is hard to stop reading. The illustrations and comic strips only add to that. They tell a story all of their own yet they tie in to the main story seamlessly.
Lucy and Evan, the two central characters, are two totally different people yet somehow so perfect for each other. Evan’s story definitely drew me more than Lucy’s but I never once lost interest in either of their stories. Evan was the nerdy kid, scared to do anything that might upset his parents. Lucy, on the other hand, did everything she could to upset her parents. Her story definitely had me curious but Evan was the more relatable of the two. The non-central characters; Tim, Marshall, Gram, Evan’s mom and dad, were surprisingly well-developed and all pretty likable. The book really had a great cast of characters.
The plot of Winter Town was hard for me to discern. The story didn’t seem to go anywhere for quite some time. The book was very character driven and I would have liked there to have been more going on. It picked up towards the end but the beginning was a bit dull.
Overall, Winter Town isn’t one I would highly recommend but definitely check it out if it appeals to you and if you enjoyed Emond’s previous book, Happyface.