Winter Town by Stephen Emond
Little, Brown and Company, 317 Pages
US Release Date: December 5, 2011
Challenges: Local Library Challenge
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.
We don't complete each other -- no two people do. We just highlight what's missing. We're just two incomplete people.
First, can we please talk about the cover? Because I'm so in love with it. The silhouette is beautiful with the snowy background, and I adore that the snow on the ground is hole punches. Beautiful.
Also, it reflects really well to the artwork in the book - they're beautiful and cute and I loved when he mentions Calvin And Hobbes in the book because I always thought his Aelysthia drawings were similar to Calvin and Hobbes. Which means a lot to me, because I adore C&H. I grew up with them, and they're all the background to my computers and it's such a fond memory.
Anyway. The story is actually fairly simple: two childhood friends, split when the girl's parents divorce, who reconnect every winter when she's back in town. This year when she arrives, she's changed: darker. hidden. secretive. But Evan knows the "real" Lucy, and it becomes the struggle of figuring out who they are and what they are together when they're so separate.
Reading this in 85 degree weather, sitting outside on a bench was the absolute wrong way to do it haha. (The woes of living in San Diego.) The story is a bit dark, to be honest - not a serious dark, but a...thoughtful dark. There are real issues and real problems going on, but they're offset beautifully by a strong voice, a subtle humor, and absolutely adorable and appropriate illustrations.
Despite a bit of "emo"-ness, the readers will enjoy the relationship between Lucy and Evan, and probably relate to several aspects of both the characters. It's a well-crafted winter world that makes you want to curl up under a blanket by the window with a cup of hot chocolate.
3.5 Stars / 5