Title: Winter Town
Author: Stephen Emond
Release Date: December 2011
Published By: Little, Brown
Goodreads Rating: 3.52 stars
Review: Every winter, Ivy League-bound Evan looks forward to seeing his childhood friend Lucy, but this year, something's different. She now has dyed black hair, a nose stud, and a scowl that never goes away. But Evan knows that somewhere beneath her harsh surface, the girl next door he's always known is there, and he's determined to find her, even if it means pissing her off.
WINTER TOWN is exactly what I look for in a young adult romance: it's different, refreshing, and quirky in every possible aspect. At its core, the story isn't anything special compared to all the romances out there, but Stephen Emond tells it in a unique way that makes it truly come to life. He weaves something beautiful into this oft-told tale, something magical that makes this novel stand out bright against all the others.
The most obvious way this story is fresh is the medium through which it is told. It isn't really a graphic novel since the majority of it is traditional words as narrative, but there are many clever comics sprinkled throughout the story. On the surface, the cute stories that are told within them feel superficial, but in actuality, they add a whole hidden dimension and center the plot.
But even without the comics, this book would still be wonderful. The author has a unique ability to toy with the readers' emotions. Even at times when I knew rationally that Lucy was being a complete jerk, I was still able to sympathize with her and root for them to be together. The love story was at once sad and beautiful, gorgeous and heart-breaking, and the best part was that it wasn't even just a love story. There were other elements, all gritty and honest, combining to make this a fantastic read.
I can give only the highest recommendation for Stephen Emond's WINTER TOWN. This is a story of life and love and learning and simply being, topped with lovely comics that add a fantastic element to the story. Anyone who enjoys contemporary novels but just wants something more is sure to appreciate this novel... especially if read in the winter time.
I received a free copy of this book for review. This in no way affected my review.