December 24, 2011

WinterTown Warms My Heart

This is one of my B&N finds. The cover drew me in first - there's something about the cover that I found calming. Then I read the book jacket and knew I wanted to add this to my pile of reads.

Summary (from book jacket):

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

Can opposites attract? Or does growing up mean having to grow apart?

Told from two perspectives, this funny and honest novel by Stephen Emond is a unique combination of text, comic strips, and art. It's an indie movie in a book, perfect for the inner outcast and lovelorn nerd in all of us.

My Thoughts:

"They're just locations, you know," Evan said. "New York and New England or Georgia or wherever, they're all just places. The fighting and not fitting in and all that, that's in your head, it's your history. It's going to be wherever you go." 

Let me begin by saying that I enjoyed the feel of this novel. The use of text, comic strips, and art work really worked for me as a reader.

As characters, Evan and Lucy create an atmosphere full of turmoil, much like their lives. The two provide nice foils for one another while at the same time revealing to the reader what they do not realize yet - they have loved one another a very, very long time. The foundation of that love is birthed from years of friendship, and it is a deep love that goes beyond the surface of most stories. These two have experienced ups and downs, high and lows, and they always end up in the same spot: with one another.    

The art work represented throughout the pages was a nice enhancement.  This story was not just about Evan and Lucy on the page; this story was also about Evan and Lucy as artists. Through their art, they compliment one another, much like the art compliments the novel. It was an interesting strategy for Emond to take - one that pays off. This would not be the same story without the art. 

While this novel is about Evan and Lucy, there is one character who seems to steal the pages - Evan's grandma. She was such a delightful character, and she offers the voice of reason needed in this novel. As a matter of fact, she will illicit feelings of jealousy from those teens who wish their grandmas were as awesome.

With two strong main characters, strong minor characters, and an ending that will leave readers satisfied, WinterTown is going to make a strong showing with readers. 

I recommend this book to all lovers of YA, especially those who enjoy graphic novels. While I would not call this a graphic novel, I do believe it appeals to the same type of reader. This is not a "boy" book or a "girl" book - it is just a good, solid read.

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