Winter Town by Stephen Emond

Title: Winter Town
Author: Stephen Emond
Series: N/A
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Release Date: 12/5/2011
Length: 331 pages
Format: Paperback ARC
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Young Adult
Challenges: N/A
Source: Around the World ARC Tours
Purchase: Hardcover | Kindle | NOOK | ePub
Rating: ★★★★★


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.

I think it’s amazing how the books I’m not really anticipating become some of the best books I read. I think it’s because they take me by surprise. I barely even remembered signing up for the book tour of Winter Town at Around the World ARC Tours. I was reminded when I received it in the mail back at the end of June. Though I reviewed it immediately, I decided to schedule the post for a time closer to the book’s release.

Winter Town had me interested immediately. The illustrations throughout give it the feel of graphic novel, but it’s narrative in style. I think the combination of narrative and illustration is genius. It give the book so much character. It provides something extra that’s interesting. Not that the writing couldn’t stand on its own. It certainly can. There’s plenty of life in the two main characters to make a great novel. But the illustrations give you a real sense of the descriptions, from snow-covered driveways to poster-covered basements. You even get illustrations of the two main characters.

Speaking of characters (my favorite part of any book), I’m in love with Emond’s character writing. They’re so real and gritty. They’re simply written, but still full of their individual complications. I hope that makes sense. The best thing about them is that you know them. Evan is your next door neighbor or your best friend or the smart guy that sits next to you in Chemistry. Lucy is the girl that smokes in the bathroom or who’s late for every single class, if she attends at all. This book brings them to life even more. They’re opened up so that the reader can see inside of them. And the constant rise and fall of their friendship causes some really nice development.

I could write forever about this book, but I won’t. It’s like Stephen Chbosky’s writing and John Green’s characters had a baby… and that baby was an artist. Sounds like an awesome baby, right? Very highly recommended!

Leave a comment


  1. I love when books take you by surprise! My favorites are those books as well, now when I think about it. I think this one sounds quite interesting, even if I hadn't heard much about it until very recently. I'll definitely have to take a closer look at this one! Great review. 🙂

  2. Oh, see, this sounds really good. I am going to have to check it out!

  3. I've been thinking about picking this one up! Great review! New follower btw! 🙂

  4. I think that's so great this book took you by surprise. I've had a few like that this year as well, ones that I thought wouldn't amount to much and turned out to be my favorite reads of the year. Conversely, I've had books I've been anticipating turn out to be duds. That's the world of books!Thanks for the great review – I'm definitely adding this one to my list!AmberThe Musings of ALMYBNENR

  5. I’m so glad you liked it! I remember seeing this book for the first time and thinking: wow, it sounds quite promising! It’s been on my wishlist ever since but now I’ll definitely make sure to pick up a copy. Great review!

    Books, Biscuits & Tea


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    Some of the books reviewed on this blog were sent to me by the author or publisher for review. I did not receive any payment in exchange for the review nor was I obligated to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of these reviews. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
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