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Review: Wintertown by Stephen Emond

Sunday, December 25, 2011
2 Stars: An Okay Read
Hardback: 331 Pages
Publication: December 5, 2011 by Little, Brown & Company

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.

Wintertown is a cute book about a boy trying to reconnect with his childhood friend. It is cute how (1) Evan tries to understand the new Lucy and (2) The comic strips and graphics in the novel are adorable and add a quaint touch to this holiday read.

I like the characters and how they represent two extremes. Evan is the studious geek expected to attend an Ivy League after achieving the status of valedictorian of his high school class, and Lucy was the neglected daughter of a dysfunctional family (and is now a rebellious teenager). Both are dealing with issues that stem from the expectations of their roles. I also adore Evan's grandmother. She is a witty, amusing character who likes a bit of rebellion.

That being said, I found it hard to connect with the story. I couldn't make since of where the story was headed. It seems to jump from scene to scene without much connection other than the underlying stress and changes in Evan and Lucy's relationship.

Wintertown is about searching for self-identity, developing relationships, and learning to trust. I know that there are people who fell in love with this book all the way. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of those people. Maybe you'll pick it up in the bookstore, flip through the first pages, and find yourself captivated by it. And if you think you know someone who'll like this kind of book, this is a book that I imagine would make a fun holiday gift.

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A copy was provided by the publisher for review purposes

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