Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter Town by Stephen Emond Review

wintertown Winter Town stephen emond coverWinter Town
By Stephen Emond

Dec. 5, 2011
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 336 pages
Source: Publisher

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.


— Amazon.com description

This was the perfect book to help me into my little baby steps toward reading a graphic novel. My only experience with one so far was Maus in one of my many college literature classes, and I don't know -- maybe you can tell from reading this blog -- but mouses in the Holocaust just isn't my favorite, per se.

ANYWAY, thank goodness for Winter Town. It's an illustrated YA novel, not so much a graphic novel. Just beautiful images at the start of every chapter, and bits of cartoons interspersed throughout.

The black-and-white, snow-covered drawings really reflected the darker, cold tone of the book.

But don't get me wrong, it isn't depressing. It's just...emo. Truly, Emond did a great job here at embracing the endearing, witty, emo-boy 'tude. The voice is right one -- the type of voice John Green and David Levithan fans would probably enjoy, but maybe more approachable (aka not as many big words and pop culture name-dropping).

And, happily, at the end, I was feeling hopeful. A pleasant, wintery read.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

PS: Check out that book cover -- gorgeous! The snow is made out of the trash from a hole punch. So brilliant.

8 comments:

  1. I've been in love with this cover since I saw it, but didn't realize that the whole novel was illustrated! Yay! It's fairly high on my 'Winter Reads' list.

    I just read Maus finally in grad school, and didn't love it either. I can see it's value as a gateway to graphic novels, but there are some fantastic options out there. Gaiman's Sandman series got me into the genre, and I love Fables as well. Kind of depends on your genre preferences though. Good luck!

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    1. Thank you so much for the recommendation, Heidi! Branching out to graphic novels is one of my goals for 2012. We'll see how it goes...

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  2. Lol - "Emo" is a great way to describe Stephen Emond's writing. Did you read "Happyface?" I'm so excited that he has a new illustrated novel out!!

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  3. I loved Maus, but my major was Adolescent Education - History, so um, yeah, nerd alert.

    Anyways.

    I have one here that I think you would like, it's called Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks, and it's sort of a YA with a home schooled girl who goes to high school for the first time, and she has 3 awesome older brothers and also a ghost. Anyways, if you want me to send you my copy just Gchat me and I will be happy to do so.

    Finally, Wintertown appeals to me as a John Green/David Levithan fan. :-)

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  4. It's funny you call the snow "trash from a hole punch", because I'm pretty sure I've only ever used a hole punch (aside from a 3-hole punch) to get that "trash". Circles are awesome.

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  5. YAY for getting closer to graphic novels! I have no doubt you will find them and lurve them.

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  6. I *still have this from BEA and need to read it. Yay for branching out into illustrated YA novels :)

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  7. *Sigh* I want to read this one so much, and my library doesn't have it! I might have to actually spend money on it, because I love all of the reviews I've seen, and I am very interested in reading more graphic novels.

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