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Winter Town

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,707 Ratings  ·  451 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 331 pages
Published December 5th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2011)
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Sarah Johnson At the end of the book in the bonus section, the author said about this:
"I started and ended the book in third person, but I did try out a…more
At the end of the book in the bonus section, the author said about this:
"I started and ended the book in third person, but I did try out a first-person exercise. This wasn't very good, but it was helpful in finding the characters and the world they live in. I did a full chapter in this style before moving back to third person" (less)
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77th out of 165 books — 600 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 22, 2012 Lora rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of YA realistic fiction
Recommended to Lora by: Kirkus
There are these certain books that are written only to fall in the cracks, to be trampled on and overshadowed by more hyped, outrageously popular books which oftentimes end up being a huge let down. It is my hope that Winter Town doesn't end up falling into this category.

Winter Town is Stephen Emond's sophomore novel, and it centers around the friendship of two teenagers named Evan and Lucy. They grew up together, did everything together: drew comic slides; read fantasy tombs until their eyes hu
Jul 14, 2013 Ariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Winter Town.. An upcoming indie film starring Michael Cera! .. Well, not really, but it should be! I really enjoyed this book, and I'm a little surprised that I've literally never heard of it before.. More people should read this!

With a mixture of prose, art, and comics, this book tells the awesome story of two people coming together, realizing their faults, breaking apart to become better, and then coming together again more complete than ever before. It reminds me o much of the vibe I got from
Dec 10, 2011 ~Tina~ rated it really liked it
Wintertown was a well done book. I don't think I've ever read one that combined graphic art and while I thought it might be distracting ended up complimenting the story instead. It was an extended expression of Evan and Lucy and what's really going on behind the emotions and I thought it was a really cool and funny way to do this.
This is a story about not knowing all the answers and finding yourself. It's a story about being young and wanting to be young when you know you can't always be and it'
Rachel Finney
Jan 16, 2016 Rachel Finney rated it it was ok

I stopped at page 85. I couldn't really get into the story, but maybe I'll pick it back up some other time.
Mar 15, 2012 Emily rated it it was ok
Quitting while I'm ahead.

As I read, I couldn't shake the feeling that the author of this book is not a reader. I can't explain this suspicion, it's just a hunch I get sometimes when I'm not enjoying a book, when it just doesn't seem to hang together quite right. I'm trying to believe that Edmond has in fact read more than the two books posted on his Goodreads page, but, actually, I can believe that this author is the kind of Catcher in the Rye fan that Frank Portman described in King Dork.

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist
3.5 stars
First of all, I would *not* say this is Garden State meets Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist like the synopsis states. However, this is probably because I don't like either of those movies and I did enjoy this book.

What ho! A YA contemporary novel that I pretty much liked! But why only 3.5 stars? Well, it just wasn't as pizazz-y as I was anticipating. When I found out this was going to be a BEA book, I was so excited. Despite the stupid-movie dropping, the synopsis seemed really intri
Dec 28, 2011 Tina rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, contemporary, ya
Original post One More Page

Winter Town is one of my most anticipated reads of 2011, mostly because I loved Stephen Emond's other novel, Happyface. It was one of my favorite contemporary novels in 2010, with drawings to boot! So I was really very excited when my copy finally arrived, and just in time for Christmas. Don't you think the cover makes this book fitting for December? (Of course, I forgot the book in the office during Christmas weekend, so I didn't finish this until after Christmas.)

Dec 13, 2011 Darkfallen rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-n-reviewed, arc
Ok so this is more like 2.5 stars so I just slapped a two on it. I really wish you could give half stars on here.


This book just didn't turn out quite how I expected it. I mean when I read the premise I was so excited to be offered and ARC from Little Brown Books for review. Straight laced boy meets up with an old childhood friend that happens to be heavy on the black hair dye, and and she's even got a nose ring? Yes Please!

Unfortunately that's about where it stopped for me. I really wa
Jul 27, 2011 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Wow. I almost passed over this book when the ARC was offered to me at ALA. The cover didn't grab me, and the PR person's description (a boy trying to reconnect with his childhood friend) didn't exactly make me say, Wow!

Boy. Was I wrong.

This book could actually be called A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. Told not only through Emond's taut prose, but also through illustrations and comic strips, the book takes place over the course of a cold, snowy Christmas break as budding artist Evan di
Dee ♡
Jun 11, 2015 Dee ♡ rated it it was ok
This was okay. I liked all the illustrations. The story seemed interesting, but I just didn't connect to the characters or feel anything
Danika at The Lesbrary
Dec 31, 2014 Danika at The Lesbrary rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-lesbian
Was enjoying this for the most part (nothing too extraordinary, but a quick read), until I got to the sketch in the extras that is labelled "Adam's apple = tr*nny". Except without the censoring, obviously. Just needless hateful transmisogyny. It soured the whole book for me. There were other parts that I thought were questionable, like Lucy calling Evan's gay friends her "gay boyfriends", but I was giving them the benefit of the doubt. Now I'm just annoyed that this was my last read of the year.
Feb 11, 2015 Colleen rated it really liked it
4.75 stars
Apr 08, 2014 Rob rated it really liked it
The less histrionic flipside to Rainbow Rowell's excellent Young Adult novel Eleanor & Park, Winter Town quietly and sensitively explores a teenage relationship not from the standpoint of the meet-cute and the hormonal rush of first love, but from the more complicated angle of what happens when two lifelong friends realize A) they might be meant for each other, and B) that could ruin everything. That's the situation for Evan and Lucy, friends since they were six but who, for the last several ...more
Dec 26, 2011 Erin rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
**somewhat spoilerish, so tread carefully. :)
I noticed today that I give books 3 stars a lot. I think there are, in my mind, about 5 different levels of 3-star-books. This was on a higher level of 3 stars. Maybe level 2 (with level 1 being the highest level of 3-star-books, and level 5 being the lowest. My mind is a very jumbled place. Ha.)

Anyway. I liked Wintertown. It was far from being a favorite, but it was an enjoyable story. The two main characters were great, together. I love the idea of
Talk about a manic pixie dream girl (MPDG)! Dang! Lucy goes from a goodie girl to a "goth" and Evan is still trying to view her as her past self, before her parents were divorced and all of the crazy happened in her life that Evan does not know about. And that she's hesitant to reveal.

What's neat about this novel is that you don't just get Evan's perspective, you also get Lucy's perspective. It is in third person, so the change from focusing on Evan to focusing on Lucy was a bit confusing for m
Jess (Gone with the Words)
Dec 05, 2011 Jess (Gone with the Words) rated it really liked it
Read this review on my blog! --> Wintertown by Stephen Emond

Evan is a kid who believes he knows what he wants from life. He has a close-knit family, with supportive, if not slightly over-bearing parents. Lucy’s family life is the complete opposite, but it has never really affected her as much as this past year. The mystery behind her change isn’t revealed until halfway through, at which point the perspective changes from Evan’s to Lucy’s. I loved the times when they would just get lost in the
Chris J
Apr 10, 2014 Chris J rated it it was amazing
Winter Town Book Review (Literature)

"Winter Town" is a novel written by Stephen Emond about an overachieving, stressed teenage boy who spends his Winter break trying to rekindle his friendship with his best friend, who he has not seen in a year. However, this year, she comes back completely different. She dresses, acts and responds to things completely different. This shocks Evan, the main character, who has now split her personalities into two different perspectives: "Old Lucy" and "New Lucy."
Ace Turnberry ♠
Apr 03, 2015 Ace Turnberry ♠ rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
"What if a sandwich without potato chips is just bread, turkey, cheese, and pickles?? And what if I never learn to play chess?? Will that come back to haunt me?"
-Aelysthia by Evan Owens

Winter Town is a young adult novel Infused with hilarious page-long comic panels in between and relatable themes of uncertainties about the future and growing up. On one side of the character spectrum, Evan Owens is a competent candidate for any of the Ivy League schools, but his true passion lies within art; on t
Dec 02, 2015 Jana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I just found this book mostly boring and ended up skimming through the second half only :(
fuyu ikehara
Nov 19, 2015 fuyu ikehara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: badass-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 30, 2012 Bookworm1858 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-read, read-2012

I'm not sure it's entirely accurate to call this a graphic novel as the majority of the book is told through words. However there are excerpts from the comic created by the two main characters that play a significant role in the narrative (and were personally my favorite part) so I decided to include that above in my categorizing.

I picked this up because I remember seeing posts about it at the end of last year but then I feel it kind of got lost in the holiday busyness as well as anticipati
Gary Anderson
Dec 26, 2011 Gary Anderson rated it it was amazing
Wintertown by Stephen Emond take place over a winter break as high school seniors and childhood friends Evan and Lucy try to become reacquainted. Lucy moved away when her parents divorced, and comes back to visit her father once a year. But this time is different because Lucy has changed. She now dresses Goth, and she seems distant and angry. From this premise, Wintertown grows more interesting with each chapter as Evan and Lucy try to decide what their relationship means, and how they can come ...more
Dec 21, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it

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 intere
Aug 29, 2012 Emma rated it really liked it
Evan and Lucy were childhood best friends, but after Lucy’s parents divorced when they were twelve she moved from New England to Georgia with her mom. Every winter break Lucy returns to visit her dad, although she spends most of her time with Evan. The winter of senior year, Lucy is distinctively different. It’s not just her dark hair and makeup and the new nose ring; it’s also how she’s reclusive and seems far away. There is definitely something Lucy’s not telling Evan, but the Old Lucy is stil ...more
Aug 09, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Evan and Lucy have been best friends since birth. When Lucy's parents divorced, she moved away and now only visits once a year around Christmas. The book opens with the end of one of her visits and then continues one year later. When she comes back she has changed. Lucy cut and dyed her hair, has a nose ring, and won't open up to Evan. He tries to ask why she changed and what is going on with her and she refuses to answer him.

The book followers a dual third person POV. I'm not a big fan of third
Apr 27, 2012 Khy rated it really liked it
If there's one thing better than a great book, it's a great book with pictures, which Wintertown just happens to be. It lacked a certain "oomph" that would make me scream its praises from every available website, but I still really enjoyed it.

The description is dead-on with its comparison to an indie movie, which is probably one of the reasons I like this book so much and why others may want to throw it against a wall. It walks the fine line between endearingly quirky and just plain twee, but I
Aug 21, 2011 Kyleigh rated it it was ok
When I read the synopsis for Wintertown I pretty much surmised it would be a regular coming of age novel. In essence, it was, but it had some nice additions that I really enjoyed. The artwork and comics that are spread throughout the novel really added to the story and gave it a unique feel.

Lucy and Evan aren’t your typical best friends. Lucy is only there for two weeks out of the year to visit her dad for Christmas. Before her parents’ divorce she and Evan were basically tied at the hip, but e
Amanda (Good Choice Reading)
Jun 30, 2011 Amanda (Good Choice Reading) rated it really liked it
Garden State meets Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist? I honestly expected this to just be a gimmick to sell the book, and maybe it was, but it’s also true. Throw in some Scott Pilgrim while you’re at it. And while Evan lacked the awkwardness that is Michael Cera, I’d be all for him playing the character.

I love these movies. Nick and Norah, Juno, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Youth in Revolt, Easy A—young witty characters and a “cuteness” that makes me smile. Maybe I’m still seventeen at heart. Ei
Mar 30, 2013 Ericka rated it liked it
Wintertown was one of those novels that you find yourself loving at some parts, and disliking at other parts- or maybe that was just me. Evan and Lucy were best friends through childhood, until one year where she comes to visit Evan and everything is different about her. The story is primarily about the two trying to find themselves, Evan trying to figure out what was wrong with Lucy, and their brief love story.

What I liked about the book was that some passages were interesting to read, with th
I think this is a 3.75.

In this story, Evan looks forward to Lucy visiting her dad every year for the winter holidays because it's the only time they get to catch up. This year she shows up as NewLucy(TM) and Evan is determined to find the real Lucy inside. Meanwhile, Lucy is determined to find the "real Evan" inside of him.

This book is full of art work of the comic Lucy and Evan begin working on together as well as random scenes throughout the book. I thought that was a really creative way to
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Hello, my name is Stephen Emond, or just Steve if you prefer. There isn’t much about that me isn’t be said in this excerpt from the HAPPYFACE page on

About the Author
Steve Emond does not have any superhuman powers, neat tricks, or famous relatives, but he’s a pretty cool guy who can draw. He is the creator of Emo Boy, which ran for 12 issues and two collections, and the comic strip, Ste
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