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Winter Town

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  3,095 ratings  ·  516 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 first-pers…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)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,095 ratings  ·  516 reviews

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May 26, 2011 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 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 06, 2011 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'
Dec 18, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary, 2011, 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.
Isabel Alcuaz
Jun 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012, graphic-novels
Winter Town by Stephen Emond is about two old friends called Evan and Lucy who only get to see each other during winter break since she moved away. When she comes back this year, she is a different person, which puts a strain on their relationship and forces both to re-evaluate everything they have, up to now, taken for granted about each other.

I picked it up as something light to read in the middle of all the heavier stuff I was going to be attempting this summer. I finished it in two days. Tha
Mar 14, 2012 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.

Rachel Finney
Jan 14, 2016 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.
Apr 04, 2014 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 yea ...more
Amelia, free market Puritan
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 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I mean, just meh. The mehest book of all year. Not bad, not good, just meh.
Jun 08, 2015 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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Avery (ThePagemaster)
First Read: December 1-3, 2012
Re-read: December 7-8, 2016

4.25 Stars

It's been about four years since I've read this novel. I remember how much I enjoyed it and sped past it, and I knew that I would re-read this one day, hoping I would still like it. Now, no longer a teenager, I don't have that teenage spirit, BUT, I do have that nostalgia of having one. And it's nostalgia that plays a very important role in this story.

First off, the characters. I could not think of any character that I relate SO
Dec 11, 2011 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
Jun 05, 2011 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
Danika at The Lesbrary
Dec 31, 2014 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.
Aug 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.75 stars
Sep 01, 2015 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 :(
Nov 22, 2011 rated it liked it
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)
Jun 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011
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 their
Dec 25, 2011 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
Mar 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book was definitely an interesting read. It was very slow-going and delved into issues with growing up and families, however something was lacking for me for the entire book.

The writing in this book felt very plain and wasn’t very interesting at all. It also awkwardly switched which character it was following towards the end which was very confusing and unnecessary. I really liked the added features of graphics and drawings done buy the author, and the way it was set out really added somet
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beatrice Rivers
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book!

I liked the idea of the make believe world that Evan and Lucy had made up when they were kids. And how Evan had 'tasked' himself with turning 'new Lucy' back into 'old Lucy'. Although i think that Evan should have let Lucy move on - if she wanted short black hair and was in a bad mood, he should have let her have short black hair without mentioning it - but he managed to help her (sort of).

I loved the cartoon illustrations throughout the book. They brought the story
Carolyn Elaine
Rating: 3 stars

Evan and Lucy are best friends and have been since childhood. Lucy and Evan only see each other once a year for two weeks during Christmas. This year, when Lucy comes, Evan finds her completely changed. She's moody, depressed, wears dark clothes, chopped her hair short and dyed it black, and has a lip ring. Basically, Lucy turned Goth. Evan doesn't like the New Lucy, so he develops a plan to bring the Old Lucy back.

Very cute story. Winter Town is told in third person with an omnis
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
I think maybe if I'd read this back in 2011, I would have liked it, but the Christina of 2018 doesn't have patience anymore for MPDG stories that aren't trying to do something more with that trope. Evan's obsessed with his mysteriously-changed female friend, and I'm just so bored by it. The writing seems fairly good, but the story does just feel dated, and I also don't feel like the comics are as well-integrated to the actual story as they could be.

Not a bad book but very much not one for me. If
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it liked it
It's sort of like Say Anything for this generation.
fuyu ikehara
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: badass-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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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