Winter Town

Winter Town by Stephen Emond

Evan and Lucy share a long history together – they’ve shared secrets, dreams, and a childhood full of memories. But when her parents divorce Lucy is forced to leave her life and her best friend behind in New England while she’s to make a new on in Georgia.

Lucy hates Georgia, the only thing she really likes about it is that once a year – winter break – she gets to leave for two whole weeks to visit her father, but more importantly Evan. But when Lucy finally lands in Evan’s snow-filled New England both of them don’t seem to live up to the memories they have of each other.

For one thing, Lucy’s changed – drastically. She’s chopped off her flowing locks. She’s swapped her preppy style for a new – all black goth style. And she’s replaced her once genuine smile for permanent scowl. And it’s not just the new look, it’s the new, bad attitude.

And than there’s Evan. For as long as Lucy’s known him he’s been a talented artist, always hiding his head in a sketchbook or daydreaming about adventures in the land he and Lucy made up when they were little. Now, he’s given up his dreams for a safe and secure future, a future that his father wants, not what he wants.

Lucy and Evan have changed, a lot. But can their friendship survive all these changes?

Winter Town written by author/illustrator Stephen Emond is a compelling examination of friendship, life, love, and the loss of one’s self. It’s honest approach will make readers think hard about their own lives, and their own friendships.

Emond’s writing isn’t only strong, it is also engaging. And I say this even though I dislike books told from a third person perspective. I often find, for myself as a reader, that third persona narration removed, and as if I’m an outsider who is never let in on the story. This is NOT the case with Winter Town. Even though I was the outside looking in, Emond’s skillful writing made me feel as if I was right in the middle of the story, that Lucy and Evan weren’t just friends, but my personal friends.

Black and white images accompany Emond’s writing. These illustrations don’t just enhance the story, but they also expand upon it. They give insight and perspective to the two sides of Evan and Lucy’s story. Reader’s will also get the chance, through this amazing illustrations, to step inside Evan’s mind and art work.

As engaging the writing, as alluring the illustrations what makes Emond’s Winter Town a stand out read were main characters Evan and Lucy. They are polar opposites in many respects: Evan is straight laced while Lucy’s rebellious side often shines brightly. Evan is confident, while Lucy only pretends to be. Evan is pretty well-adjusted for a seventeen year old, while Lucy is still trying to figure things out. Both characters were well realized, well crafted, and beyond relatable. Reader’s will find a piece of themselves within both Evan and Lucy.

Full of a mixture of both serious and laugh out loud moments, Winter Town is truly an enjoyable read.

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