“2 1/2 stars. ”Gina wrote this review Tuesday, January 17, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
Evan has lost his best friend, Lucy, in more ways than one when she moves away from New England to Georgia to live with her mother after her parents divorce. They still see each other once a year during Christmas vacation when she comes back to stay with her father, but in the last year or so, Evan has noticed Lucy has begun to change. She isn't the "Old Lucy" anymore and he finds her difficult to connect with as well as some other physical changes. Evan has always been the perfect son, striving in school and extra curricular activities so he can get into an Ivy League school for college. The story mostly covers a two week period over their latest holiday break and is told through a combination of cartoon strips, drawings and words. Both Evan and Lucy are gifted artists, but while Evan has tried to downplay his, Lucy has stopped caring about everything in her life.
Without being judgmental, Emond depicts a fact of life for most teens these days; that their parents are divorced, they must shuttle from one household to another and at times, their parents don't even notice them. Evan sees what is happening to Lucy, but is clueless as to how to help her. She is in such a dark place because neither of her parents take them time to make sure she is ok. This pretty much broke my heart. Evan tries everything to get her back to the "Old Lucy" but he only sees glimpses of the happy girl he used to know. He also has his own issues at home, with a father who only wants him to get into a good university and not whether he is happy in his life or not.
Overall, this is a very classic look about how childhood friends try to stay close while growing apart and the sad fact of life that not everyone has the perfect family unit and most are quite dysfunctional. The illustrations go a long way in providing the feel for this book and provide some much need humor to a story that could be extremely sad. Lucy and Evan do end up losing touch with each other by the end of the book and I only hope that they reconnect in better circumstances. There are mentions of alcohol, alcohol abuse and sex, but not in any graphic form. ”
“Let me begin by saying that I enjoyed the feel of this novel. The use of text, comic strips, and art work really worked for me as a reader.
As characters, Evan and Lucy create an atmosphere full of turmoil, much like their lives. The two provide nice foils for one another while at the same time revealing to the reader what they do not realize yet - they have loved one another a very, very long time. The foundation of that love is birthed from years of friendship, and it is a deep love that goes beyond the surface of most stories. These two have experienced ups and downs, high and lows, and they always end up in the same spot: with one another.
The art work represented throughout the pages was a nice enhancement. This story was not just about Evan and Lucy on the page; this story was also about Evan and Lucy as artists. Through their art, they compliment one another, much like the art compliments the novel. It was an interesting strategy for Emond to take - one that pays off. This would not be the same story without the art.
While this novel is about Evan and Lucy, there is one character who seems to steal the pages - Evan's grandma. She was such a delightful character, and she offers the voice of reason needed in this novel. As a matter of fact, she will illicit feelings of jealousy from those teens who wish their grandmas were as awesome.
With two strong main characters, strong minor characters, and an ending that will leave readers satisfied, WinterTown is going to make a strong showing with readers.
I recommend this book to all lovers of YA, especially those who enjoy graphic novels. While I would not call this a graphic novel, I do believe it appeals to the same type of reader. This is not a "boy" book or a "girl" book - it is just a good, solid read.
The newest trend to hit YA seems to me illustrated novels and I've had some reservations about it; on one side it adds a new dimension, on the other it can seem too childish. It took me a little getting used to, but the illustrations in this novel proved to have a even mix of both.
I went through mood swings with this novel. When the novel opened, I was so glad to be in a male character's head. Maybe it is because I am a female and am sometimes fed up with all of our drama, either way, I love reading from a male's point of view. However, as I got introduced to Lucy, I got mad at Evan for being so weak and liked Lucy's point of view much better...Then I got fed up with both of them. BUT this is not because I didn't like the novel, it was actually just one of those things that enhance the experience of the novel (I know I sound like an informercial, but it is true). I might not have been feeling pure love and excitement, but the novel made me feel something and that is always good.
Now, to finish what I was saying about the illustrations... at first, I was not a fan, not going to lie. I am more of a realistic drawing person (as in I like realistic drawings... not that I can draw), so the extremely cartoonish characters didn't appeal to me. However, as I got to learn more about Evan and Lucy and how much the comics are integrated into their lives and what they mean to them, I started to appreciate them more and more. I ended up really liking how the story was told but then in a short comic strip at the end of almost every chapter the story was told again in a fictional world (twice fictional? Fictional for the fictional setting of the story...). It allowed the reader to see the story through a more satirized lens and I found it very successful.
So it took some getting used to, or getting "in to", but I really enjoyed the story once I got to that point. This is definitely a more character based novel, rather than a plot based, so just beware of that if that type of story is not your "thing". ”