Author: Stephen Emond
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: December 5, 2011
Source: From Publisher
Every winter, straight-laced, Ivy League-bound Evan looks froward to a visit from Lucy, his childhood best friend who moved away after her parents' divorce. But when Lucy arrives this year, she's changed. The former "girl next door" now has choppy black hair, a nose stud, and a scowl. But Evan knows that somewhere beneath the Goth exterior, Old Lucy still exists, and he's determined to find her...even if it means pissing her off.
Can opposites attract? Or does growing up mean having to grow apart?
When I first read the description of Wintertown, I was immediately drawn in, wanting to know more about Evan and Lucy's stories. And then started reading the book and it grew on me even more. By the end of it, the characters and the story had definitely found a place in my heart.
Evan and Lucy were best friends growing up. But then Lucy's parents divorced and she moved away with her mom. Now Evan only sees Lucy once a year during the Christmas holidays, and they pick up where they left off the previous year each time. Except when she arrives this year, Lucy isn't exactly the girl Evan remembers. She's changed and he can't seem to figure out what caused the change. At times Lucy is exactly like she used to be, but at others Evan doesn't recognize her and doesn't know what to do about it all. But Evan is determined to make it work and enjoy the one week a year he gets to spend with Lucy. And at first everything seems to be going great and Lucy and Evan are able to pick up where they off the year before, but then things really change.
This story was absolutely great without falling into clichés or being overdone. I really liked all the illustrations, and the comics at the end of each chapter were incredibly amusing and I loved them. But at first I wasn't exactly sure what to make of the story but the more I read, the more it grew on me and eventually wormed its way into my heart. The way it was told, the first half from Evan's point of view and the second half from Lucy's perspective was the best way it could have been told. It gave away just enough information. I almost liked it better than if the points of view had alternated the whole way through. For this story it was just perfect.
I think I pretty much fell in love with Evan and Lucy. They were incredibly real and I really felt like I could relate to them both, though to Evan more than to Lucy. And I have to admit that for the first half of the story, I didn't really like Lucy. Once I got to know him, I really wanted nothing but the best for Evan and Lucy was most definitely not that. He was just such a genuinely good person and he didn't deserve everything Lucy was putting him through. But then I found out more about Lucy and my opinion of her completely changed. Once I understood everything she had gone through, I hoped that she would do something about it and change her situation. In the end, I was very happy with where both characters ended up and how things turned out for them.
Wintertown was a great and fun read. It is a book I highly recommend, especially for those cold winter days when you want to do nothing more than curl up with a good book. And then you'll just fall in love with the characters and their story.