Friday, August 9, 2013

Review: Winter Town by Steve Emond + Best Friends Romance Week Giveaway!

This was a book I saw my friend Jude @ In Between reading. When I read the synopsis and saw that it featured a best friends romance I knew I had to have it. It recently went on a great sale and I am so happy I bought it! And even though I am a kindle lover I recommend getting the hardcopy of this one since it features lots of artwork by the author that really ties into the story. Not sure how it looks on the kindle but I am guessing it looks better in the print copy.

Past Reviews
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin
The Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker
Being Friends With Boys by Terra Elan McVoy no particular order I might change things up...
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Hunting Lila & Saving Lila by Sarah Alderson
Addicted To You & Ricochet by Krista & Becca Ritchie
Frigid by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Winter Town
Winter Town by Steve Emond

Release Date: December 5, 2011
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Pages: 331
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
Haunt Author: Website | Facebook | Twitter

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 to find her... even if it means pissing her off. Garden State meets Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist in this funny and poignant illustrated novel about opposites who fall in love.

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 person but it did work well with this book. The first about 60% is in Evan's POV and then the last 40% tells Lucy's side. Evan has a lot of pressure on him from his parents to get into an Ivy League school and be a lawyer like his father, or a doctor, or some other prestigious career. His love has always been art and Lucy thinks he should pursue that even if only as a hobby. Evan is smart, ambitious, sweet, considerate, and a bit of a nerd. He is totally adorable and one of the good guys. He has had few girlfriends and focuses mostly on school.

Lucy slowly becomes the friend Evan remembers even though she stays closed about her life and the past year. It is easy to see the great chemistry between these two and they both take turns drawing comics. They pass the pictures back and forth and each continue the story. Art work is a huge part of the novel and all the drawings the author included really added to the story. There are setting pictures every chapter. Then throughout the novel there is also the comic Evan and Lucy are writing together. The comic is a fantasy about them going on an adventure but you can see some of their real feelings come out in the comic strips.

When it's Lucy turn to tell the story I was a bit annoyed with her. I liked her but she refused to tell Evan what was going on in her life. She was worried he would judge her or wouldn't love her anymore. I thought this was rather ridiculous. He is her best friend and will obviously support her in anyway he can. But holding out on all these things that she eventually will need to tell him will only make things worse. I didn't think she had really done anything that major that he wouldn't understand anyway. She makes mistakes but is going through a difficult time with her family. She lost sight of herself for a bit and needs to work on getting back on course. She wants to feel worthy of someone like Evan who she finds rather perfect.

Best Friends Romance

As the two hang out I definitely feel the chemistry growing. Evan's grandma, who is hilarious by the way, and mom tell Evan they think Lucy has had a thing for him for a long time. This does lead to some romance but these two have a lot to figure out before they can find happiness. Lucy has a lot of changes to make to fix her life and Evan has to figure out what he truly wants to do with his life. The ending isn't perfect but eventually shows that time and hard work can lead to happiness with yourself which means you can finally be happy with someone else. Really beautiful friendship, artwork, with a good family presence as well. Loved it! Not enough YA and adult books come with illustrations and I really enjoyed them.

"The best music for her was always the stuff you could relate to, the stuff that spoke directly to you and twisted and knotted itself so far into your life you couldn't tell where art ended and reality began."

 "I'm on the Internet. I stay informed. They let old people on the Internet, you know."

Rating: 5/5

Here are some pictures from Winter Town off the authors website

To celebrate the week I bought some extra books for giveaways!
There will be at least 5 winners. 2 US & 3 INT.
To keep things open INT I am offering two of the eBooks that will be reviewed this week as well. May pick extra winners for eBooks depending on entries. 
You can comment every day for extra points! 


  1. Oh goodness I don't have this one yet and now I think I need to get it! I love these books you have been posting all week Jennifer! Great review!

  2. Third person is tricky and I'm not often a fan but it can be done really well. Some of my fav books are in 3rd person. I do love the sounds of this one and remember seeing really good reviews when it came out and kind of forgot about it since. I love books with illustrations! I had no idea this one had that I'll be sure to get a print copy!! Great review, doll!

  3. This sounds like a neat book, wonder what had her change her looks and attitude, wonder if he will get to the bottom of it and if she still cares about him. Great giveaway.

  4. I really enjoy friend romances. :) Great review!

  5. Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    LOVE Evan already, he's totally my type!! Sounds like a wonderful friendship turns romance that's also mature enough for them to recognize they need to work on themselves first. A little like Lola and the Boy Next Door, with that kind of depth.

    LOVE the cartoon drawings!

    How cool is it that the grandma and mom are involved in Evan's life:)

    Lovely review:)

  6. Thanks for the great post! Thanks for sharing!

  7. I love best friend romances. I probably wouldn't have even given this one a second thought, though, if it weren't for your review. Glad to hear there's a strong family presence, too. Need more of that in YA. :) Great review, and thanks for sharing!

  8. Love the friends to romance troupe, and like you I am not a huge fan of third person pov, let alone third person dual..but I am glad the author pulled it off. I like the illustrations throughout the book. Wonderful review Jennifer!

  9. Awesome review. This sounds interesting.

  10. I really like the sound of this one! I haven't read a YA book with pictures but it seems I need to try it out. Third person pov can be annoying sometimes, but I'm glad that wasn't the case here. I can't wait to meet Lucy and Evan and see how their relationship grows. Glad you enjoyed this, Jennifer! Great review! :D

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 

  11. Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    This book reminds me of Blaze by Laurie Boyle Crompton - there's a comic book feel to Blaze as well, and there's a romance between friends. They become friends first and talk a lot and then date. There are lots of issues as well, like slut-shaming, bullying, virgin-shaming. I think you'd love it:)


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