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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review: Winter Town

Synopsis: 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. 

My Review: When I read the synopsis for Wintertown I pretty much surmised it would be a regular coming of age novel.  In essence, it was, but it had some nice additions that I really enjoyed.  The artwork and comics that are spread throughout the novel really added to the story and gave it a unique feel. 

Lucy and Evan aren’t your typical best friends.  Lucy is only there for two weeks out of the year to visit her dad for Christmas. Before her parents’ divorce she and Evan were basically tied at the hip, but even though they barely got to see each other they still remained friends.  However, this winter Lucy is different.  She’s dyed and chopped off her hair and has a nose stud.  Evan is convinced that something is wrong and Lucy just won’t talk about it.  Evan tries to be more accepting of Lucy’s new look and tries to get her to open up.  

What really kind of drove me nuts about Lucy’s “cry for help” appearance change was that it was a bunch of garbage.  People dye their hair, cut it, and get piercings all the time.  Why is this necessarily a bad thing?  Maybe it just rubbed me the wrong way because well I do the exact same thing.  A lot. Yet nobody assumes I’m having family troubles or that I’m hiding something.  Just kinda bugged me.  

Later on, we see Evan through Lucy’s eyes.  I think her analysis of him is spot on.  He’s the model son who gets good grades, volunteer work, and will attend an Ivy League college.  Yet he has an incredible talent for drawing comics and a great imagination.  He lets his parents make decisions for him, and ultimately plays it safe.  Lucy really challenges him to break out of his shell and pursue what he loves. 
Obviously the whole best friend status between Evan and Lucy kinda changes in the novel.  A romantic relationship is pursued, but I appreciated the fact that both of them realized that it wasn’t the right time.  Both of them had some growing up to do and they needed to sort out who they really were. 

Overall it was a pretty average story.  It wasn’t compelling by any means.  If anything I just wanted to skip ahead and read the comics.  They were so cute! The artist part of me couldn’t help but be jealous that I’m not good at that style.  I’ll say that I did really enjoy the end of the book.  I loved how after another year Evan and Lucy met once again by pure coincidence, and you could just tell that the timing was right for them to try and start again.  Very satisfying ending. 

3 comments:

Appalachian Owl said...

You know this really seems like my cup of tea. I have a strange obsession with winter, and never seem to get a chance ton express it.

I will have to add this one to my wish list.

LoriStrongin said...

While I love the idea of graphics being incorporated as part of the story, rather than just an enhancement, this just sounds too character-driven to me, and not big on plot. I appreciate coming of age novels, but really love it when it's more of a Trial by Fire, rather growth by circumstance.

Thanks for the review!


Smiles!
Lori

Amelia said...

I agree with you completely! It was an average story for me too, but kind of a 'good average story.' There wasn't particularly anything wrong with it, I thought, but there wasn't any oommphh either. Great review!