By Stephen Emond
Expected publication date December 5, 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Lucy comes to visit every winter and it's pretty much the only thing good old Evan looks forward to. But this year, things are different - Lucy is different. She's chopped off all her hair, pierced her nose, and only seems to be able to answer questions with one word responses. Evan is determined to bring back the old Lucy, even if New Lucy wants to kick his ass for trying.
I read Emond's Happyface and was totally kicked in the face by it. That book dealt with some heavy stuff that there had been no indication of previously. So I wasn't sure what to expect from this one. The back blurb (of my ARC) is pushing it a little hard - "an illustrated Garden State meets Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist." Upon completion, I have to say that I don't really agree. This book is good - don't get me wrong - but those two things that it's compared to were, for me, amazing. Emond falls a little short here. It's hard to pinpoint why exactly this book didn't feel amazing for me. The characters are wonderful and full of depth and I think Evan and Lucy's relationship is perfectly depicted with all the angst and tension that boy/girl teen friendships are fraught with. Maybe part of my disappointment is because I got kicked so hard in the face by Emond's previous novel. This book didn't pack quite the same punch. It just felt a little incomplete, even by the end. Additionally, I like Emond's use of art throughout the story but the comics didn't really work for me. I didn't really feel like they were adding to the story like I hoped they would. Overall, though, this is a good and enjoyable read about how boys and girls can be friends and take care of each other.
Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.