Thursday, July 24, 2014

This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

Summary (from Goodreads):

Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It's their getaway, their refuge. Rosie's friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It's a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

In This One Summer two stellar creators redefine the teen graphic novel. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of her teen age—a story of renewal and revelation.

So, I guess I’ve been on a bit of a graphic novel kick. If you’re someone who really appreciates the art of graphic novels, you’d love this one. It’s just beautiful. The artwork is just so honest and clear. People aren’t made to be perfect and crushes don’t look like prince charming; the whole thing just feels so authentic and most of that is because of the art.
The story was interesting too. There was this overlapping theme of babies. One main character is coming of age as young adult who was adopted. And it’s clear this adoption is fresh on her mind when comments are made about babies being given up for adoption. And the other main character has a depressed mother who miscarried her last chance at another child. The two girls (summer besties) are watching the slightly older teens in town go through a soap opera of sorts when the girlfriend of the boy Rose likes finds out he is a dad.
This book deals with some dark stuff. There’s teen pregnancy, depression, family arguments, first crushes, adoption, and more. There’s also some spot-on coming of age moments when kids go from cartoons to horror movies, from enjoying family outings, to being embarrassed at family outings, etc. The writers really understand that sort of in-between age where we don’t know if we’re kids or teens. And what better setting for such a story than a summer beach town?
The topics kind of reminded me of the old school Sarah Dessen books (though maybe with younger characters). And this brought back great summer reading memories. And I also connected with the setting because I live in a town like this beach town.  I of course hated Rose’s crush and wanted to tell the girls to have more fun being kids while they can. (I guess that makes me a true adult now…) The side characters were great too. I loved Windy’s grandmother and Rose’s aunt and how they both inadvertently affect these girls.
I do wish that maybe a little more happened in the story, plot-wise. It was definitely more of an emotional/character driven book than an action-packed story. And that’s okay. I did wish for just a tiny bit more though. However, I loved the art, the characters, the subjects, and the style. I give it a 9/10.

No comments:

Post a Comment