Monday, July 14, 2014

Review of This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

This One SummerEvery 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.

(Summary from GoodReads)


I love a good summer read, and am a fan of checking out graphic novels, so I was excited to hear about This One Summer.  I wound up with a beautifully illustrated reading experience that took me back to summers of my childhood.

The main character, Rose, spends the summer at a home her family typically rents and spends a lot of her time with her best friend who is a year younger.  Tamaki expertly captures the feeling of being right on the cusp of puberty, of wanting to grow up but still be a kid.  There are some really nice discussions about sexuality and grief and their interconnectedness from an outside perspective.  Some teens will have a hard time connecting to some of the discussions here, but others will just get it.

The illustrations in this story are done in different shades of purple.  This was aesthetically pleasing, but also suited the story incredibly well.  There’s a slightly darker plotline surrounding the lake, and I really liked how the hues changed with the tone of the story.

This One Summer is a great addition to any collection of contemporary novels.  It’s a quick read that packs a lot of punch for the time the reader spends with it.  I enjoyed the nostalgia and the meaningful reading experience I got.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Other reviews:
Beth Fish Reads
Stacked Books
Waking Brain Cells

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