Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book Review: This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

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.
Every few months I go through a graphic novel phase, and I'm in the midst of one right now.  I just love the medium so much.  I've decided that instead of bingeing on them, my new plan will be comics/graphic novel Fridays.  I've got so many I want to read and my library has an amazing collection, so why not devote one day a week to reading in graphic format?

This one is an amazing coming of age story about two young girls on the verge of becoming teenagers, who are noticing boys for the first time.  Rose develops her first crush on an older boy and the two spend lots of time watching the older teens and trying to understand their more complicated lives.  In the midst of trying to figure out the mysteries of teenage life, Rose is also dealing with the increasing tension between her parents.

Even though I didn't experience many of the things Rose experiences (the summers at a lake house, the tension between parents), I could identify with her in so many ways.  The authors do an amazing job of recreating that time when you're still too young to really get teen life and sex and understanding your parents as people, but old enough to want to know those things.

I fell in love with Rose and Windy and their sibling-like relationship.  I loved how they fought and made up and fought again, but their friendship remained unchanged.  I have some memories of similar childhood friends and fights.  It's just a beautiful coming of age story.  The illustrations are also gorgeous and do a great job of reflecting both the innocence and experimentation in things relating to adulthood that Rose experiences.

I highly recommend giving this one a try.  I think it makes for a good introduction to graphic novels for those who may not be interested in fantasy, science fiction, or super heroes.  It's poignant and meaningful, but has a lightheartedness about it as well.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy to review.

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