Monday, July 25, 2016

Graphic Novel Review: "This One Summer" by Mariko Tamaki

Rose and her parents are headed to Awago Beach for the summer again, just as they have every summer for years.  Rose is about fifteen years old, and is becoming aware of the lives surrounding hers:  her parents are not perfect and are dealing with big, private issues that she doesn't really understand, she has a crush on a local boy that seems to be dealing (or not dealing) with big, private issues as well, and she's feeling a little age or maturity gap between herself and Windy, her slightly younger summer friend who also has a cottage nearby.

There really isn't a major plot in this book, rather it is more of a summer adventure, or an overview into the lives of those who surround us as well as our own (or Rose's) life.  The truth is that we can never fully understand what someone may be going through.  Rose's mother is all but consumed by her secret hurt, and while she confides in certain trusted friends and family, Rose is left out and frustrated.  Everything comes to a head in a very emotional climax, and things are not drawn into a neat and tidy conclusion, keeping it feeling very real.

The art in this graphic novel is incredibly beautiful.  I really enjoyed each and every panel.  This is the first graphic novel I've read digitally (and while at the beach - very appropriate!) I absolutely loved the art and how it supported and completed the emotional aspect of the story.  It is easy to see why this book has won so many awards!

*****
This One Summer
by Mariko Tamaki
First Second, 2014
320 pages
Source:  Library
*****

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