Title: This One Summer
Author: Mariko Tamaki, Illustrator: Jillian Tamaki
Pub Deets: First Second, May 6 2014
Series/Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Source: Amazon Vine
In a sentence or so: Rose and her parents make their annual trip to their Awago Beach cottage where friendships and marriages come to the test and girls grow into young adults.
Rose is right on the cups of being a teen, so she's got some angst to spare. Her dad does his typical silly schtick to keep things light, but there's obviously something brewing between him and Rose's mom. Rose keeps out of the cottage as much as possible by hanging with her summer friend Windy and renting scary movies and getting caught up in the townie's drama. Rose has no clue how close to home the drama of the small town of Awago Beach will hit.
Something I absolutely adore about graphic novels is that they are able to convey emotions at an level that transcends the written word because you can actually see the nuanced feelings that are deeper than "joy" or "grief" or "confusion". As such, I'm able to get more emotionally absorbed in a graphic novel much faster than I am with a written book.
THIS ONE SUMMER hits that uncomfortable, but totally realistic, spot in childhood where you're becoming more aware of things around you and people's emotions, pasts, and struggles. Rose and Windy are just different enough in age that Windy is silly and Rose is trying to act like she's all deep. And sometimes, that's true. But most of the time they are both trying to figure out who they are and how they fit into the world around them.
The illustrations are gorgeous and perfectly match the tone of the story. The frames are at times whimsical, other times stark and barren, depending on the mood.
While THIS ONE SUMMER definitely qualifies as a summer read with the setting and time of year, don't go into it thinking this is a lighthearted romance. However, do not pass this one up for fear of something different or something a bit heavier with a summer setting. THIS ONE SUMMER highlights the strength of relationships, the tension of uncertainty, and the hope of of growing up.
Fave quote: "Then you became you." Pg 31