Review: This One Summer

this one summerTitle: This One Summer
Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki (Illustrator)
graphic novel, contemporary
: 320
First Second
Review copy:
the lovely library
May 6th 2014

Summary: 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. [Image and summary via Goodreads]

Review: Ever since I picked up Skim at the local library a few years back, I’ve been a huge fan of Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki… So, of course, picking up This One Summer pretty much made my day. (And there was a heat wave, so it felt like summer the whole time I was reading…)

This One Summer details the summer of Rose and Windy, two  girls whose families vacation at Awago Beach every year. The two are close friends, and it’s obvious from the start that they have history together.  There’s more to their summers at Awago Beach than just carefree vacation time. An undercurrent of quiet sorrow runs through the story as Rose and Windy goof off and live out their summer vacation.

The art and the story are a perfect match for either, and both work to convey the certain endless — yet fleeting — feeling of summer that comes with being young. The friendship and back-and-forth between Rose and Windy feels authentic, as does the familial bonds. And, as is obvious by the cover, the art is incredibly gorgeous. I had to keep pausing while I read, just so I could stop and admire the beautiful backgrounds.

Like Skim, This One Summer is at once poignant and thought-provoking, and fun to read. I can only cross my fingers and hope for more to follow.

Recommendation: Buy it now — this is pretty much perfect for summer reading…