Book Review: This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Source: Borrowed

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.

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.

I checked this graphic novel out from the library mostly because of the cute cover. It seemed to perfectly illustrate summer, and it looked like just what I was in the mood for. Unfortunately, this book really didn’t do it for me. Aside from the artwork, which was pretty nice, I didn’t see much of a point to it.

There’s really very little plot. Rose and her family have headed to Awago Beach for the summer. She’s excited to see her friend, Windy, and to be away from home for a bit. Once there, Rose is disappointed that all her parents are doing is arguing. She develops a crush on an older guy who has a pregnant girlfriend. She and Windy watch a lot of horror movies that they’re way too young for. That’s really the extent of what happens.

I thought that Rose’s mother’s story was much more interesting than Rose’s. As the book goes on, we learn why Rose’s parents have been arguing and why Rose’s mother has been so sad recently. Maybe it’s my age showing here, but I was much more invested in that story than I was in Rose calling the other girls in town “sluts” (and never really learning why talking like that isn’t okay) and accusing her supposed best friend of being immature.

This isn’t necessarily a bad book, but I was mostly just bored while I read it.

Have you read This One Summer? Can you recommend any summery graphic novels?
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