Graphic Novel Review: This One Summer

Graphic Novel Review: This One SummerThis One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
Published by First Second on May 6th 2014
Genres: Graphic Novel
Pages: 320
Buy on Amazon

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. One of the local teens - just a couple of years older than Rose and Windy - is caught up in something bad... Something life threatening.It's a summer of secrets, and sorrow, and growing up, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

This One Summer is a tremendously exciting new teen graphic novel from two creators with true literary clout. 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 childhood - a story of renewal and revelation.

thoughtThis One Summer is a graphic novel that you could read from many point of views and get something different out of it each time. It reminded me of my own summers, playing with friends, curious about relationships. Also, this book is about getting over loss, as Rose’s mother is downtrodden and you find out the reason towards the end of the graphic novel.

What I love about this book most is Windy, the somewhat chunky character who I really connected to as a character. Like all preteens, she is confident at times, not so much at others, but I love the way she is there for Rose. Together, they find out about a drama taking place near their summer homes, involving an older boy that Rose seems to have a crush on and a girl who is supposedly a “slut”. They take to calling all the girls on an island that word and get in trouble for it.

This One Summer is about becoming a teenager and getting a first glimpse into the loss of innocence. Rose and Windy have their own ways of dealing with their problems and the illustrations really capture the girls. What I liked was the flaws, they aren’t perfect little angels and create some mischief on their own during the summer.


A great read for teenagers, with gorgeous illustrations and plucky characters that drive the story.

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5 responses to “Graphic Novel Review: This One Summer

  1. I just read this yesterday and loved how it is nostalgic about the summer life of a pre-teen/early teen. They captured the interplay between wanting to grow up and dreading it — I loved that Rose and Windy watch scary movies to prove they aren’t scared of the world though they are — especially as you are glimpsing the complexity of the years just ahead of you, but it is still mysterious. I wonder if I would have loved it as a teen? I need to pass my copy on to one find out.

  2. I can’t wait to read this one – I find that First Second publishes stellar books, and I love the sound of the story (and the two friends). A perfect summer pick!

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