ARC Review – This One Summer by Jillian Yamaki and Mariko Tamaki

18465634Title: This One Summer

Author(s): Jillian Tamaki & Mariko Tamaki

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: 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.

Huge thank you to First Second and Netgalley for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

Huge thank you to First Second and Netgalley for this ARC!

This is not the first book I’ve read by cousins Jillian and Mariko Tamaki. Back when I was in university, I actually attended a talk by Mariko Tamaki on writing an feminism, and since then I’ve actually read just about everything she’s ever published. This One Summer was a return back to contemporary for both authors, so I was excited to see where the story would go.

This One Summer was a book that reminded me of my cottage and how much I miss it. I would take my friends up there, we’d spend hours swimming, exploring, watching scary movies, and lounging about near the lake with books in our hands. Cottage life always reminded me of the good times in life, and often it was where I did my most growing up. Those interactions between Rose and Windy I found myself nodding along with as it was something I have connected with before.

The actually mysteries within this story are fairly uncomfortable for the most part. Much like Skim, their previous joint graphic novel effort, there’s no real fluff in this story. There’s a lot of confronting fears, forcing others to do the same, and accepting when mistakes are made. Everything that happens in this novel happens with a heavy reason and often an unavoidable consequence. In a lot of ways, that’s what makes Rose and Windy growing up such a tough aspect to watch — like many of us, nothing ever comes easy.

What really helps this narrative along is the artwork — it’s stunning. Especially any scenes involving forests and water, you get a sense of being swept away and the use of the monochromatic colouring works wonders. The emotion from the art is really impressive and I loved it.

A lot of the conflict is minimized or even at times non-existent. There are definitely parts of the story I was more had been done with, but overall I still think This One Summer is a delightful read that makes me wish I still wasn’t currently trapped under a pile of snow.

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