Review: This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki

18465566Every 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.

PUBLISHER: First Second

PAGES: 320


I won this book through Goodreads’ First Reads program! Yay!

This was my first graphic novel. I don’t know why, but I’ve just never gravitated towards graphic novels! It’s such a novel idea, though, and I feel as if I’m going to read more graphic novels in the future.


PG-13: Cussing (f-word, s-word, etc), mentions of rape and sex (not pictures, just mentions)


On the Goodreads’ page, the publisher says, “Possibly my favorite thing about this book is that it is blue” and I would have to agree! 🙂 this-one-summer-2Wow, wow, wow. These illustrations are beautiful. I don’t have much to compare them with, but these are gorgeous. They evoke a sense of childhood nostalgia in me and I can’t help but love them.


The tagline says, “An Unforgettable Summer”, but, even after finishing the book, I still don’t see what was so unforgettable about this one summer. While Awago Beach seems like it has been a peaceful retreat for Rose in the past, her parents are fighting this summer. Her and her good friend, Windy, converse about pregnancy, sex, and their growing sense of responsibility in life. The pictures are all very beautiful, but I still felt like something was still missing when I finished. There was a plot, but there wasn’t much development of that plot.

I just felt meh about the book when I finished. On one hand, the illustrations were gorgeously amazing. But, on the other hand, the plot lacked. In a big way.


I couldn’t find a sad summer song, so here’s a happy summer song!


Overall, I’d have to give this graphic novel a 2.5/5 heart rating! I’d take a peak at the graphics, but skip the story.


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