In the interest of clearing off a few more 2016 reads from my desk, where my combined good intentions and lack of blogging have left them marooned, I believe some reviewlettes are in order. As you may well know, I am wretched at being concise, alas my vague memory of some of these books leaves me unable to truly review them at length, so this is always a fun exercise. Combining them together in one post always seems to make them too long, so I'm trying a new tack and posting them individually.
Let's kick it off the endeavor with This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki. I'm not a huge graphic novel reader, but when I happen upon the genre at used book sales, I usually snap them up anyway just because I know they're hard to come by cheaply and everyone else seems to love them so much. This One Summer pretty much sums up its storyline in its title. The book captures one summer in the life of Rose and her friend Windy who spend summers together on Awago Beach. This one summer is the one where the pair start to come of age.
In a place where the two girls spent their entire childhoods, they are suddenly bumping up against adult situations, wondering what the future holds, and speculating about whether next summer they'll have big boobs. The book does a beautiful job of capturing the essence of lazy childhood summers with a wistful nostalgia while at the same time interrupting that idyll with Rose's anticipation and fear of what growing up brings as she encounters horror movies, parental problems, a boy to crush on, and a girl whose unexpected pregnancy causes her to do something desperate.
Again, for some reason, I am surprised and impressed by the many layers a story told mostly in pictures can have. I should clearly know better by now since I think this about every graphic novel I chance upon. Anybody who loves *any* kind of coming of age story should definitely give this one a try.