This One Summer
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This One Summer

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  3,477 ratings  ·  453 reviews
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....more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by First Second (first published 2014)
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Steph Sinclair
This One Summer is worth a read for the breathtaking artwork alone. Check it out:

 photo IMG_0820_zps4af8707c.jpg

Unfortunately, the story didn’t do much for me. I really liked the idea of a summer of firsts and lessons, but when it was all said and done, I don’t really think the main character learned anything. There’s some slut-shamming done and she never understood why it wasn’t okay to say certain things. Though her friend did correct her a few times, she seemed to just write it off. The book also never felt like it actuall...more
First Second Books
Jun 12, 2014 First Second Books marked it as first-second-publications
Possibly my favorite thing about this book is that it is blue.

I mean, I love the plot and the characters and how the problems of growing up are presented and then not easily resolved like tying a bow; I love that there are parents who have their own problems; I love that the dialogue is spare and meaningful and that the art is gorgeous.

This One Summer is a wonderful book.

But I love that Mariko and Jillian made the creative leap to think of this book in another color -- this book was not drawn in...more
Jun 05, 2014 Ariel rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
This was a tiny bit of a disappointment :(

The thing about graphic novels is that you have TWO giant elements: the writing AND the art.

The art in this book was phenomenal. Absolutely wonderful. I have not a single complaint. There was a giant combination of different types of panels - squares, rectangles, splash pages.. and all of them were gorgeous. And it was all purple! I loved that it was all purple. Very moody and lovely.

The writing/story, however.. meh :( It felt a little boring, and not fo...more
Friends, I was in the mood for a graphic novel today, but now that it’s all said and done I’m not entirely sure what to think about This One Summer.

On the one hand, you have to fucking hand it to First Second.

They’re not just going to publish a graphic novel about a couple of kids spending two weeks together at cottages in a tiny middle-of-nowhere town.

Nope, they’re publish a graphic novel that also includes teen pregnancy and adult infertility and marital stress and confusing friendships and...more
Cousins Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki brilliantly capture the liminal time between being a teenager and being a child in their new graphic novel, THIS ONE SUMMER. Rose and Windy are friends who hang out every summer when their families visit Awago Beach. They like swimming and buying candy and renting R-rated videos, which they can get away with since the teenage clerk doesn't really care.

They're at the age where they're starting to clue into things like sex jokes, but don't really understand...more
Rose and her family are going for their yearly trek to the holiday cottage in Awago Beach. They’ve been coming here since Rose was five, and every inch of the sleepy little town is filled with happy memories. But this year it’s different – Rose’s parents are fighting more than ever after they decided to stop trying for a second baby. Rose’s mum would rather lock herself in her room, and even though her dad tells her not to worry about “adult junk”, their fights are getting louder and louder.

This title is one of the rare titles that most strongly provokes in me the statement "I'm not sure why I didn't love it."

Graphically, it was well drawn and had some truly amazing full page spreads and the story was heart-breaking and touching and real. All good things.

Perhaps it was that it was almost too real, too detailed (that is, included a lot of minor details and scenes that didn't necessarily add to the story). It could also be that, as an adult, I've forgotten what it's like to be a tee...more
Megan K.
I used to date this guy who was like really into comics. I mean really into them. I thought it was kind of childish, his obsession with comics. I would try to read the ones he left scattered around the apartment but I could never really get into them. They never spoke to me or moved me in the way novels do.

But then I moved back to New York and joined this book club called Jugs and Capes and it is all women and all we read are graphic novels. (I'm still not sure what the difference is, if there...more
Gorgeous art. I dug the story but I think it's one that adult readers will like and "get" more than teens. Not that teens won't get it. . . but this is much more nostalgic about the illusion-shattering that comes when you grow up than it is about the events happening in-the-moment. It's overly conscious of what it's doing, rather than allowing the girls in the story to do the doing.

Longer review to come.

Half a star for tricking someone into publishing this, and one star for the fantastic five-star artwork. Tragedy to have such great art with this dung heap narrative. Almost no plot, no conflicts, just a sour, artsy-liberal meditation with admittedly well-executed tone and very soft themes you have to really dig to find. Almost, ALMOST nothing really happens.

And the last lines, you ask? "maybe I will have massive boobs. Boobs would be cool." that's the nugget of truth we are left with in...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I had read Emiko Superstar earlier this year, by Mariko Tamaki, one of the authors of this graphic novel. When I saw this on NetGalley, I knew I'd want to try it.

This is a graphic novel for people who enjoy realistic stories, because this is a very accurate depiction of how life can be for a teenager on a summer vacation. The story follows Rose as she arrives to the beach house her family has spent every summer, and in reconnecting with her friend Windy. Rose's parents have a lot of tension and...more
Ann Douglas
I read this book in a single sitting. It was that good.

This One Summer is unlike anything else I've ever read. (Imagine a contemporary Judy Blume coming-of-age novel, but set in Canadian cottage country and presented in graphic novel form.)

The book is brave, feisty, and highly readable. Really great stuff.

Thanks for helping me find this book, Kerry Clare.
Hannah  Messler
The huge bummer of the graphic novel is that someone labors for ages over their creation and then you sit down with your pint of Chubby Hubby and make mincemeat of the both of them within the hour. I always feel a little awful about it, and this is probably the kind of thing the French have a word for--the sorrow of beauty’s brevity.
Anyway it’s hard to imagine a [French-word-for-the-sorrow-of-beauty’s-brevity] more hollowing than the end of summer. Those last days of August nearly slaughtered me...more
This book – what a book. Rich and provocative, beautiful and poignant – honestly I lack the words to properly convey how much this book meant to me.

I had the kind of ideal childhood that people usually read about. Rambunctious cousins, felicity of the mornings, sugarcane farms, freshly tilled fields and an innocence that permeated our lives. The art in this graphic novel evoked the feelings in me that growing in Fiji made me feel. Jillian manages to capture, for me, that exuberance of childhood....more
Some publicist thinks Alison is a tastemaker (which may be true), but they don't know she's on maternity leave and that we're pillaging her book supply.

This is by the same team who did Skim, which I also found somewhat boring. It has, in my opinion, the same problem I see more and more often in movies and TV, which is that it's all very well done, good production, above average writing, but nothing happens for 320 pages. Similar to how my novel will turn out (if I'm lucky).
I have to agree that this is more YA for adults than YA. I guess the publishers knew that, given that they claim this book reinvents the teen graphic novel. At any rate, I really liked it, but it definitely seems to have an adult eye to the way the teens in the story perceive and experience things. It's about the end of childhood but also about how childhood isn't really a thing; you just experience stuff and that makes you have more life experience when you experience things as you grow up, you...more
Wandering Librarians
Rose and her parents have been going to Awago Beach since Rose was five. Rose loves it there, and loves seeing her summer friend, Windy. This summer, however, things are not the same. Rose's mother is acting odd, and her parent's keep fighting. Rose and Windy find themselves witnessing the drama of the local teenagers and taking sides. Everything seems the same but different.

Beautiful coming of age story. There's so much that's left unsaid, that doesn't need to be said because of the power of th...more
Sweet coming of age tale. Every summer, Rose and her family go to Awago Beach. Rose is happy to reunite with her summer friend, Windy, who is a spunky, chubby little girl who is concerned with getting breasts. She is still more on the child side than Rose, who all of a sudden seems to take an interest in boys and begins to find Windy just a bit annoying. At one point, Rose snaps at Windy for overusing the word kidding in conversation. The hurt look on Windy’s face says it all. The reader can see...more
Ms. Pansulla
From the team behind Skim, one of my all-time favorite graphic novels, here is another gorgeously rendered coming-of-age tale, centered around the unhurried vacation rhythms of an annual lakeside retreat. The writing is subtle, allowing the artwork to equally shape the story's emotional landscape, and Rose, our protagonist, is perfectly drawn on the cusp of leaving childhood behind, sometimes exhibiting mature and decidedly teenaged behavior, and sometimes choosing to retreat into the simple sum...more
I've been sitting here for two hours trying to write a review for this book and all I've accomplished is scrolling through a lot of Buzzfeed lists. I've also deleted 45 emails so I haven't been entirely unproductive.

The fact of the matter is that this is a tale with little for me to say because there are so many subtleties. Rose is a pre-teen (or a teen? she's right there on that cusp and her age is never given, so forgive me for any vagueness) who is on her annual vacation with her parents to a...more
Originally posted to Nori's Closet (

If you’re someone who really appreciates the art of graphic novels, you’d love this one. It’s just beautiful. The artwork is just so honest and clear. People aren’t made to be perfect and crushes don’t look like prince charming; the whole thing just feels so authentic and most of that is because of the art.

The story was interesting too. There was this overlapping theme of babies. One main character is coming of age as y...more
May sound peculiar, but when I read the description on back of the book, I went into the reading thinking it would be a coming of age story for the LGBT crowd. There is one brief mention of the possibility, and then it never arises again. A few bizarre instances of slut shaming occur and were not handled well. I disliked how much the girls focused on their bodies critically; it didn't feel healthy or encouraging to an adolescent crowd.

Regardless: the story was not necessarily bad, but also defi...more
Everyone has said it. I concur, the art is superb.

What I don't understand is how people thought nothing happened in the book... Hmmm, I suppose things didn't blow up, and there were no car chases, and true there were no explicit sex scenes. So nothing like that happened, I agree. But a lot of things that may seem insignificant to adults or to anyone other than the few children, teenagers, adults involved in the story happened. A lot happened in their lives. Perhaps people have forgotten how impo...more
Karen M
Originally reviewed on One More Page...

We’re almost halfway through July and if you haven’t read This One Summer by cousins Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki, I would highly recommend it. I think it’s going to be the graphic novel of the summer (and not just because it has the word “summer” in the title). Continuing their partnership after the success of Skim, their first graphic novel together, the Tamaki cousins have created a poignant and beautiful story about a young girl’s summer at her fami...more
Nellie Airoldi
Perché forse alcuni se lo sono scordato ma in molti si ricordano ancora quanto sia difficile vivere quel particolare periodo che Rose sta affrontando, quegli anni a cavallo fra l’infanzia e l’adolescenza in cui non si è più bambini ma nemmeno giovani adulti, quegli anni in cui il cuore comincia a battere in modo diverso alla vista di un ragazzo e la mente comincia a fare strani giri, talmente rapidi e improvvisi da rimanere quasi del tutto fuori controllo.
One of the few graphic novels I've read--I really enjoyed it. It took me back to that unsure period of early adolescence, veering wildly between wanting to stay a kid and wanting to be a teenager, and not being able to understand what the hell was wrong with my mother! I loved feeling like I was at the lake with this girl and her friend, and her parents, and her friend's parents. I got that sad feeling at the end as they drove away, trying to breathe in the "Lake Awago smell" and hold on to it.
This 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 conf...more
A good coming-of-age tale, one that doesn't shy away from the awful experience that is growing up. It was especially interesting that the story centered on these two girls, with only one year separating them, yet how big a gap that seemed at times. Age is very important to kids, one year is a huge difference, one year separates the mature from the silly, which was one of the dynamics that Tamaki played with in this story. However, I'm not sure if teens would feel the same amount of nostalgia tow...more
David Schaafsma
A lot of people loved this for the art and I agree. Jillian Tamaki's art is even more amazing than on their going project, Skim, which I loved. Many people seem to hate this for a lack of narrative and it s hard to love, but I disagree with those that find it terrible. It's in my opinion very spare and subtle, very slice of life as it gives you the sense of what it is like in the transition between childhood and teenage years, when two young girls hang out at a beach resort as one of them deals...more
Kelly K
I was surprised by this book. It wasn't what I expected when I checked it out which wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I didn't like the ending though. I really liked how it touched on sexism that young girls face right before puberty. We are given these "social norms" of what women and men are like, what is acceptable and what isn't, when for the most part it's just a bunch of bullshit. My main problem was you didn't exactly see one of the main characters grow out of her perception of slut shaming...more
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Mock Printz 2015: * This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki 5 40 Aug 26, 2014 05:59AM  
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Mariko Tamaki is a Toronto writer, playwright, activist and performer. She works and performs with fat activists Pretty Porky and Pissed Off and the theatre troupe TOA, whose recent play, A vs. B, was staged at the 2004 Rhubarb Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Her well-received novel, Cover Me (McGilligan Books) was followed by a short fiction collection, True Lies: The Book of Bad Advice...more
More about Mariko Tamaki...
Skim Emiko Superstar (You) Set Me on Fire True Lies: The Book Of Bad Advice Fake ID

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