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Skim

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  8,724 Ratings  ·  949 Reviews
A New York Times Book Review choice as one of the 10 Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2008.

Skim is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth stuck in a private girls' school in Toronto. When a classmate's boyfriend kills himself because he was rumoured to be gay, the school goes into mourning overdrive, each clique trying to find something to hold on to
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Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Groundwood Books (first published February 28th 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ariel
May 01, 2016 Ariel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know, I enjoyed this when I read it. I found the story compelling and truly feel that it was an honest depiction of teenage life in high school. I found the illustration style a bit creepy and unsettling, but that went along with the story. My only problem is that now that I'm writing this review, two months after finishing it, I realized that I haven't thought about this book once since reading it. So personally it didn't have any long lasting staying power!
Keith
Feb 28, 2013 Keith rated it it was amazing
Man, I am so tired of reading every-graphic-novel-I-should-have-read-but-didn't in preparation for a course I start teaching in a month, but it was all completely worth it to read Skim. It's the kind of good that makes you realize as you're reading it that you're only getting a tenth of what's going on, and then when you put the book down it starts unfolding, like you're still reading it, and man is that a warm, strange, velvety feeling to have going on in your head.

I don't think I've ever read
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Jackie "the Librarian"
Aug 19, 2008 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teen girls ages 12 and up
This reminded me a lot of Ghost World, being about a misfit girl, nicknamed Skim, and her best friend, whose paths are starting to diverge.
There's not much story here, but to me, that felt true to life in high school. I, like Skim, watched from the sidelines, and when something does happen to you, it can be overwhelming and life changing, as when Skim's teacher kisses her.
I liked the sly humor - the coven meeting that was also an AA meeting, the costume party with all the girls except Skim and
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Lily
Oct 25, 2015 Lily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I mean, there's heartbroken and then there's all the stuff that comes each second after that, depending on who broke your heart.

There's something purifying about this book: the monochromatic color scheme, the fine lettering, the whispered polyphony of words and images.

The reader drifts, leaf-like, through a chilly autumn at a Canadian all-girls school in the early 1990s. The ex-boyfriend of one of the popular girls had just killed himself, sending the community on an upward (but actually downw
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Travis
Jan 06, 2011 Travis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
It's 1993 and Kimberly Keiko Cameron, aka Skim, is in grade 10 at a Catholic girls' school. She is: Wiccan, biracial (Japanese-Canadian/white), sort of an outcast, overweight, falling in love with her English teacher, Ms. Archer.[return][return]I really loved this. It's so...ordinary. It's not a message book, even though there are lots of things (being Asian, homophobia, being queer, bullying, teen suicide, rumors, divorce, being overweight) that could be turned into big Issues to Teach a Lesson ...more
jess
Mar 18, 2009 jess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to jess by: Timothy
This is one of my new favorite graphic novels. It is _so_much_better_ than the Minx graphic novel by the same author (Emiko Superstar). The art is beautiful, great lines & strong white spaces. The emotions are pure. The cover art did not really engage me at all, but don't judge this book by its cover. The cover doesn't really do justice to the story and illustrations inside.

It's about a teen girl in high school (Skim) who dabbles with Wicca, tries to make sense of her sexuality, and navigat
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Irena Freitas
Oct 19, 2016 Irena Freitas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mais uma vez morta por motivos de Mariko e Jillian Tamaki sendo maravilhosas demais.

Pouca gente sabe capturar teen angst de forma tão honesta e sincera como essas duas, realmente é sempre algo maravilhoso de ler.
Seth T.
Jul 25, 2011 Seth T. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Being neither a teenage girl nor overly sympathetic toward the needlessly mopey, I am pretty clearly not the target audience for Skim. I’m sure that if I were of like age, culture, and circumstance with Skim‘s lead, Kimberly Keiko Cameron, I might find the book soul-piercing and intelligent.

But I’m not and so I don’t.

Skim by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

There is one singular obstacle facing any author who hopes to present a story featuring realistically portrayed teenagers: teens are uninteresting. Their problems are generally ove
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Paul
For a story about emotions and connections, I felt rather unconnected to Skim, the title character. Maybe it was because author Mariko Tamaki went a little too overboard in making Skim an "every girl" character. Sure, she had some petulant goth / wicca leanings, but within those categories she felt a little too much like she was always playing a role. Maybe that's what bothered me with the story as a whole---it was always by the numbers, there was always the proper event happening at the proper ...more
Nicky
I can’t get enough of stories about depressed teenage girls who don’t know where they fit in. Probably because I was that girl. When I hear people talk about high school with actual fondness, I am always deeply suspicious of their character, even though it’s totally possible (and even likely) that some people had a grand ole time. Skim is on my team, and I loved her, not just because of that, but because she’s also smart and funny and does the unexpected. All of the girls in this book were so fi ...more
Brendan Nicholls
Took a little longer but I finally sat down and finished this one. I enjoyed the book and found the artwork cold but suiting the story. I just found this story to be brilliant and interesting, if you have a friend who thinks graphic storytelling is superheroes just hand them this. The story is part about accepting rejection and coming of age, that difficult step of developing yourself as a person. The cold artwork inks each page with careful precision, there isn't anything as fodder. I'm eager t ...more
David
I grabbed this at random while I was browsing graphic novels at the local library. I have a nostalgic fondness for teen coming-of-age graphic novels, though none of the published ones I've read (Blankets, Black Hole) are as good as a handful of web comics.

Anyway, I am totally not the target audience for this book, or else I am just too old. For one thing, the characters are all teenage girls at an all-girls' high school. It's also set in the early 90s, so not only do I not relate to them now, I
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Marissa
Jun 08, 2010 Marissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lesbian-lit, comix
This is a pretty amazing coming-of-age style graphic novel. The drawing style is beautiful and there's some really exciting artistic experimentation going on with the lay-out, the angles the artist chooses in the panel, the lettering etc. Jillian Tamaki doesn't just illustrate the characters and events in the book, she brings their moods and movement to life. Not to mention that her imitation of the style of classical Japanese portraiture to draw the teenaged protagonist gives the whole work an ...more
Sarah
This is the best queer Wiccan young adult graphic novel I have ever read. It is also the only one I have ever read because it is completely unlike anything I've seen before.

The dark pencil sketch art style brought to mind another graphic novel about religious faith, Blankets by Craig Thompson, but the story is more mult- faceted. I enjoyed the many things going on here - the relationship with her female teacher, her introduction to Wicca, her relationship with her best friend, and the backdrop
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Raina
Nov 17, 2008 Raina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: goths, high school, girls
Recommended to Raina by: YALSA-BK
I think they could have edged up the cover a bit - it doesn't reflect the goth, witchy, lesbian elements of the book. And granted, Kim's self discovery is the central point, and not all those other elements which merely contribute, but still.

I loved the subtlety of the storytelling - nonlinear, deviceful but not, the cynicism and assertion of authenticity, the portrayal of the transference of friendships, and the heartbreak of young emotion. A treat, and a quick read, although I would love a fr
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Noran Miss Pumkin
This book needed to come out of the closet more, on this issues it skirted on the edges about, al least for me. The weirdly shaped faces of the while girls really bothered me, while Skim's face was right out of Japanese art.
Zizeloni
Jul 20, 2016 Zizeloni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a book about a teenage girl, kind of introverted, kind of goth/Wiccan, that does not feel happy with her life.
I think the story was really good, looked so real...
No fake YA stuff.
And the drawing of course was awesome.
Marta
Beautifully drawn and very personal take on the turbulent and difficult time of growing up, first love, heart ache, fitting in, discovering your identity and coming to terms with it. Love changes everything.
Jamila
Hilarious and sad. I loved the Girls Celebrate Life club and the mystery of Ms. Archer. Great book about friendship, loneliness, young love, and identity.
Eva Mitnick
Sep 12, 2008 Eva Mitnick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This graphic novel covers some of the same territory as Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci, but in very different style and somewhat more effectively (although I did really enjoy Plain Janes and look forward to reading the sequel). Kim, a Canadian who is half-Japanese and half-white, lives with her mom and attends a private school. While the rest of the school reacts in various ways to the suicide of a male student (a ludicrous life-affirming club, for instance), Kim (known as Skim because she isn ...more
I. Merey
Feb 12, 2013 I. Merey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel, art, 2013
I found the title appropriate... Skim. Reading this book felt like sitting alone deep in a forest, staring at a clean, clear pond. Nobody is around, at one point, you pick up a stone and skip it along the water. The pond is deep and cold; the stone just disturbs the surface...

Skim is a high-school girl dealing with a few formidable issues in her life. Her parents are divorced, her mother is bitter; her best friend Lisa, with whom she's exploring Wicca, is a bitch. A boy commits suicide at her sc
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Tori
i had really high hopes for this graphic novel because, hello, queer young asian girl who struggles with her mental health and Isn't Thin! which, tbh, i think was an unfair burden of an expectation.

it's a quiet kind of read, and tamaki really captures the quiet emptiness of depression/growing up/feeling like an outsider bc of ur queerness.

that said – the teacher/student relationship made me REALLY uncomfortable. i had a moment where i was like 'wtf did u tag for this shit??' before remembering t
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Michelle Lynne
One of my favourite graphic novels. It dealt with a lot of themes that I find simultaneously entertaining, moving and interesting to read about (suicide, Wicca, searching for identity, LGBT issues, etc.) I really liked the art style, but it was the characters that really got to me; I could really relate to Kim and the people in her life at the high school level, including a lot of the things she goes through and that she is feeling.
Denele
Feb 06, 2012 Denele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Denele by: Kelsey
I definitely could have used a graphic novel like this when I was in high school. Many of the characters are quite relatable. Wise cracking know it all Lisa made me chuckle, while sensitive and quiet Skim had moments where my heart ached for her. There wasn't really an advanced plot, but more of a focus on the reflections of a teenage girl responding to the many people and situations in her life. I enjoyed the nonchalant approach to some controversial issues.
Nidhi Srivastava
Experiencing wave after wave of warm fuzzies.

====================================

One of the things I want to point out is that the blurb says Skim is sinking into depression - I disagree! I don't think so.

Twist- should have been predictable but wasn't. Thankfully I didn't try to get ahead of the plot and went with the flow

Robin Stevens
Apr 24, 2016 Robin Stevens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sharp and often uncomfortable, this is a graphic novel about a teenage girl who's trying to navigate a (deeply problematic) first love in a school that's been disrupted by a boy's recent suicide. This makes difficult reading, but I think it's brilliant.
Jeffrey
May 24, 2009 Jeffrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
I really enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Although it was less emotionally resonant with me - probably because of my own experiences and current situation more than anything - the story is engaging and the art is beautiful, and in terms of its comics mechanics is consistently interesting.
Sian Lile-Pastore
Great stuff! All my favourite things in comic form- Wicca, being aTeenager, possible romance with a teacher and death.
Will Walton
Is it possible I liked this even MORE than This One Summer?? I DON'T KNOW!!
Sarah
Nov 07, 2013 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Skim

Before I recommend this, I’m going to take the liberty to attach a small trigger warning to this book. It discusses suicide and depression frequently throughout, just so you know. Don’t read stuff that you think will make you feel awful!

‘Skim’ is the diary of Kimberly Keiko Cameron, who considers herself to be a witch and is otherwise a typical teenage girl in high school. The story covers Skim’s first love, her friendship with her best friend Lisa, stories of her past and the rising caution
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Write Reads Podcast: Write Reads #21 1 5 Oct 13, 2014 10:09AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #105 Skim by Mariko Tamaki 1 2 Oct 09, 2014 09:50PM  
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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
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“I had a dream I put my hands inside my chest and held my heart to try to keep it still.” 30 likes
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