Traci's Reviews > Skim

Skim by Mariko Tamaki
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's review
Sep 17, 2011

really liked it
Read in January, 2009

Kimberly Keiko Cameron, otherwise known as Skim, is just your regular teenager in the early 1990s. Her parents are divorced, her best friend Lisa gets on her nerves, and she’s just trying to find out who she is. She travels the requisite path of self-discovery that we all go through in high school. She tries out being a Wiccan; she smokes out in the woods behind school, and she kisses her English teacher Ms. Archer. When Ms. Archer abruptly leaves the school and her job, Skim changes. Is she depressed? Is she gay? Who are her true friends? Skim’s world is filled with questions that she is finding hard to answer.

In this wonderful graphic novel written and illustrated by cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the reader revisits the fantastic world of high school and all its wonderful parts - gossip in the halls, being the outcast, finding new friends, questioning yourself. The reader is experiencing just a slice of Skim’s life – there really isn’t a beginning or end to the story. It’s just a nice, quiet look at a few months of her life right when she’s turning sixteen, and it is a brilliant experience in literature.

The pictures in Skim truly move the story along. The gaps between words are filled in by the wonderful pictures in-between. Instead of viewing the words and pictures separately, try using them together, in tandem, for a fully formed story. For new fans of graphic literature, Skim is a great start. It will also be a welcome read for those who are well versed in graphic novels or for those who enjoyed Blankets – also a graphic story of a teenager trying to figure out his role in the world.

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