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3.78  ·  Rating details ·  13,802 ratings  ·  1,485 reviews
Heartbreakingly funny, moving and vibrantly drawn, Skim is an extraordinary book—a smart and sensitive graphic novel of the highest literary and artistic quality, by and about young women.

"Skim" is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth who goes to a private girls' school. When Skim's classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills him
Hardcover, 143 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Groundwood Books
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Average rating 3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,802 ratings  ·  1,485 reviews

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May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-favorites
this was a great coming of age story, and definitely one of the better graphic novels i’ve read!

cw: suicide, depression
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 01, 2016 rated it liked it
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! ...more
Nov 17, 2017 rated it liked it
When I started down the wonderful path that is reading graphic novels last year, This One Summer by Mariko & Jillian Tamaki was one of the first works I checked out. So to have now finally read through Skim from cover to cover is beyond gratifying for me.

"Skim" is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth who goes to a private girls' school. When Skim's classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills himself, the entire school goes into mourning overdrive. As c
This book is interesting. Did I really enjoy it? Not really that much. I did appreciate all the high school angst and the characters. Everyone seems to be turning on you and being your friend all wrapped into one. There are the popular girls and parties with them and then the Asians get kicked out.

Black and White art. The art was ok. The story was ok. I was not impressed really. It could be just me.
Love the angsty, nostalgic vibe of this graphic novel. Skim follows Skim, a girl in high school who practices witchcraft and thinks a lot about life and death. She’s sad a lot, perhaps depressed, and that’s where Mariko and Jillian Tamaki draw strength in this graphic novel – the way they capture this sadness with intimacy, poignancy, and subtlety. I know I had an emo phase as a preteen and had lots of angsty moments throughout my teen years (and I still have those moments, lol) and this book he ...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Aug 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic! One of the most honest comics I’ve read in a while.
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
Dave Schaafsma
Sep 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love this book, a graphic novel for teens, with a twist that might make it difficult for teachers to use it in some schools (I'm a teacher, so this matters, what might get censored), but I would push to use it. In a private/Catholic girls school, Skim (for Kim, but they meanly nicknamed her Skim, which she explains she is NOT--i.e., she's a little chunky) is bff with Lisa, and are sorta wannabe goth girls, into Wicca, (and that is already for me unique in YA stories). The moody relationship sw ...more
Seth T.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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 navigates t
Jan 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics, 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
This was a gently flowing, sweetly drawn and written graphic novel from Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, the artist and writer behind the equally wonderful This One Summer.

Skim's real name is Kimberly Keiko Cameron and she's called "Skim" because as she puts it "I'm not." She spends her days skipping classes at her all girls high school with her best frenemy Lisa reading Tarot cards and experimenting with Wicca. Things change suddenly when the boyfriend of a popular girl at school, Katie, suddenly co
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
The Artisan Geek
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
I decided not to review this on my channel, because looking back at my notes I took, there wasn't really much (good) to say about this comic, so here is a summary:
I felt the comic depicted a realistic view of high school was. You get to see people growing apart from another, people quickly changing. It really is a mosh pit of people crying out for attention and everyone is really just a mess, trying to figure out where they fit in and who they are. I felt the comic to be a bit peculiar, I'
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommended to Tatiana by: ALA
Shelves: 2010, graphic-novels, ya
I am not familiar enough with the genre of graphic novels to be a good judge of this book. I read it only because it was on the ALA list of best YA books of 2009. "Skim" is a nice very short (about 140 pages) coming-of-age story which deals with the issues of first love, homosexuality, friendship, and suicide. A quick, interesting read, but nothing earth-shattering or especially profound here. ...more
Noran Miss Pumkin
Mar 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015, graphic-book
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. ...more
Apr 29, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Jun 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comix, lesbian-lit
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
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
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.
Jan 19, 2021 rated it it was ok
It may be official that Mariko Tamaki's writing isn't for me. I didn't care for Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me and I didn't care for this, either. Skim was better than Laura Dean, but still nothing I care to revisit.

Who is this graphic novel for? Mopey, angsty teenagers that will relate to the main character? But then it depicts a student/ teacher relationship that's never challenged or criticized by anyone, when it SHOULD have been. Student/ teacher relationships aren't romantic, they don
although I liked the overall story and the development of our main character, I still feel like something was missing, or that it should have been longer. I enjoyed the second half so much more than the first, and I would have loved to have a bit more. it just felt a bit flat unfortunately.
Nov 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
Potential spoiler ahead... (view spoiler) In any case, the story could have done without that plot, really. And Katie could have been introduced to Kim sooner, because their friendship was the best part of the whole book.

Overall, I was underwhelmed.
Jul 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #105 Skim by Mariko Tamaki 1 4 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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