Friday, December 19, 2014
This One Summer
Illustrator: Jillian Tamaki
Info: First Second, copyright 2014, 320 pages
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. It's a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.
This one popped up on a few must-read graphic novels of 2014, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. Sure glad I did. The thing is, I'm a sucker for stories with summer lake houses. I'm not sure why, but one day, when I hit the lottery, I'm going to get myself a lake house getaway :)
Hopefully there won't be quite the drama though. Rose's mother is growing increasingly distant, struggling with fertility and memories of the previous summer at the bakehouse and a great loss. And her father isn't coping well. But Rose has Windy, her summer friend who has a cheery, optimistic look on life. The two young girls become captivated by the lives of the teens living near the lake. They're growing, maturing, questioning sexuality, starting to fall victim to peer pressure, and the creeping angst that comes with adolescence.
It's a summer of changes and a summer of new beginnings.
I only wish people would just talk more. Of course, in literature, if people talked to one another there would be no conflict. And if there's no conflict, there's really no story. So surprise, surprise...no one really communicates in this book.
I'm not sure I would call this one of the best of the year, but it's defintely one worth reading.