Review: This One Summer

This One Summer
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The best thing about this book was the non-sequiturs. The dialogue and overheard conversations were totally believable. Tamaki nailed the awareness of a preteen of the experiences of both teens and adults - the fear, the fascination, the befuddlement and longing to understand. Reading it as an adult, it made me wonder what the target audience might be. I was thinking teenagers, even though the POV is from a preteen.

Graphic novels make it hard to get to know characters. This book solved that problem by developing strong visual exposition. I was able to write entire paragraphs in my head about the sensory experiences of being on the beach and watching horror movies.

The setting is perfect: ephemeral summer, never quite as good as you expect it to be, but when it's over, you realize how much you'll miss it.

Rating (they all start at 5 out of 10 (perfectly acceptable) and go up or down from there):

Awesomeness: 6. Disturbing, but still a light read.

Wordsmithing: 8. Turns of phrase will stick with you, especially the characters' awareness of sex.

Personages: 7. I felt for all the characters, even the ones I didn't particularly like.

Mesmerizitude: 5. I liked it, but it won't be one I'll read again.

Illustrations: 6. They were clean and simple, with great movement.

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