This One Summer was the third book I picked up for my (unofficial) summer reads challenge. I spontaneously bought it a few months ago while paying a visit to Foyles, Charing Cross Road. I love the large graphic novel section in the shop and I bought This One Summer along with Through the Woods – and I’m happy to say that I really enjoyed both!
I was expecting a cute and fluffy, picture perfect story about two girls and their summer friendship together in a beautiful beach cottage, enjoying the sun, sea and sand, but This One Summer was much grittier and intense.
This One Summer is about the sort of friendship that’s not day-to-day – Rose and her younger friend Windy only see each other every summer. Naturally, they have grown apart over the year and are no longer interested in the things they enjoyed the summer before. Windy wants to dance, drink pop and build forts while Rose wants to talk about her summer crush and watch grisly horror films, but the two girls are determined to stay friends. Rose is also dealing with family drama and Awago Beach is no longer her refuge from life. In This One Summer, there’s talk of sexuality, sex, miscarriage, adoption, body image, misogyny and sexism, and depression, even if fleetingly. It’s a tough summer for Rose and This One Summer is a beautiful and evocative coming-of-age story about two girls growing up.
I adore graphic novels because they only take an hour or so to read, but the stunning artwork in This One Summer means that you feel like you’ve spent the summer with the girls and gone through what they have. Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki – two Canadian cousins – make the perfect author/illustrator partnership. Jillian Tamaki’s artwork is gorgeous. Many of the spreads are utterly beautiful and the way the artwork transitions between scenes is wonderful. I could almost hear the sea at Awago Beach; the traffic outside my window was transformed.
Join Rose and Windy on an unforgettable trip and discover how one summer can change everything. There aren’t many young adult contemporary graphic novels out there, but This One Summer shows that there should be.
Published: 6th May 2014
Publisher: First Second