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A Reading Vocation

"I Must Read, Read, and Read. It is my Vocation." - Thomas Merton

This is where I chronicle my reading life.  I also blog about writing at Lacey's Late-night Editing.

 

Book 107/100: This One Summer by Jillian & Mariko Tamaki

This One Summer - Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki

I loved the artwork in this graphic novel; the portrayal of the characters all seemed so real. I especially loved the rendition of Windy, which perfectly captured that pudgy, just-before-puberty, before-you-start-to-get-self-conscious stage.

Most of the story surrounds the dynamic between Windy and her friend Rose, who is maybe a year or two older than her. They're at that age where that year or two makes a bigger difference than it will at any other time in their lives, and their relationship feels the strain. Rose no longer freely jokes about sex or puberty, and she becomes somewhat distant and preoccupied as she tries to understand the complexities of her mother's unhappiness, her newfound fascination with horror movies, and most of all, the worlds of dating, relationships, and sex.

In that way, this book absolutely rings true. Although my family never had a "summer house," I could recognize the dynamics between Rose and Windy as similar to my own dynamics with younger cousins, friends, or my sister at the time. It captures that aching, insecure, tentative time between childhood and adulthood, that season or year when everything starts to feel different, very well.

This book is a masterpiece for its realism and its strong sense of a lazy summer ambiance. Still, I found myself wanting something more from it that I can't quite name. Or perhaps I just still identify with its young protagonist always on the edge of something out of reach just a little too much. After all, we probably never really do get closure on being thirteen.