Review: This One Summer, by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki


This One Summer, a graphic novel, tells the story of two friends, Rose and Windy, who spend every summer at Awago Beach with their families. The novel follows the two girls through a rocky summer of parental disagreement and tragedy, to learning the meaning of empathy and friendship. Windy is the younger sister Rose never had, though in some ways she is the voice of reason to Rose’s often harshly judgmental outlook, especially when it comes to other girls and their relationships. This One Summer is a beautifully drawn graphic novel, the panels of which often speak for themselves, but of course would not be complete without the accompanying story line. The best part of the that story, in my opinion, was Windy and her often biting sass. 

I have Karen to thank for introducing me to this book, after reading her review I was determined to find this for myself, and was so glad I did. I can’t say enough times how gorgeous the illustrations are throughout the book. It kept me turning the pages so quickly I had to remind myself to slow down and appreciate it. As it was, I inhaled this book over the course of a little over one night. Having only read one graphic novel before this one, and a Marvel one at that, this was the best book to start with for actual novels. 

The blue and purple coloring that was used for the illustration added a summery element to the book, and somehow made everything feel that much more realistic. The dark purples added to the darker periods of the book, and contrasted perfectly with the cream colored backgrounds for the light-hearted moments of dancing, swimming, and biking. 

The one downside I found with This One Summer was Rose’s cold attitude toward most of the people she encountered. She didn’t appear to learn very much as the book came to a close, which always bothers me, but at the same time, it could be her stubborn teenage outlook shining through.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this, especially if you’re not typically into graphic novels, like me. Summer has a few weeks left: find a hammock and enjoy!


  1. I’m so happy that you enjoyed this book! It’s true that Rose doesn’t appear to learn too much by the end of her summer but I have hope that she will continue to grow and develop “off screen”. Great review 😀

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