- Craig Graziano
This One Summer is a gorgeously-crafted coming-of-age graphic novel centering around a young girl named Rose. Her family has been visiting Awago Beach for years, but this summer is different.
Rose's parents have been fighting since they arrived at the beach. Something happened there last year that neither parent wishes to address, but it looms over their heads like a cloud of unspoken malaise.
Her close friend Windy is obsessively watching slasher movies, but their real entertainment lately is following the ongoing drama between a few older teens in town. Both girls find themselves fascinated with the video store clerk, his girlfriend, and the accidental pregnancy that has them at each other's throats.
Rose find herself in that limbo where she is curious about entering the world of dating and boys but does not yet know what it is she wants from those experiences. Windy is more ambivalent, and you can tell that this might be the last summer that they really have a lot in common.
Jillian and Mariko Tamaki's book is a quietly tense story, full of nuance thanks to the gentle, textured illustrations and a story where what is not said is even more important than what is.
This book is for anyone who had a summer like this, one where childish things were set aside in favor of the exciting, sometimes disturbing world of teenagedom and adulthood. This One Summer is one to remember.