Book Title:
This One Summer
Book Author:
Mariko Tamaki
Book Illustrator:
Jillian Tamaki
Page Count:
Publishing Date:
May 6th, 2014
First Second
Date Read:
February 27th, 2018


Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It's their getaway, their refuge. Rosie's friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose's mom and dad won't stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It's a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it's a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

In This One Summer two stellar creators redefine the teen graphic novel. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of her teen age — a story of renewal and revelation.

My Review

This One Summer has been on my to be read list for a while now.  I finally bought it back in early November of 2017, but for whatever reason I just kept putting off reading it.  I either wasn’t in the mood for a graphic novel or I had too much other stuff to read or work to do, and I just never picked it up.

This afternoon, though, I was combing through my bookshelf looking for something quick to read while my daughters watched Beauty and the Beast for the tenth time this week, and I decided that today I was finally going to pick this up.

Rose and her parents go to a lake house at Awago Beach every summer.  There, Rose gets to spend the summer with her friend, Windy, and the two of them are inseparable for the whole summer.  They can watch movies, go swimming, hang out at each other’s houses – pretty much everything they want.  Plus, Rose and her parents always have fun, too.

But this summer, things are already different.  Her parents are fighting all the time, and sometimes they even quit talking to each other for long periods of time.  Windy is acting a little different, and there is a new guy working at the little store in town, and Rose can’t help but think about him a lot.  When Rose and Windy witness something with the new guy’s girlfriend, they try and put the pieces of this puzzle together to figure out what’s going on.

At the same time, things are getting even worse between Rose’s parents, and Windy doesn’t seem to want to do the same things Rose wants to do anymore, making it seem as though they are growing apart.

This summer at Awago Beach is unlike any other, and it’s the summer that it becomes obvious that Rose is really growing up, whether or not she is ready to.

Not only is that a really pretty cover, but the inside illustrations are really well done and add so much personality to this book.  I love how they are only done in blue, grey, and purple hues instead of full color – it makes the story a lot deeper and more meaningful, and every page of this book is so beautiful.

I’ve seen some negative reviews for this book about the use of language being a problem for the younger audience, but truthfully, I’ve heard eight year old kids swear more than what is said in this book, so I can’t really agree with that.  Sure, there are words like “slut” thrown around here and there, but there isn’t anything in this book that I think would be all that harmful – maybe the F-word once?  Either way, that isn’t something that would bother me, and if this is the kind of book my twelve year old daughter wanted to pick up, I would overlook that, because the book is a really meaningful graphic novel that touches on a lot of important things.

One of the important things that This One Summer touches on is the bond of friendship.  I loved the friendship that went on between Rose and Windy.  They loved each other like sisters, and spent all of their time together.  They had meaningful conversations and they talked about real stuff.  It’s the kind of friendship you can’t help but love.

Another thing that it touches on is parental issues and how it looks to a child.  It might not seem like a big thing, but for those who have experienced it, it might help them to feel not quite as alone when dealing with the problems of their parents.  In this book, Rose’s parents have issues that they try to work out, but Rose can sense it and it really has an effect on her.

The characters, the story, and the illustrations are all beautifully done and incredibly easy to love.  I finished this book in the course of a single afternoon and already plan on going back and rereading it very soon!

5 stars
This entry was posted in Graphic Novels, Middle Grade, Reviews, Young Adult and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

  1. Aww, this books sounds so wholesome and lovely! I love seeing the friendship between Rose and Windy, and the cover is already super gorgeous. So glad you enjoyed this one, and I’ll have to keep a look out for this one. 😀 (Plus, look at all those awards on the cover!!)
    Aila @ One Way Or An Author recently posted…ARC Review: Warcross by Marie LuMy Profile

  2. Rebecca says:

    This sounds lovely. I’ve only read a few graphic novels and the majority of those were horror – Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman series. But this one sounds like I might really enjoy it. After all, I have kids. Would be good to get in their minds.

    • Kelly says:

      I still haven’t read The Sandman series – I’m going to have to check that out. This is such a touching story, so if you’re looking for something heartfelt and deep that deals with family, friendship, and growing up, this is ideal!

  3. I have such a hard time getting into graphic novels. There are so many companion ones for book series I love, but I just can’t make myself read them. I’m glad you enjoyed this one, though!
    Stephanie’s Book Reviews recently posted…Back from HiatusMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      I used to skip over graphic novels a lot, but for some reason I really got into them. It started with Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld. I went into that thinking that there was no way I was going to enjoy something like that, but I absolutely loved it, and I’ve been hooked on graphic novels since. I’ve heard really good things about the Lunar Chronicles graphic novels!

  4. I love when books you pick up on a whim end up being fantastic reads. I really want to pick up more graphic novels, so I will have to look for this one.

    • Kelly says:

      It’s so much fun to just randomly pick up a book and discover a new favorite! I hope you enjoy this one if you get the chance to read it!

  5. This is one that I have not heard of before! It does sound like it has some important discussion with it. I tend to agree with you about the language element. While we probably don’t expect younger kids to swear, they most definitely do. I suppose it comes down to a matter of preference. So glad that you enjoyed this one. 🙂

  6. Oh yes, I agree with you about kids and the language. Hardly a day goes by without my 10 year old getting off the school bus and telling me about which kid got in trouble for saying which swear word that day, lol. This sounds like such a great read. That cover is adorable too.

  7. This book sounds adorable and it sounds like there are some important themes, like the growing up, parenting themes, etc. Lovely review Kelly!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge