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This One Summer Paperback – 1 Jul 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: First Second (1 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159643774X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596437746
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.5 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 185,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This book is poignant and melancholy, and it will be swiftly recognizable to those who only recently hovered at the cusp of adolesence. - BCCB, STARRED REVIEW. This captivating graphic novel presents a fully realized picture of a particular time in a young girl's life, an in-between summer filled with yearning and a sense of ephemerality. - School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW A summer of family drama, secrets and change in a small beach town . . . Keenly observed and gorgeously illustrated - a triumph. - Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW. With a light touch, the Tamakis capture the struggle of growing up in a patchwork of summer moments . . . Wistful, touching, and perfectly bittersweet. - Booklist, STARRED REVIEW. This One Summer teeters on the fault line of preadolescence, as cozy childhood naivety washes away to reveal the dark complexities of adult life. Jillian Tamaki might be the best illustrator in the entire biz - her drawings are immersive, sensual and overwhelmingly beautiful. A magic synergy is kindled when paired with the storytelling of her cousin Mariko, who implements the best elements of graphic novels, manga, bande dessinee and modern literary prose to awaken a world of sophisticated naturalism. I loved it.-- Craig Thompson Jillian's art is simply gorgeous, and the perfect companion to the beautiful--and sometimes painful--truth behind Mariko's every word.-- Stephanie Perkins. This One Summer is so vivid and beautifully bold, that I saw, heard, and felt every moment. This tender and oh-so-true story of one girl's pivotal summer is a stand-out.--Deb Caletti I just want to live forever in the pages that Mariko and Jillian create. Exquisite, subtly layered storytelling of both words and art, and a punch when you least expect it--a rare treasure of a book, like a summer caught and pressed between the pages. Svetlana Chmakova I read this in July, and spent the r --Various

About the Author

Mariko Tamaki is a Canadian writer and performer. In addition to her celebrated graphic novel Skim, co-created with Jillian Tamaki, she has also published several works of prose fiction and nonfiction, including the young adult novel (You) Set Me on Fire. Mariko's short film Happy 16th birthday Kevin premiered at the Inside Out Festival in Toronto in May 2013. Her most recent graphic novel is This One Summer, with Jillian Tamaki. Jillian Tamaki is a Canadian illustrator and comics artist living in Brooklyn, New York. She is the creator of two books of personal works (including Skim, with Mariko Tamaki), and the ongoing webcomic, Super Mutant Magic Academy. Her most recent graphic novel is This One Summer, with Mariko Tamaki.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By on 16 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is like Judy Blume meets Dawson's Creek. Rose and her family head to Awago Beach for the summer as they always do, but this time it is different. Rose's family is not happy and at the epicentre is Rose's mum who cannot pull herself out of a deep depression no matter what the family does. Her father, at first is gentle and treads eggshells, but soon cannot hold in his frustration. We do eventually find out the cause of Rose's mother's depression and it is indeed a tragic tale made worse by the locale in which the family are holidaying.

While this is going on Rose and her friend Windy - who holidays at Awago Beach each year too - take to renting horror videos at the local shop. While there they get drawn into a teenage pregnancy drama by first liking the shop-steward.

There's a lot of growing up to do at Awago Beach and the Tamakis take us to the beach in the subdued tones of blues. You can smell the saltwater and hear the seagull. It's sad but lovely here.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a beautifully crafted book in every way possible. Let me just say that when I bought this book I bought it solely based on Daniel Handler's endorsement of it. The book was tightly wrapped, so I couldn't even flip through it, but I loved the cover, I loved the synopsis, and Daniel Handler's name was there, so I thought, that's it...I'm buying it.

When I opened it to start reading it, I was very surprised to find that it was a graphic novel! I don't usually read graphic novels, not because I'm not a fan, but I just never feel like I get immersed in graphic novels the way I do with regular stories that really take you in deep with the descriptions and scene setting and feelings and so on.

However, This One Summer blew me AWAY. The graphics were absolutely beautiful, brilliantly crafted into pieces of art. Actually, no. I won't call it a piece of art, because the drawings were so real that it almost felt like watching a movie. The emotions on their faces, the scenery, the expressions, the movement, it was amazing. All depicted so well that the characters felt they could almost jump off the pages of the book.

But then comes the writing, although the writing was brief and mostly dialogue - because, yes, it is a graphic novel. The writing was still enough to convey the messages it meant to convey in the way they are meant to be conveyed. The characters all had depth, and the Tamakis were able to make them so real that you become invested in this story. It's literally a story that spans the length of a summer holiday, but in that time we witness the growth of a young girl at the cusp of adolescence, and her relationships with her friends and family, and those she interacts with around her.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a beautiful, beautiful book. It has the sound and color of summer, it has haunting double spreads in deep indigo-violet blue that submerge you and transport you to the hidden thoughts and feelings of a child entering adolescence. It has the crunch of flip-flops on gravel, the pitter-patter of summer rain, the swishing of bicycle rides with your summer best friend, the brushing of glorious trees and lush wilderness, the whooshing of the sea.

Meet Rose Wallace and her holiday friend Windy in Awago Beach. Two very different girls but both on the verge of their teenage years. They watch R rated horror dvds, they swim together, have outdoor night meals together with their families, talk about their developing bodies and face the alluring but unfathomable sea and sky in the same way they face the alluring, unfathomable, forbidding world of secrets of the adults and young adults that surround them. Inevitably, they get entangled in the middle of all these people and their shenanigans, but they also get systematically excluded by everyone. Then they eavesdrop. Try to put things together, understand the unexplained and know the untold. Rose reacts in a sulky, broody way - her only smiles seem to come when her semi-crush Dud speaks to her, Windy in a totally unrestrained, effusive, hyper way.

I am new to Jillian and Mariko Tamaki's work, but words and pictures work in perfect symmetry. Simple and captivating. There is the fleeting lightness and fragility of milkweed and also the contained turmoil and pain not just of her own but of those surrounding young Rose. Teenage mannerisms are flawlessly observed and rendered both in speech (lots of syncopated speech packed with 'likes' and 'keys') and mirrored by the sketchy (oh so recognisable) body postures.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nicola Mansfield on 31 Oct 2014
Format: Paperback
Ugh. What to say? This story did nothing for me in fact, I didn't like it in parts and found it ho-hum the rest of the time. The art is amazing and is what kept me reading this over 300 page book. The entire book is done in blue and the graphics are splendid making for a beautiful presentation. But the story of two girls who know each other by spending the summer at the same cottages each and every summer since they were little is full of conflicts that go nowhere. I don't mind this kind of plot most of the time but I also didn't find the mother's behaviour realistic at all. And in general I found the story to be entirely so blatantly feminist and left wing that it really was unpalatable to me. Of course, there are plenty of the target audience and my opinion will be unpopular with them.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 50 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful art work and very realistic story, but maybe too realistic for some kids 27 Mar 2014
By amazonbuyer - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The artwork in "This One Summer" reaches out and pulls the reader into the story. It is a very sad but well told tale.

I have only one caution. The age range is 12-18. The subject matter is such that it may not be appropriate for some 12 year olds:
1)references to porn, oral sex, and blow jobs and 2) language.

You will have to decide if this is appropriate for your child. My older child can deal with it, but my younger one (still with in suggested age range) wanted nothing to do with it.

I was actually surprised at how difficult the story was. There was hope and joy, but so much sadness. The cover artwork is so joyful that I didn't expect it to be quite so heavy. I know it hinted at issues, but I was still not prepared.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A compelling portrait of a girl on the threshold of young adulthood 9 May 2014
By Doug Gibson - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
"This One Summer" is a graphic novel by Mariko Tamaki with charcoal-and-ink art by Jillian Tamaki, a team of cousins whose first collaboration, Skim, won a New York Times Illustrated Children’s Book Award. "Summer" tells the complex and ultimately edifying story of Rose, a tween (her age is never stated) who deals with family tensions and—vicariously, by watching the local teens in the town where her family vacations—explores the mysterious world of near-adulthood.

Rose’s mom, Alice, is dealing with depression in the aftermath of a failed pregnancy, and this leads to conflict with Rose’s kindly (and slightly immature) dad. And as this conflict progresses from tension to acrimony to reconciliation, Rose finds her attention drawn—first as an observer, and then as a sort of spy—to a parallel drama playing out between a convenience-store clerk (and subject of a minor crush) and his apparently pregnant girlfriend. Her attention caught by these two stories, Rose seems to be pondering what role she can take on as an adult, and which one of the two roles that present themselves—familiar, beloved, but withdrawn mother, or emotional, liberated, but tragic teenage girl—lie closest to how she sees herself.

Also in the mix is Windy, Rose’s younger friend, who serves as a foil for Rose’s dilemma. Windy is full of slighting references to the teens’ drama, and whether this stems from sincere disdain or a desire to keep them at a safe distance, she gives voice to perspectives that are both younger and older than Rose’s. In this way, she serves as a representation of the ways in which the community around an adolescent can be both comforting and alienating.

Summer ends with these conflicts largely resolved. Rose’s search for a place to call her own in the adult world concludes with a rediscovery of the strengths of her family and community, which equates to a rediscovery of her own strengths. The reader is tempted to imagine that Rose will find that maturing will move her closer to her true self—to a role that suits her.

Given the language, Summer may not qualify as a YA title for some, except in the sense that it concerns young protagonists. But it has much to offer as a portrait of the confusions and consolations of life on the verge of young adulthood.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
One summer my family 9 May 2014
By Andy Shuping - Published on
Format: Paperback
Every summer for as long as she can remember, Rose, her mom, and her dad head to a lake house at Awago Beach. It’s a refuge, a getaway, a chance to relax and recover from the stresses of the past year. And every summer Rose’s friend Windy and her family are there as well. Windy and Rose are like sisters and best friends. This year though...things have changed. Rose’s mom and dad just won’t stop fighting. Rose is growing up and beginning to notice the local boys and is interested in horror movies. And a couple of the local teens have an encounter that will change things for everyone. This is going to be a summer like no other.

This is one of those stories that is hard for me to write a review. Because I want to write so much about it, I want to tell you what happens, but I don’t want to spoil the story. And it’s also difficult, because the story is so realistic, so vivid, that I felt like I was reading Rose’s diary. It feels almost like an invasion of privacy, because the story is so well told that in just a few short sentences we can understand the swirl of emotions and drama and chaos that Rose is experiencing. Because we remember what it was like to go through that transition. We are no longer children, but we are not yet quite adults either. And it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, we can all remember that time of struggle. Wondering what it’s like to be an adult, trying to be an adult, trying to figure out what love is and not make a fool out of ourselves. Mariko and Jillian have accurately captured the feelings of this age and make the reader feel like they're actually participants in what's going on, not just mere observers to the world.

I think what I like best about the story though, is that the dialogue feels real. It’s like we’ve stepped into a local school and we’re hearing teens from today talk about what’s going on in their lives. But we can also feel like we’re stepping back into time to the 90’s and the dialogue would still feel the same. So many authors struggle with trying to be real teens, it’s like they’ve forgotten what they were like and imagine that everyone talks in complete sentences. But not in this story. Here we have the broken sentences, half words, not real words, and everything in between.

The artwork for this story is absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking. The simple color palette of blue and white capture the emotion and intensity of the what's going on and have the characters leaping off the page into the real world. The blue and white also echo the idea of the lake and waves crashing against the shore nicely. It's that idea of swirling chaos and beauty that we see and feel when standing on the shore. The color palette also reflects the idea that we’re reading Rose’s diary or hearing her tell the story. Even more than that, it feels like we’re watching an old home movie, where the film has faded slightly, but we can still feel and be a part of the story.

The design of the characters though is my favorite aspect. There are no “perfect” bodies or super models. We see real people, real teens. Skinny, chubby, fat, slim, muscular, old, and everything in between. In other words real people. It isn’t something shows up often in young adult books, and I am so glad to see it here.

This is one of those books that I could give and recommend to so many different groups: to teen girls just at that age of childhood and adulthood with so much to look forward to and to fear; to women that want to remember what it felt like at that age--the first crush, the separation of childhood friends, of growing up; and to guys that just want to understand the depth and emotion that this age holds. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and look forward to seeing what Mariko and Jillian do next.

ARC provided by Gina at First Second
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Growing Pains 8 May 2014
By aron row - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a story in graphic pictures and very few words of a summer at the sea experienced by a preadolescent teen and her younger girlfriend. With artistic skill and emotional sensitivity, both the author and the illustrator have captured the vulnerability, curiosity, uncertainty, daring, and personalities of the youngsters, along with the awkward restlessness that characterizes growing up. The two young girls confront sex and drugs, family misunderstandings, bodily changes, emotional upheavals, and peer pressures during their summer adventures at the beach or cycling around the island. They worry about their changing body shapes, especially the ‘boobs’ that will pop out and fantasize over the possible results. Parental problems confuse them and the rowdy exploits of the older teens they confront serve as the behavior norm. Exposure to a teen pregnancy and a failed suicide trigger many perplexing questions. Captured in captivating black and white illustrations are the meanderings of a young girl’s unstructured summer and her random encounters with new experiences. In this summer’s growth, the reader watches the young heroine confront the problems that bewilder her but which begin to clarify as she experiences the sweet sorrow of growing pains. This is a fast reading book that adolescents will relate to.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Stellar Graphic Novel with a fantastic story 7 May 2014
By Teen Reads - Published on
Format: Paperback
Cousins Jillian and Mariko Tamaki again collaborate on a stellar graphic novel --- THIS ONE SUMMER. This time, the topic is summer vacation and the bittersweet pains of growing up.

Rose and her parents have been coming to a cottage on Awago Beach each summer since Rose was five. The time she's spent there forms a huge component of her childhood memories, her family stories and even her sense of self. It's the kind of place that's reassuring in its predictability, the kind of place you can return to each year and be confident that things will have stayed the same.

This summer, though, everything at Awago Beach seems different. Rose is on the verge of adolescence, for one thing, and she's developed a keen interest in the activities, liaisons, and interpersonal dramas of the older teen "townies," particularly Duncan, a beanpole of a guy who works at a little convenience store and always remembers Rose's fondness for Twizzlers.

Rose's family isn't quite the same, either. Ever since they stopped trying to have another baby, Rose's mom has been withdrawn and angry, and Rose's dad has been trying to put a smiling face on a bad situation. This contrast seems even worse at Awago Beach, where Rose's mom refuses to even go in the water while Rose's dad just wants the family to have fun. Rose, too, wishes that her family could revive the little traditions that meant so much to her in previous years, but that doesn't seem likely this summer.

Even Rose's friendship with Windy, who's like the little sister Rose never had, seems different somehow. Windy's a year and a half younger than Rose, and despite her apparent fondness for horror movies, she's starting to seem sort of childish (and occasionally embarrassing) to Rose.

Like many young teenagers, Rose's preoccupations alternate between her family and her social life, or the one she aspires to. Both the text and the illustrations do a fantastic job of balancing Rose's inner life with the world of Awago Beach. Jillian Tamaki's detailed illustrations are rendered in various warmly-hued shades of grey, and capture Rose's interactions with people and the natural world equally well. A pile of beach stones, a vista of bonfires stretching along the beach, a scene of a girl on a bike --- all add up to depict Rose's particular summer.

Cousins Jillian and Mariko Tamaki have previously collaborated on the graphic novel SKIM, about a girl trying both to fit in and stand out at her all-girls' private school in the early 1990s. With that work and this one, the cousins have shown themselves to be particularly adept at capturing the bittersweet life of teenage girls, full of hope, anxiety and heartbreak. THIS ONE SUMMER will have readers eagerly awaiting a return to their own summer place --- and will be remembered long after summer is over.

Reviewed by Norah Piehl
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