March 18, 2016

Save the drama for your mama

I enjoyed SuperMutant Magic Academy so naturally I picked up another one of Jillian Tamaki's books called This One Summer which was written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian. Well, I didn't love it. I didn't hate it either. This is one of those times where I'm genuinely ambivalent. I appreciated the artwork but the story didn't really do anything for me. The entire book is drawn in shades of purple and black which lends an almost dreamlike quality to it. The main character is Rose who is spending the summer with her family in a cottage where they visit every summer. Her friend Windy is there with her mother and it seems that the majority of their interactions with one another over the years have been here in this little village community. Windy is younger than Rose and that age difference (1 1/2 years) is evident in the way they interact with one another and those around them. (This is important to the narrative.) Rose is on the cusp of puberty and therefore the maelstrom of emotions that accompany that are present on nearly every page. I think one of the reasons why I didn't necessarily love this is that the angst was never really resolved and overshadowed everything else. (I'm over angsty book for a while.) Rose's parents are struggling in their marriage, there is talk of a baby that never materialized, and a relationship between two young adults plays a significant role in the day-to-day activities of the girls. If you want to look at something that is visually appealing you can't go wrong as This One Summer is a Caldecott Medal winner. However, if you're not really into teenage angst then this is probably not the right fit.

Some full spreads that I found visually striking:

**If you're interested in buying this book or any books really, you can click here or here. The first will re-direct you to AbeBooks and the second will re-direct you to The Book Depository. These are great websites for purchasing books (AbeBooks carries inexpensive used and out-of-print books and The Book Depository ships free everywhere in the world). Full disclosure: I will receive a commission on all sales made by following either of these links. I wouldn't recommend a site that I didn't use and you are under no obligation to purchase anything. :-) **

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