This One Summer (First Second) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Monday, October 19th, 2020  

This One Summer

First Second

Written by Mariko Tamaki; Art by Jillian Tamaki

Jun 13, 2014 Issue #50 - June/July 2014 - Future Islands Bookmark and Share


The story of Rose, who is usually accompanied by her "summer cottage friend" Windy, takes place at a getaway community called Awago Beach-but this story is just as strongly located in that awkward band between childhood and adulthood.

Jillian Tamaki (art) and Mariko Tamaki (words) set a rich scene. The beautiful and insular community breathes with life of its own, even as Rose's home life seems increasingly stifling: her parents deal with unspoken issues that Rose and the reader can only guess at for most of the book. Windy, who is a bit younger, is both companion and counterpoint, generally less angst-filled, generally more open and lively.

While the story is given lots of breathing room (maybe too much), it's not all feelings and innuendo. Stuff actually happens, particularly in a lovely, tragedy-averting scene toward the end that brings several of the narrative threads together in a cathartic manner.

While we think it worthy of most any reader, we'd recommend this mostly for a YA audience (more the "A" than the "Y"adult themes abound). The story is ultimately touching and satisfying, and the art is just staggeringly lovely, striking a perfect balance of realistic rendering and expressive cartooning. (www.firstsecondbooks.com

Author rating: 7/10

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