Comic/GN/Manga · Contemporary · Young Adult

[Review] This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki

Hey guys! So it’s been a busy week here at this mishmash blog and I think we’ll be ending with this book for now, unless I get some last minute inspiration for another post, lol


The major reason I picked this title up was that I’d seen it before and heard good things about it. The second reason is that the art felt very manga-like and not comicy (there is a difference in my eyes! lol). It was the style that made it feel like this to me but also the fact that it was in monochrome, using just the one bluish, purple tint in everything. And speaking of the art, I already mentioned I liked how it felt like a manga, but I also really liked how fluid and free and expressive the characters were, especially Windy. Plus the attention to detail in the illustrations!


But what is this book about? Basically what the title says: This One Summer. I found this to be sort of lacking but also very nice. We have Rose, who has gone back to Awago Beach with her family and is hanging out with her best friend Windy, and is also finding herself in the middle of her parents constant fighting and some Awago drama. That’s all. There is no actual plot or even moral of the story, which could turn some people off but the story that we get is very explicit

It’s kind of like a coming of age story since we have preteens Rose and Windy starting to take notice of their bodies and saying they want big boobs, and even noticing the opposite sex and feeling attraction, possibly even jealousy of existing relationships. We have them taking notice of the different types of relationships guys and girls can be in and what they can imply (friends vs. lovers, the term slut). The book also touches upon topics like suicide, abortion, protection, miscarriages, and the different relationships a child can have with both parents based on omitted information (and that it isn’t always sunshine and rainbows)


In a sense, we just have two teens being teens and being exposed to certain topics and how they come to deal with them. They’re not always the right way and I like how this book doesn’t judge the characters. It’s a sort of “it just is” feel, which made me like it even more

Overall, I ended up giving this book a 4.5. The reason I didn’t give it the full 5 stars is because, while a great read, I also felt like I needed more. Did Rose and her parents ever talk about the issues that plagued them? Did the Awago drama ever get solved? How did Rose grow as a character? But like the title says, this is about the one summer. We don’t really get the after. And if it wasn’t clear, I definitely do recommend this book

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5 thoughts on “[Review] This One Summer by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki

  1. “Bazooooms!”

    I picked this up a few years ago on a recommendation after reading Blankets by Craig Thompson. As you mentioned, Jillian and Mariko’s art here was really nice and I found it a good way to lead me into the topics explored in the book. I don’t often read fiction geared toward “female” issues (for lack of a better term), but I found myself really invested in the issues brought up by the story. It was interesting to see how the different stages of womanhood were represented in the various situations the girls experienced too. Rose and Windy are girls in their youth, the Awago girls are teens, and the parents are mature adults. Each face their own unique issues as women, and each had a compelling story to tell.

    I definitely second your recommendation and loved reading this book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes to everything you said! I actually wish I’d picked something like this up when I was younger because I had little to no education on “becoming a woman” other than some boring stuff you never really pay attention to because eww health class. at least with something like this (i feel) you can just ask people less awkwardly about certain topics. and i just looked up blankets and the cover looks nice!


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