This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki


Four stars, read in May 2015.

This reminded me of The Way, Way Back—obviously because of the setting, but also the age of the main character, that time in adolescence that’s so rough because you’re trying to figure out what’s going on around you and how you’re supposed to relate to it. It was so interesting (and sad) to see how Rose internalized the misogyny of her environment, feeling angry at the girls in all those horror movies for needing to be rescued.

“I’m just saying, it sort of seems like every bad thing that happens in this movie happens because of a girl. Did you notice that? Like obviously you won’t get stabbed if you’re not in the dark so don’t go there and then scream your head off! Less guys would die if they weren’t having to rescue these dumb girls who can’t save themselves.”

I remember what that felt like. There’s a lot of sadness in this book but there’s some resolution, too, at least in the way you feel about things. The adults around Rose are going through some difficult things, and of course you see them from a teenager’s perspective; I thought those were handled well. And I loved all the underwater scenes; they’re illustrated so beautifully. I don’t think this will become one of my favorites, but I am glad to have read it.

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