AUTHOR: Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki [illustrator]
PUBLISHED: Feburary 28th 2008
PUBLISHER: Groundwood Books
GENRE: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, GLBT, Realistic Fiction, Canada
Written by cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki this novel is set in the early 90’s in an all girl’s school in Toronto, Canada. Kimberly Keiko Cameron (aptly named “skim”) is a chubby, goth kid who goes through many emotions that young adults can relate to. When one of her classmates commits suicide and the whole school goes into mourning, Skim is secretly falling in love. Topics revolve around depression, suicide, falling love, heartbreak, sexuality, cliques, and experiences we’ve all had as confused teenagers just finding our footing in the world.
I LOVE this graphic novel. My cousin bought it for me for Christmas a few years ago (he went to ACAD with Jillian Tamaki, small world). It is something I probably wouldn’t have picked up for myself but I’m so glad he gave it to me, its one of my favorite graphic novels! I love the illustration style and story line. Skim is very relate-able, it reminded me of my own self-discoveries in high school when I was trying to figure out who I was and what I loved. The plot wasn’t too crazy, there was suicide and a teacher-student relationship, but overall it was just step-by-step life, which stayed true to how I perceived high school.
And then the art is just beautiful. It has clean, strong lines and great use of white space. Jillian conveys emotion with the simple movement, it is subtle but very effective.
Overall I really enjoyed this and I am excited to see what else the cousins can come out with! I am looking forward to read their 2012 graphic novel (You) Set Me On Fire.