Review: Skim by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki

February 6, 2012 in Children's & Young Adult, Graphic Novels & Comics, Reviews

Review: Skim by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki“Skim” is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth who goes to a private girls’ school in the early ’90s.

When her classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills himself — possibly because he’s (maybe) gay — the entire school goes into mourning overdrive.

It’s a weird time to fall in love, but that’s what happens to Skim when she starts meeting secretly with her neo-hippie English teacher, Ms. Archer. But then Ms. Archer abruptly leaves the school, and Skim has to cope with her confusion and isolation while her best friend, Lisa, tries to pull her into “real” life by setting up a hilarious double-date for the school’s semi formal.

Suicide, depression, love, homosexuality, crushes, cliques of popular, manipulative peers — the whole gamut of teen life is explored in this poignant glimpse into the heartache of being 16.

– Goodreads Synopsis

Review: Skim by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki

It was an interesting read, but it didn’t blow me away.

I felt a little disconnected from it all. I liked Skim and the fact that we followed her journey of self-discovery, and some of the elements, such as the Coven/AA meeting, the development of her friendship between Katie and herself felt genuine. But I never really felt the same about her friendship with Lisa. That might be because there’s already a distance between them, as their lives start taking different directions, but it made it hard to feel sad about it.

I also liked the tone of the story and the artwork was impressive and suited the story (and the tone) perfectly, especially the full page, and transitional ‘section’ art.

In the end, both the graphic novel format and the diary entry style, meant the various story lines never quite got the attention they needed. I kept feeling I was missing something about what was going on, that’s because of course Skim isn’t telling us it. But I would have like more detail, especially on probably the most important part of the story, when Skim fall’s for her teacher.

I would definitely recommend reading it, because it does have some good elements going for it, and I know a lot of people loved it and would get on with the style a lot more than I did, but in the end I’ve read graphic novels I’ve connected with better.

Not really disappointing as such, but just a shame I didn’t enjoy it more than I did.

  
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Review: Skim by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki