Readathon: Skim, by Mariko Tamaki

skimcoverKim Cameron, otherwise known as Skim, goes to an upclass private girl’s school, where she’s a bit of an outcast because of her looks (overweight, half-Asian), her muddled attempts to be Wiccan, and her best friend’s aggressive anti-social attitude. When a classmate’s boyfriend breaks up with her and then kills himself, the school forms a society geared toward suicide prevention. They aggressively try to “help” people like Skim, who don’t conform to the prep-norm. While avoiding the mob of girls intent on making her into one of them, Skim begins to question many things about herself, including her sexuality. But falling in love isn’t very easy – and the person she falls in love with is off-limits.

I did not expect to find what I found in this book. The relationship Skim had fallen into made me a bit uncomfortable, and I’m glad it ended the way it did. Sorry, I know that’s vague – trying not to give away spoilers here. I enjoyed reading through Skim’s journey, and how uncertain it was. The artwork and minimal dialog/narration helped contribute to that air of uncertainty, as though the book intended to make the reader feel as unsure about what was happening as Skim was. There were times when I wasn’t quite sure I understood what I was reading, and had to reread to get a better idea. I really appreciated that parallel of form and story. It’s an impressive way to approach the graphic novel form.

I love that Skim worked hard to take control of her life and her identity. I loved that she grew and realized what was good and what wasn’t about her life. I appreciated riding along her journey. I kind of wish there was a second volume, so I could keep going with her.

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
This entry was posted in 2009, Visual, Young Adult and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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