This One Summer

Mariko Tamaki ★★★

Last night, unable to catch some sleep, I switched my night lamp on, turned to my overly long To Be Read- book pile, and asked it, 'What would be the perfect bedtime story?' Mariko Tamaki's graphic novel caught my eye and a few hours later, the book was read and I was happily asleep. 

Magic of threes? You bet. 

Entertaining and Reader-friendly

This graphic novel is the perfect evening read with its lovely and pleasant-to-the-eye of the protagonist Rose's summer experiences at Awago Beach. I suspect the primary audience of this novel being for a younger age group, which is evident from its engagement with topics of young adulthood, friendship, and family from a young girl's perspective. If you're looking for a light-hearted and fun story, This One Summer could be your new favourite. 


I enjoyed the realism of this graphic novel. Rose's childhood summer is characterised by modern struggles and conflicts that she must overcome and recognise. Also, the novel offers small glimpses into the complexity of the lives of older characters, such as the pregnancy of a local young adult. Rose's spying and watch on this teenage girl offers a unique perspective of these complexities and conflicts. 

Too Simple 

What dropped my rating from five stars to three was the simplicity of it all. I enjoy when a novel has my mind working, and while this novel was entertaining and fun, it didn't offer me any new thoughts or ideas. Rather, I read the novel in a single-reading and... that was that. No further questions. Nevertheless, as a novel for unwinding and relaxing, or just a casual and quick read, I would recommend it!