Skim by Mariko Tamaki

Hi Everyone! I recently read the graphic novel Skim by Mariko Tamaki, and, unfortunately, this book didn’t work for me.

Title: Skim
Mariko Tamaki
Illustrator: Jilliam Tamki

Summary: Kimberly “Skim” Keiko Cameron is trying to get through year 10. However, the year is tarnished with the suicide of a classmate, unrequited love, and a difficult friendship.

Review: The best word to describe this book is contradiction; the book is filled with contradictions, and my final reaction to the book is a contradiction. First, I have to recognize that Skim does touch on important themes of sexuality and suicide; both topics are relevant and should be seen more in YA literature, but I was not comfortable with how the author dealt with those issues. The author explored death through students’ reactions to a classmate’s death however instead of treating the issue with respect, I felt like a classmates’ suicide was used as a punchline. Also, for a book about exploring your sexuality, the author sure did use the word slut a lot. Plus, I never felt like I got to know Skim. The author may have intended for Skim to stay a mystery because she didn’t know herself, but as a reader, I expect more. Yet, that could all have been forgiven if the art was well-done, unfortunately, it was another way the book was uneven. On some pages, the art is gorgeous, and you can’t help but spend time trying to take in all the details, but on other pages, it’s just kind of “meh”.  Skim is one of those books that I really wanted to love but I never even got to like. 

Final Review: 2 out of 5

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