Friday, December 9, 2011

Review: Skim - Mariko Tamaki

Where I got it: Interlibrary Loan
Rating: 3 stars  
Cover Rating: 3 stars (It's the same as the interior art work which is great, and the colors are eye-catching. I don't know if I would be drawn to this cover though.)  
Genre: Young Adult 
Publication Date: February 23, 2010
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Page Count: 144 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon

Kim aka "Skim" is not really all that skim. She's mostly goth, nearly Wiccan and 100% sixteen. She attends and all girl private school with a really great English teacher, Ms. Archer. Ms. Archer and Kim start meeting secretly, but soon thereafter, Ms. Archer disappears without a trace. Kim feels heartbroken. This all happens around the same time that the whole school is mourning over a classmates ex-boyfriend's suicide. He may have killed himself because he was gay, but he may have just killed himself for other reasons. Kim's friend is no help in all this, she's too full of herself. Kim might just find herself drifting away and finding herself in a different friendship, something better.

Kim is stuck in the throes of adolescence. She has all these feelings and is growing in a different direction than her younger self, but has no desire to let go of things the way they used to be. This was a great story of growing up and apart. Kim is sixteen years old and sees her life ahead of her and sees her life now, and knows that the two are very different and that in order to be happy she has to make some changes. I like how you get to see a lot of perspectives of the school. There are people grieving a boy they never knew while the ex-girlfriend slowly closes herself off and then there is Kim, not really part of that world directly but still a part of it by default location. The illustrations in this story were really interesting, they sort of remind me of the traditional Japanese art you see in books. It really made the story work nicely. This was a fantastic coming of age tale and you should definitely check it out. Kim goes through a lot of emotions that are easy to relate to, so this book is totally relatable even if you aren't into Wicca or go to private school.

First Lines:
"Dear Diary, 
Today Lisa said, 'Everyone is unique.'
That is not unique!!"

Favorite Line:
"I rode the bus all the way to the end of the line and back again."

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