An Interesting Darkness Moves Through Mariko Tamaki’s Graphic Novel Skim.
Summary: Trying to survive high school and all the drama that comes with it, Skim—our main character in Tamaki’s graphic novel—tries out all different kinds of identities. From Wiccan to Goth to loner to best friend, Skim wonders where she fits in, and if she even wants to fit in. Then, while in the woods, she has a chance encounter with her teacher, Ms. Archer. There’s conversation, there’s flirting, and eventually there’s a kiss that leaves Skim more confused than ever. Not to mention heart sick. With talk about boyfriends, suicide, and the new GCL (Girls Celebrate Life) club all around her, Skim wants nothing more than to disappear. She wants to move into a world where she can be herself with the person she loves. The issue is that she doesn’t know who either of those people really are.
Review: Tamaki’s graphic novel takes on intense and dramatic events that can strike teenagers throughout their life, and Mariko does an excellent job of letting these events surround her characters but not define them. The novel’s illustrations perfectly accompany the dark threads that are present throughout Skim, and the lack of dramatics in the graphic novel make this realistic read interesting and intriguing.
Bottom Line: There’s no skimming when reading Skim