Suppose you’re a not-skinny 16 year-old Asian girl in an all-girls high school in Canada. What if the teacher you have a crush on returns your feelings? And then reconsiders her actions? What if you find out that the reason the boyfriend of a popular girl committed suicide was because he was gay?
Meet Kimberly Keiko Cameron whom other girls call Skim because she’s not. She’s interested in Wicca, tarot cards, astrology, and philosophy. Ignorance makes her sad. Art makes her happy. She loves her cat Sumo. And she keeps a diary.
In this wonderfully rendered graphic novel, we follow Kim through her trial-filled autumn. The voice in this story is so true — I remember feeling all those tumbled emotions and repressions at that age, trying to figure out who I was, how I fit in, what mattered and what didn’t. Mariko Tamaki caught exactly what it’s like to be a teenager. And Jillian Tamaki’s art brought it intricately to life.
Skim is a fabulous graphic novel. I hate the term “coming of age story,” because I wonder, what age? Rather this is a novel about a series of moments in girl’s life. Sure she grows. But much more importantly, she remains more true to herself. I heartily recommend the book.