Another graphic novel about pre-teen girls experiencing poignant growing moments during a particular summer vacation, different in mood and tone than my prior read. I got through this one in a single sitting when I had some insomnia at 3 am, couldn’t put it down. And then it kept turning in my head. It centers around Rose and her friend Windy, who have been spending summers at the beach in next-door cabins their families rent out, since they were little. They laze around indoors, watch horror movies (that they probably shouldn’t have), roam the beach, go swimming, and peek at the college-age kids that hang around the little convenience store. Speculate about what the older kids are up to, talk about sex and going through puberty- especially the prospect of growing breasts. Sounds like Windy is adopted and her mother is very into yoga, vegetarianism, etc. Rose has uncomfortable moments overhearing her parents argue, particularly over her mother’s refusal to go swimming, and her struggle with depression which nobody seems to want to discuss (other than the father blaming her for not enjoying herself and ruining their vacation- so insensitive). Then there’s things they overhear among the college-age kids that raises bigger questions- and from the younger girls’ eavesdropping we find out one girl is pregnant, the guy doesn’t seem to want to deal with it, the others gossip about her loose behavior. When the friends discuss this, Windy is rightfully outraged that everyone blames the girl, how sexist it is. The two seem to be diverging a bit. Lots of troubling content in this one, but I found it so real, I know there’s plenty of kids who have friendships and moments like these. Unsupervised watching of terrible horror movies, for example. The artwork by Jillian Tamaki is wonderful, I loved the texture and detail. I’d look for something else written by this duo. I could have done without the f-words, though (used a lot by the older kids in the story).
Borrowed from the public library.