I have been looking forward to reading “This One Summer” all semester. And it didn’t disappoint! I thought the graphic novel was great. It was creative, funny, and beautiful to look at. I thought I would list a few things that I loved about the text:
- Windy and Rose
I thought that both of these characters were great! Individually they were complex and intriguing and together their relationship and interaction with each other was funny, harsh, and sometimes hard to read. I loved how different the girls were from each other because I could always relate to one or the other. At some points, I could totally align myself with Windy (and her awesome dance moves) and other times I just found her to be so annoying. In the same way, at different points of the text I was able to relate to Rose, but not all the time (she was kind of mean at times). There were parts of both characters that I connected with and other parts that pushed me away from them.
- The awkward don’t wanna, but gotta look realism
The text brings back so many awkward memories of my pre-teen years. I can remember making the same faces Rose makes and showing my friends my awesome dance moves. While reading the text, I found it really easy to understand and relate to the main characters because I remember feeling the same way as a kid.
Did I want to go through the experience of reliving my pre-teen years? NO, not really. But, once I got past the awkwardness, it was kind of fun to think back on to the days when M.A.S.H pretty much determined your future. Ultimately my ability to relate to the characters made the book more enjoyable to read.
I loved the way growing up was portrayed in the text. The graphic novel forced you to yearn for the future, but also to cling to your youth. For example, the scene when Rose and Windy hear noises in the forest. (88-91) This scene shows images of Rose excited to know what’s going on in the forest, while Windy is terrified. I believe that this reflects Rose’s excitement to move to the next stage of her life which is contrasted to Windy who is terrified to take that next step. When reading this scene, I had a hard time picking a side. I did want to know what was happening in the forest, but it was also really creepy. Part of me was saying ‘go in’ and the other part of me was yelling ‘get the hell out of there’. These feelings of terrifying and unsettling excitement, I think, reflect perfectly what it feels like to become a teenager.
I think the text did a great job accurately portraying this stage of life and the emotions associated with it. The text showed the reality of growing up. It emphasized how teenage years can be awesome and exciting and also awful and terrifying. The contrast between Rose and Windy and the older teens emphasized the issue associated with different life stages.
Besides the pre-teens and teenagers, I also thought it was interesting to read about the adult characters, especially as an adult. I was able to actually see the adult characters interact in scenes, this allowed me to understand them better and form my own opinions about them. This is in contrast to other texts in the course where the adult characters are only shown through the perspective of the child/ young adult character.
3. The art!
No matter what you think of the story I think everyone can agree that the art in ‘This One Summer’ is just awesome. I loved the variety of characters and how each character had such a unique look. Whenever I sit down to read a comic or a graphic novel I am always surprised at how much emotion the pictures can convey.
– Michelle R