This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki, synopsis from here
Rose and Windy are summer friends whose families have visited Awago Beach for as long as they can remember. But this year is different, and they soon find themselves tangled in teen love and family crisis. From the creators of Skim comes an investigation into the mysterious world of adults.
Sure, Rose’s dad is still making cheesy and embarrassing jokes, but her mother is acting like she doesn’t even want to be there. Plus, being at the cottage isn’t just about going to the beach anymore. Now Rose and Windy are spend a lot of their time renting scary movies and spying on the teenagers who work at the corner store, as well as learning stuff about sex no one mentioned in health class.
Pretty soon everything is messed up. Rose’s father leaves the cottage and returns to the city, and her mother becomes more and more withdrawn. While her family is falling to pieces, Rose focuses her attention on Dunc, a teenager working at the local corner store. When Jenny, Dunc’s girlfriend, claims to be pregnant, the girls realize that the teenagers are keeping just as many secrets as the adults in their lives.
The Property by Rutu Modan, synopsis from here
After the death of her son, Regina Segal takes her granddaughter Mica to Warsaw, hoping to reclaim a family property lost during the Second World War. As they get to know modern Warsaw, Regina is forced to recall difficult things about her past, and Mica begins to wonder if maybe their reasons for coming aren’t a little different than her grandmother led her to believe.
I go through phases where I eat graphic novels for breakfast. They don’t come along often enough; they are usually precipitated by me reading a really good graphic novel (and as logic goes, if I don’t read any, it’s just hard to read a good one). I would chance upon a title that interests me and then try to find it at Kinokuniya. But graphic novels are really expensive in Kino and now that the bookstore seems to be prepping for their move, the books that we want are mostly at their fulfillment centre which means that we come away from the bookstore pretty unfulfilled these days*. So, I ordered the books on Book Depository and waited very patiently for them to arrive.
For all the pains taken to get these two books (you must realise that waiting is a drag. So is hoping that SingPost doesn’t screw up, as is hoping that you don’t miss the postman the only afternoon you decide to head out for a bit), you’d reckon that I would nurse them a bit. Maybe read them over the course of a week or so, mull obsessively over each panel, pause appropriately at the end of each chapter etc. But these two stories are so engaging that not knowing what happened next didn’t seem reasonable and I ended up finishing them pretty quickly. Both had excellent artwork and certainly deserve some mulling now that I won’t get distracted by erm, unresolved plot conflicts.
Now for some unnecessary declaration: I prefer This One Summer’s artwork, but The Property’s story. This One Summer is for YA, so that may explain my old self’s preference. I also have four graphic novels in my shopping cart now. Good job.
* How many editions of John Green books does one need, really? Stop trying to sell books to people who read one book a year, or to people who read only because the movie is coming out and they want to know how it ends before their friends.
I guess we could check the bookstore’s online catalogue before making a trip, but where’s the fun in that? We like browsing bookstores, and sometimes you don’t remember wanting a book until you see another book.