It’s been a busy few months over here. I’m juggling classes where I grade essays while trying to write and have some sort of social life. During these busy times, I like to read graphic novels. They usually pull me in fast and I can have a moment to relax and forget about everything else.
One graphic novel that did this for me was Skim by Mariko Tamaki. A friend told me that the illustrations were amazing and he was right. Skim is a coming of age story for a girl at a private school. Kim (known as Skim) is an outsider from the other girls in school, but she has one good friend. Soon, she also becomes friends with her English teacher, which leads to desire and heartbreak.
The story does a wonderful job weaving Skim’s personal tribulations with the school events that happen. While at first, I thought those events were just to add more to the story, I later saw how they added more depth to the meaning behind everything Skim was going through.
In the novel, Skim is half-Canadian and half-Japanese. While there are moments where we see her with her divorced parents, I was glad to see that the novel wasn’t focused on her identity through that. Though there were some moments in the story where it was clear that Skim’s appearance did cause her to be ostracized from the other prep girls.