I became interested in reading Skim by the Tamaki cousins after seeing ElCicco’s review this past summer. And what a great recommendation it turned out to be! A quick one, too, as I finished it in just one sitting. This graphic novel is very introspective, coming through via the voice of the protagonist’s diary, and I could see it being a great read for both teens and adults.
Skim follows the story of a Canadian teen named Kim, who doesn’t really fit in at her all-girls school, and along with her friend, Lisa, is beginning to practice Wicca. After the suicide of a boy at a nearby school, Kim’s largely withdrawn nature and Goth style makes her the target of concern in a school where mourning has become overblown: the queen-bees are forming clubs for supporting students but it appears to be all for face-value as their treatment of Kim does not improve despite them identifying areas of concern in her, as well, Kim is starting to express resentment and anger towards her friend Lisa, whom is really not that kind to her at times. The girls also begin to drift apart as Kim finds herself drawn to a free-spirited teacher, and begins to develop romantic feelings towards her.
This story weaves itself through 3 distinct parts seamlessly and beautifully. Some aspects are ambiguous and left up to interpretation in a very deliberate manner, and I felt this worked very well with how everything played out (that is, versus those times I feel like “ambiguity” is involved just because the writer didn’t actually know where to go with things or didn’t feel like filling in the gaps even though there really needed to be more information). There are some serious and emotional subjects presented here, and I feel like they are dealt with in a maturely written way that is realistic for the mostly-teenage characters.
Overall, Skim felt like a quiet but contemplative graphic novel. I felt like Kim was a relatable and sympathetic character, but not without some of the counter-intuitive and self-centered thinking you often find in teenagers. And while it does deal with some serious topics, it never feels unnecessarily weighty; definitely worth the read!
CBR10Bingo Square: Cannonballer Says!