Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki tell the story of Skim, which is the nickname of a teenage Asian girl attending a private girls school in 1993. She and her best friend, Lisa, are wanna-be Wiccans who sneak off to smoke and make snarky comments about the popular girls. They become especially snarky when popular classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend and walks around school being comforted by her friends. The school becomes grief-obsessed when said ex-boyfriend commits suicide. In the midst of this, Skim is trying to figure out how to handle her developing relationship with her female drama teacher and where she fits in her world.
This graphic novel is written as Skim’s journal. The characters are heartbreakingly real as they try to find their way through adolescence. The suicide plot reminds me of Heathers, one of my favorite movies. The art is gorgeous – as I was reading I often found myself getting lost in a frame for longer than usual. I’m not usually a graphic novel reader; I like picturing the story in my mind, and prefer to read something that lasts a little longer than a graphic novel usually does. But this one is fantastic; one I will definitely be recommending to my students, especially the ones who do not usually go for the graphic novels.