Cardinal Nest

The Student News Site of Coon Rapids High School

The Student News Site of Coon Rapids High School

Cardinal Nest

The Student News Site of Coon Rapids High School

Cardinal Nest


What was your favorite Homecoming Spirit Day?

  • Cardinal Pride Day (36%, 9 Votes)
  • Workout Day (32%, 8 Votes)
  • Dress-Up Day (20%, 5 Votes)
  • Neon Day (8%, 2 Votes)
  • Jersey Day (4%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 25

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This One Summer: Review

This One Summer by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki wasn’t what I expected it to be when first going into reading it, but I’m glad it wasn’t. It’s a coming of age story, but not as typical as you would expect. It tells a story of two girls, Rose and Windy, who have come to Awago beach with their families for years. However, this year at Awago beach is different from the rest. Rose is approximately at the end of childhood and entering teenagehood. Windy is a year and a half younger than Rose, and seems to have looked up to her up until this summer. Rose’s parents are having marital problems and it’s clearly affecting Rose, but I’ll dive more into that later. Windy’s mom somewhat falls into the hippy stereotype, but not in an overdone obnoxious way, cause I barely noticed it until having to describe her character simply.


Rose and Windy frequent this sort of convenience store that is walking distance from their summer cottages, and the two guys running it are at least in early adulthood, one of them they give the name Dud. From going to the store often they first see a couple girls visiting the boys, and then Rose and Windy find out that “the Dud ” got one of the girls, Sarah, pregnant. It’s clear through visuals that Rose has some form of interest in the Dud, but it’s never really outright said, and I think that’s because she doesn’t even know why she is drawn to him. Throughout the book, Rose is clearly dealing with internalized misogyny and as the reader you cringe and feel for this girl entering teenagehood who feels contempt towards women so easily. One of the first moments that shows Rose’s inner misogyny is when she hears the guys that work the convenience store “joke” with Sarah that she’s a slut, and when the girls get back to Windy’s cottage Rose calls the girls that word and gets caught by her and Windy’s mom. She also questions whether or not Sarah cheated on the Dud, or is lying, but never considers why the Dud hasn’t called Sarah since he found out she’s pregnant. Her contempt is also shown in other ways, the girls decide to rent horror movies to watch at night. And there’s a point where Rose blames the women in these movies who go into the dark and then scream when they end up getting stabbed, instead of thinking that women should be able to be safe wherever they go, she blames them. Lastly, you see her contempt for women in the way she thinks and talks of her mother. At first we don’t know much about why Rose’s mom is being a bit of a downer, and not joining in on activities. We just know that Rose’s parents tried to have another baby, and it didn’t happen and things have been bad since then. Her dad and mom have another fight and Rose’s dad goes into the city, leaving her with her mom. Rose isn’t happy with this, and later in the book while her dad is still gone says some pretty horrific things to her mom, and you are left feeling nothing but sadness for their relationship. 


Towards the end of the book a couple heavier topics are revealed, and it creates a beautifully sullen ending. After an intense event occurs, Rose screams for her mom and she dives into the water. We then learn why Rose’s mom has been struggling for a while, it makes you feel for her, and gain a new perspective on why she acts the way she does. Rose seems a little less misogynistic towards the end, or maybe just more mindful. The book doesn’t have a typical coming of age arc, where the main character has a problem and then she doesn’t at the end. It’s more of a snippet of time in their lives where Rose is struggling with girlhood, Windy is observing this and trying to figure out how her life will be when she’s Rose’s age. Their problems don’t get magically solved, they don’t have a perfect ending, they are just left with a new perspective after this summer in Awago. 


The book is slow, it’s silent, it’s telling in its imagery, it has many more little moments that are enjoyable and explain the lives of their families and those who live in Awago. The art style of this book is so entrancing, and you can fully feel the atmosphere of summer in Awago. I love that the book’s message isn’t so outright and preachy, it feels raw and real. I think This One Summer is 100% worth the read, it’s thick but like I said there’s a lot of art and silence to appreciate, which also makes it a faster read if that’s what you’re into. Even if you’re not in the same position as the two main characters, Rose and Windy, you still feel the awkwardness they carry with them that comes from their age, and I believe that is something we can all relate to.

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