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"Skim" is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth who goes to a private girls' school in the early '90s. When her classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills himself — possibly because he's (maybe) gay — the entire school goes into mourning overdrive. It's a weird time to fall in love, but that's what happens to Skim when she starts meeting secretly with her neo-hippie English teacher, Ms. Archer. But then Ms. Archer abruptly leaves the school, and Skim has to cope with her confusion and isolation while her best friend, Lisa, tries to pull her into "real" life by setting up a hilarious double-date for the school's semi formal. Suicide, depression, love, homosexuality, crushes, cliques of popular, manipulative peers — the whole gamut of teen life is explored in this poignant glimpse into the heartache of being 16.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780888999641
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Publication date: 02/23/2010
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 328,876
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: GN540L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Mariko Tamaki is a writer of comics and young adult novels. Her books include the graphic novels Skim and This One Summer with Jillian Tamaki, and Emiko Superstar with Steve Rolston. Her upcoming works include a YA novel, Saving Montgomery Sole, and a comic about teen lez heartbreak.

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Skim 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
RosanaSantana on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Skim has a relationship with her teacher. She studies witchcraft and makes a new friend.
1morechapter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Do you always read what you know you will like, or do you sometimes try to stretch yourself to see `what¿s out there¿? I go in cycles. Sometimes I have no patience for something that doesn¿t fit my personality, and other times I do like to be exposed to books or other art that is far from my own personal norm. Skim is not something I probably would have picked up if not for the Canadian Challenge or the Graphic Novel Challenge. It was also a quick read. While I very much sympathize with the typical teenage angst in the book, with themes of suicide, witchcraft, and homosexuality, Skim just wasn¿t for me. I do give the author credit, though, for writing the characters in such a way that the reader does feel their emotional pain. That alone, though, just wasn¿t enough for me to enjoy the book.
terriko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A bittersweet story of a young girl trying to find out who she is, set with a backdrop of a school coping with suicide, the friends learning about wicca, and a budding romance... weightier issues than you see in many teen novels, but treated in a heartfelt way that lets the light shine through and doesn't let it get depressing even when sad.
JackieHancox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is filled with feelings of depression, confusion and anxiety, the agony of unrequited love, the awkwardness of forced social interactions, and the overwhelming melodrama that exists in every high school. It is an extremely authentic book of what life is like for the teens that feel misunderstood and live on the fringe of their high school society. I love the way Kim¿s diary entries are incorporated into the story. This would be an excellent book to include in every high school library!
ewyatt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Skim's life in high school is portrayed through her daily activities and her diary entries in this black and white graphic novel. Skim doesn't quite fit as she dabbles with witchcraft, has an awful relationship with her best friend, and is on the radar for a lot of the girls as being an outsider at her Catholic school. When Skim falls for her English teacher, who suddenly picks up and leaves, her life seems to get more complicated. The popular clique at the school becomes obsessed with their suicide and anti-bullying cause. An unlikely friendship with Katie, a girl who has lost her boyfriend to suicide, leaves the book (and Skim's future) with a more hopeful tone. A quick read that I quite enjoyed.
twonickels on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This young lady was heartbreakingly real. Loved the art in this one ¿ the best graphic novel I¿ve read in a while.
karafrib on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Skim, by Mariko Tamaki, follows the story of the title character, who is ¿just a little weird.¿ Skim is a tenth grader who is attempting to be a Wiccan, smokes cigarettes, and attends a school where a popular girl¿s boyfriend just committed suicide. Skim¿s best friend, Lisa, shares most everything with her. But one day, when Skim skips gym class to go outside and smoke (and also because she has a broken arm) she is caught by the red-headed drama teacher, Ms. Archer. What she doesn¿t expect is that Ms. Archer will smoke with her and chat. Soon, Skim begins meeting Ms. Archer regularly, but keeps it from Lisa, who knows that her best friend is not telling her something. However, just as the relationship between Skim and Ms. Archer reaches the point of romantic, Ms. Archer moves away, devastating Skim. Throughout the rest of the story, Skim struggles with her loss, which leads to the discovery of new interests and friends. This coming of age story about first love and loss is often broody, but realistically so. Skim is a believable character who is experimenting with all aspects of who she is, from her hair color, to her religion, to her sexuality, and Tamaki is not afraid to address those issues. The book also deals with stereo-types of ¿goth¿ teens and the touchy issue of suicide. The students in the book create a club called the ¿Girls Celebrate Life Club¿, and while the purpose of this in the book is clear, it is a little over the top to fit in with the believability of the rest of the graphic novel. The black and white illustrations throughout the graphic novel are appropriately realistic, and make it feel like Skim¿s school could be any high school anywhere. They also serve as the means of conveying some of the most important parts of the story. Skim has a well-paced plot, but several parts of the story seem unnecessary. While these parts are interesting in their own right, they do not serve the greater part of the book, and ultimately feel out of place. Readers who enjoy off-beat characters will relish this story of a social outcast who is on the cusp of self-discovery. Skim is best suited for high school students.
kevinyezbick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed Skim - both for its cinematic, emotional illustrations and its undaunted conversational dialogue. The storyline unfolds through the main character's lived and recalled experiences in her diary. There is a lot of internal conversation and struggle - confusion - that we all know so well. The images often speak volumes - and are breathtaking.The caveat - when I say undaunted language - I mean it. This book has ALL the ingredients to make it controversial. Which made me love it all the more. Definitely on the upper tiers of YA.
MariaKhristina on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The graphic novel was entertaining and a quick read. In the novel the main character Kim , Skim, deals with depression, friendship, identity and love. The story is a little bland and predictable but I thought that the art was done well and fit the story.
macart3 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Skim is on the periphery of the school cliques in a private high school. She deals with the self-righteous popular girls, a crappy friend, bourgeoning sexuality, etc when a classmate, Katie Matthews, attempts to kill herself. I thought the graphics were good: that they displayed feelings when words weren't needed. My only compliant was that it's so short. I wish the author could have made it longer.
mahallett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
teen age angst. goth girl, lonely.
izzynomad on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
a graphic novel that takes place in toronto. a great story about a teenage girl in the early 90s struggling to find herself in the midst of a mourning-frenzy in her school after one kid's suicide.
welkinscheek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A real slice of life. Told in pictures and diary entries, reading this book transported me into a few months of a teenager's life, and I made it safely out the other side.
cland on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book and it gets better each time I read it. I read a review that said Skim was an outsider who didn't want to be an insider, and I think that YA fiction needs more of those characters.
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Skim's life is WAY to complicated these days. No matter how many times she reads her tarot cards, she doesn't seem to be able to make sense of things. Going to art class and seeing Ms. Archer makes her sick to her stomach hungry and empty at the same time. Her best friend mostly isn't speaking to her, and everyone else in school seems hung-up on the boy whether or not the boy who committed suicide is gay... No one seems to understand anything anymore, Skim included.Not necessarily a book you're going to find in a lot of teen collections, and it's something of a shame. Well-drawn and sensitively drawn out, the storyline deals with issues apt to get it challenged or banned in many communities, but it's neither graphic nor violent. Skim is dealing with issues that most teens face, and the author gets it.
stephmo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Skim's (nicknamed so because she isn't) year at school is rough enough - she's broken her arm, she's doesn't have all of the supplies for her witchcraft altar, the one coven meeting she's gone to doubles as an AA-meeting, she and her best friend aren't always getting along and her crush on Ms. Archer...Throw in a well-meaning group of girls that start the Girls Celebrate Life! club in response to a boy's suicide and Skim's own slip into depression seems inevitable. The Tamaki cousins' work on this graphic novel is astonishing - the black and white drawings have an amazing depth and texture to them that become another part of the story. Skim's story keeps the realism of the emotional peaks and valleys that are being sixteen without veering into after-school-special territory.
francescadefreitas on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
With astonishing openness, teenaged Kim, called 'Skim' because she's not, lets us see her life, with all its confusion, heartbreak, sadness, and spots of laughter and joy. Skim is so very real, not just as a character, but with the stark relief of a person surrounded by phonies. While her private school goes into excessive mourning after a boy's suicide, Skim has a heartbreaking encounter with a teacher, a slow estrangement from her best friend, and empathy for an unexpected ally.A very touching story, wonderfully told through the art and words.I'd give this to a reader looking for realistic fiction with an interesting teen character, and no cotton wool.
kpickett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kim Keiko Cameron (Skim) is in 10th grade at an all girls private school in 1993. A goth girl into Wicca and witchcraft no one really understands her. Her dark clothing and moods are always being misinterpreted as depression. When a guy at a neighboring school commits suicide, Skim's school goes into mourning overdrive. They create an anti-suicide/depression group, of which Kim is a particular target. To top it all off Kim has fallen in love with her english teacher (a woman), her best friend is becoming distant and Kim is actually starting to feel depressed.This book has some of the same tones as the cult classic movie "Heathers" which is a personal favorite. The popularity of the suicide and the drama that follows. Told from the diary of a dark character. I almost expected Kim to blow up the school at the end, but instead she ends up befriending the other freak who has fallen off the roof of her house and broken both her arms. (does this remind anyone else of the last scene of Heathers where Veronica and the girl in the motorized wheelchair ride off into the sunset?")Good book but a little contrived. Just a spin off of Heathers.
Winnndy More than 1 year ago
Skim is one of my favorite graphic novels at all time. The juxtaposition of Jillian Tamaki's extremely Japanese artistic sensibilities (the characters, especially Skim, resemble people from 19th-century Japanese woodblock prints) with the contemporary story and characters is jarring, but not in a bad way at all. And the storytelling is flawless. It captures the mundanity, confusion, and angst of a lonely teenager's life in a way I haven't seen anyone else manage to do. It's just a really, rally great piece of artwork and storytelling.
mylovelyastronaut More than 1 year ago
Skim is, first and foremost, about sexuality. Without delving too deeply into the plot I would like to say that this is the most sensitive, realistic portrayal of realizing identity I have ever read or seen, and it is, for me, the most relatable. Also the art is amazing--Jillian Tamaki's work reflects traditional Japanese block printing at times, and muromachi period brush painting at others.