Graphic Novel Review: Skim by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki

I bought this book 🙂



Skim by Mariko and  Jillian Tamaki

Edition: Kindle

Published: 01.01.2008

Catch it Here: GoodreadsAmazonB&N


Heartbreakingly funny, moving and vibrantly drawn, Skim is an extraordinary book–a smart and sensitive graphic novel of the highest literary and artistic quality, by and about young women.

“Skim” is Kimberly Keiko Cameron, a not-slim, would-be Wiccan goth who goes to a private girls’ school. When Skim’s classmate Katie Matthews is dumped by her boyfriend, who then kills himself, the entire school goes into mourning overdrive. As concerned guidance counselors provide lectures on the “cycle of grief,” and the popular clique starts a new club (Girls Celebrate Life!) to bolster school spirit, Skim sinks into an ever-deepening depression.

And falling in love only makes things worse…

Suicide, depression, love, being gay or not, crushes, cliques, and finding a way to be your own fully human self–are all explored in this brilliant collaboration by cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki. An edgy, keenly observed and poignant glimpse into the heartache of being young.

*Note: I readthis as part of the #AsianLitBingo event, read until the end for details!

To be perfectly honest, I don’t read graphic novels often; I typically read manga or webtoons. So I wasn’t sure what to expect, however I random selected Skim for the #AsianLitBingo challenge, and I was pleasantly surprised. 

The graphics were beautiful, the content deep and provoking. I found myself thinking about it way after I had finished it, and that rarely happens unless I really really really liked it.

Skim reminded me of what my life in high school was like, we didn’t have the exact same experience, but she explored many motifs that I had once faced during my school days as well. Biracial, outcast, gothic child, and kind-of-sort-of in love with a teacher. I’m a little disappointed in myself for not picking this up before now, as I have seen copies of it floating around.

I think Skim is about figuring yourself out, and just ordinary teenager things.

I particularly found myself enjoyed the artwork, especially because I’m so used to the manga styles, this felt different. Kind of cold, odd, but in a breathtaking way. I’ve seen some people compare it to traditional Japanese art; and I think it’s a perfect way to describe it. I honestly felt like it suited the story quite well, very literally bring the story alive and giving the characters that extra oomph. It was easy to get lost in it, and I was sad when I finished it.

I would love to see this graphic novel get animated, and I would pay money to see it in theaters. Whatever you do, don’t sleep on this gorgeous coming-of-age-novel. I know it’s been out for awhile, but it’s not one you’ll regret reading.

Overall rating: 5/5 hearts!

Cover: 5 hearts

Plot: 5 hearts

Characters: 5 hearts

Pacing: 5 hearts

Writing: 5 hearts

Art: 5 hearts


**Note: I read this as part of the #AsianLitBingo event, and you can read more about it here. It’s basically celebrating Asian American Heritage Month, and you need to read five books in a row that fill a prompt to get a bingo! This book fulfills the Graphic Novel with an Asian MC slot!

You can read my other posts for #AsianLitBingo here:


Thanks for reading!!


2 Replies to “Graphic Novel Review: Skim by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki”

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