Author: Tillie Walden
Genre: YA Graphic Novel
Publisher: First Second
Rating: 5 Stars
Synopsis: Poignant and captivating, Ignatz Award winner Tillie Walden’s powerful graphic memoir, Spinning, captures what it’s like to come of age, come out, and come to terms with leaving behind everything you used to know.
It was the same every morning. Wake up, grab the ice skates, and head to the rink while the world was still dark.
Weekends were spent in glitter and tights at competitions. Perform. Smile. And do it again.
She was good. She won. And she hated it.
For ten years, figure skating was Tillie Walden’s life. She woke before dawn for morning lessons, went straight to group practice after school, and spent weekends competing at ice rinks across the state. It was a central piece of her identity, her safe haven from the stress of school, bullies, and family. But over time, as she switched schools, got into art, and fell in love with her first girlfriend, she began to question how the close-minded world of figure skating fit in with the rest of her life, and whether all the work was worth it given the reality: that she, and her friends on the figure skating team, were nowhere close to Olympic hopefuls. It all led to one question: What was the point?The more Tillie thought about it, the more Tillie realized she’d outgrown her passion–and she finally needed to find her own voice.
Review: I’ve only just found my love of graphic novels, and Spinning did not disappoint. It is beautifully illustrated and perfectly captures Tillie’s feelings as she grows through and maybe out of her love of figure skating. This novel also explores Tillie’s first relationship as a gay teen, which is adorable and sweet. It was a completely lovely story that had me in tears more than once. Definitely add this graphic novel to your list!
And, if you’re following along with the Book Riot 2018 Read Harder Challenge, Spinning is perfect for task #4: A comic written and drawn by the same person.
Thank you to First Second for sending me a copy of Spinning to review!