Tillie is a girl whose life centers around ice skating. She wakes up before sunrise for practice, attends school, and goes to another practice at the end of the day. She finds comfort in skating and her friends. Then, Tillie learns she is moving to Texas.
As a result of the move, Tillie is forced to make new friends and adjust to a different skating environment. Spinning by Tillie Walden takes readers on Tillie’s journey as her eyes are opened both to the world around her and the truth within. The images and words demonstrate how Tillie evolves from a young girl trying to survive the trials of middle school into a woman who knows what she wants and where she is going.
After receiving this graphic novel from a Goodreads giveaway, I was not sure what to expect. Typically, I do not read many graphic novels. I must say, this story may have converted me. I loved how the novel carries the reader through Tillie’s childhood and into her late teenage years. The story felt incredibly real, and I could visualize Tillie as any other teenager. She is pressured to pursue a sport and succeed in life. She faces bullies and learns to survive the world where evil hides in the shadows. Her character provides raw insight into the very lives lived by teenagers all over the world.
Additionally, I loved Tillie’s perspective. She is a lesbian girl simply trying to gain acceptance and love by her friends, family, and peers. Despite doubts, she ultimately begins to understand the truth about herself while developing confidence and hope. I really enjoyed reading (and seeing) her evolve as she realizes her true talents and aspirations.
Since Spinning is a graphic novel, I should address the artwork. I really loved how the art is primarily black and white with sprinkles of color here and there to add details and show emotions. I noticed yellow is the main color used besides black and white. I appreciated the usage of yellow because I felt it represented the light growing in Tillie’s life.
Overall, I really enjoying reading Spinning. The book successfully opened my eyes to how powerful and compelling graphic novels can be. After reading it, I may extend my to-be-read list to include a few more graphic novels. I would recommend Spinning for any teenagers seeking a deep and beautiful story illustrated with gorgeous, eye-catching imagery.