Genre: Graphic Novel, Memoir
Date Published: September 12, 2017
Publisher: First Second
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.
Turns out I was entirely sucked into it... because the kid approached me to let me know the program ended, and I had no idea that time had already passed. I ended up having to move over to the play area of the library because I needed to finish the book before I could leave.
Between the artwork and the story itself, I found this to be a fantastic story. And it made it that much more captivating because of this being a memoir. There's a lot going on in this story and the figure skating and understanding her sexuality is really just a part of everything experienced by Tillie Walden.
As something entirely grabbed as an impulse read, I ended up being quite taken by it. Oh, and there's also feels. Lots of them.