Themes: YA, Comic, LGBTQ+, Ice Skating
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: 2017
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. Skating was a central piece of her identity, her safe haven from the stress of school, bullies, and family. But 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 team, were nowhere close to Olympic hopefuls. The more Tillie thought about it, the more Tillie realized she’d outgrown her passion—and she finally needed to find her own voice.
This is an autobiographical comic, about Tillie as she was growing up, as an ice skater, and a lesbian.
It's about ice skating, and discovering herself, and coming out, all as a growing teenager.
This has a pretty good mix of all of these things. We see Tillie practicing, as she gets up very early every morning to ice skate, whether she enjoys it or not. We see her with good and bad coaches, with good and bad friends, as she enjoys it and works hard, and as she starts to question whether it's just habit and discovers that she doesn't actually like ice skating. Friendships form, and she falls in love for the first time, and decides to tell her family.
I understood parts of this book, and I really enjoyed following her as she discovers herself and decides what she wants for herself. It was also very frustrating to see her coming out, and how some people react to it, like her family. Seeing people react as if it's wrong (and parents, as if they've done something wrong) bothers me, so much, and I know it happens, still.
I really enjoyed reading this. I don't read a lot of American comics, but some of them are definitely worth reading. And I liked following this journey.