Shark Summer – Ira Marcks

SHARK SUMMER is a colourful graphic novel about three kids who have goals they wish to accomplish this summer on the Martha’s Vineyard island. Gayle wants to make some money since she and her mom are struggling right now. She then teams up with Elijah, an aspiring filmmaker who wishes to make a movie this summer and enter it in a competition that rewards the winner with 3000$. But they need a story to tell, and so they need Maddie who certainly has one she’d like everyone to be aware of.

As a side ‘‘story’’ or ‘‘event,’’ this summer on Martha’s Vineyard, there is a motion picture movie being produced that involves a shark and a whole lot of gore. The three kids sometimes get inspiration from the set, its props and the production team. But to be honest, while it’s a big deal to the residents of this island, it is not such a major part of the plot. I actually would have liked to see these kids be somewhat involved in the production of this movie, but the author/illustrator did not share my wish. Instead, he sends Gayle, Elijah and Maddie on basically a treasure hunt, the treasure being the memory and physical proof that the Captain, a legend of the island, truly existed.

I am not disappointed with this graphic novel. I definitely think that there were many paths to choose within the storyline and the author chose the one that spoke the most to his vision. As I said, I would have liked the characters to be involved with the movie, as I was personally curious about it. I also found the ending to be a little too cutesy, whereas the rest of the graphic novel is intense—drama, mystery and secrets—so I did not feel like there was a satisfying climax. I did, however, enjoy learning more about the Captain, discovering different aspects of the Martha’s Vineyard island and spending time with Elijah, who was adorable. It’s not a  ‘‘wow’’ book but it’s a decent afternoon read.

Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for the copy in exchange for an honest review.