Spinning, on the surface, is a graphic novel memoir of Tillie Walden’s time (most of her childhood and adolescence) spent in competitive figure skating. The novel is really just about Tillie though. Tillie managing through social anxiety, loneliness, and coming to terms with her sexuality. Tillie dealing with the demands of ice skating along with the pressures of her everyday life. And Tillie letting the momentum of skating push her forward even when the love of the sport is no longer there.
Walden’s art makes Tillie’s loneliness and feelings of awkwardness palpable. When she found someone that seemed to get her or make her feel like she wasn’t alone the reader feels like they can breathe easier right along with Tillie.