There are no spoilers in this review.
To be completely honest, I haven’t read a lot of graphic novels in my life. Yet, when I stumble upon one just like Bloom, I wonder why. Sweet, adorable, endearing, there are many, many words I could use to qualify this little gem of a book.
The biggest thanks to JM @ Book Freaks Revelations for hosting the #BloomTour and for accepting me to join! The biggest thanks to him, as well as to MacMillan International for sending a review copy of this book. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.
Friends! Also note that there will be a Twitter chat in honor of this blog tour, on February 2, 8:00PM PHT, hosted by the wonderful tour host, JM @ JMCabraal. Hope you can join!
SOFT BOYS AND BAKED GOODS, THE PERFECT RECIPE TO MAKE ME SWOON
Like always, what my heart falls for first, in a book, are the characters. Bloom gives us two main characters that are so endearing you’ll fall head over heels for them, right from the first page.
Ari works at his family’s bakery, but dreams of moving to Baltimore and make his dreams of making music with his friends a reality. Ari doesn’t feel like he always fits in, he is a little lost at times, confused about what to do next and which path to take in life. He’s endearing and sensitive and soft, right from the start, he was the kind of character I wanted to hug and protect from everything.
Hector is going to culinary school. He’s passionate and outgoing and soft and way too endearing just as well. I rooted for him right from the start and could see his passion for cooking and baking jumping off the page, something that warmed my heart even more and made me love him so, so very much.
Hector and Ari’s relationship was one of the cutest, swooniest relationship I ever read. From strangers crossing each other’s path on the street, they start getting to know each other as Hector starts helping at the bakery and, in between flour fights, baguettes and muffins baking, they become friends and ultimately, feelings start sparking between them. I loved the slow progress of their relationship, the ultimate slow-burning, friends to lovers relationship that made my heart grow three times its size. It was heartwarming, heartbreaking at times and I rooted for them so, so much.
ABOUT FAMILY & IDENTITY
Besides delivering with a lovely set of main characters and an adorable romance, Bloom also subtly tackles some important issues within its pages. With Ari, it shows us all about following your dreams, following your family’s expectations, feeling a little lost after high school and not quite knowing which path to take.
I also loved the family vibes in this story: from Ari’s complicated, sometimes conflictual relationship with his father, to understanding each other better and ultimately growing closer, I just loved how family was a part of this story, too.
My only criticism was that I wasn’t totally on board with everything happening regarding the friendships in this book. While I loved the friendships dynamics going on, especially between two adorable characters Hanna and Jake, Ari’s friends, I really did not like one of Ari’s other friend, Cameron and I feel like his bad behavior thorough the book never got properly called out and I was missing that.
The soft blue colors of this graphic novel gave the book a summer feeling and the drawings were absolutely gorgeous.
If you’re looking for an adorable graphic novel with endearing characters and an adorable, slow-burning relationship, I would definitely recommend you to read Bloom. It made me smile, it made me swoon, it broke my heart and put it together again and I really, really enjoyed it.
Final rating: 4,5 drops!
Trigger warnings: let me know if you found any, so I can add them here. thank you! x
Diversity: Ari and his family have Greek origins. The two main characters (Hector & Ari) are queer.
Kevin Panetta & Savanna Ganucheau, Bloom, Published by First Second, February 12th, 2019.
Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band―if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom . . . that is, if Ari doesn’t ruin everything.
Writer Kevin Panetta and artist Savanna Ganucheau concoct a delicious recipe of intricately illustrated baking scenes and blushing young love, in which the choices we make can have terrible consequences, but the people who love us can help us grow.
Did you read Bloom? Do you want to?
Do you have any graphic novels recommendations for me? I might be getting into it so I’m curious to read more of them! Let me know in comments!