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.

Bloom cover

Ari wants to move away from home and make it big with his band. Hector is taking a break from baking school to clean a recently deceased relative’s house. Ari needs to convince his parents they don’t need his help at their family bakery, and Hector is looking for a job. The two meet during the job interview and grow close as they work side by side morning after morning.

The drawings and the color scheme of this graphic novel are delightful. Just look at the page for July below. The pacing of this book felt great–nothing moved too fast or dragged on for too long. Hector is a great character, sort of the lovable teddy-bear style guy next door. Ari is your typical angsty teenager who is angsty because he feels trapped and as if he has no control over his life. Together, Hector helps keep Ari calm and remember to find happiness in the everyday moments, while Ari helps Hector find love again.

Interior image from Bloom

A lot of graphic novels (at least of the ones I’ve read) wind up feeling too short or the story seems incomplete. Rather than feeling like a novel, it feels more like an episode from a TV show or a chapter from a larger novel. With Bloom, I didn’t have that feeling. The book covers a span of several months, and we get scenes with just Ari and with just Hector that help illuminate their characters on their own, independent from how they are around each other, which I really appreciated. It’s also clear that Ganucheau took her time with the graphics. I really loved all of the scenes without dialogue in which I could just admire the scenery or Ari and Hector’s chemistry.

Bloom is a great beach read graphic novel, and it also works great as an introduction to graphic novels and the way in which you can visually tell a story. I rented my copy digitally from my local library, so I experienced the ebook version, yet I’m tempted to go out and purchase a physical copy just so I can have it on my shelves to return to.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

PUBLICATION DEETS: First Second, January 29, 2019, 368 pages

CATEGORIES: graphic novel, LGBTQIA+, contemporary romance

2 thoughts on “[Book Review] Bloom // Kevin Panetta & illustrated by Savanna Ganucheau

  1. I read this a few weeks back and loved it too. It does feel episodic and I found myself wishing this was a franchise… but I guess it forces the characters to live in our headspace a little longer wondering what-if.

    Liked by 2 people

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