I have had Bloom on my radar for a while as I’ve just been getting more and more into First Second. And what I didn’t expect was how cute this comic would be!
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.
Bloom was adorable. There’s no real better way to describe it. Would I have loved even more, especially at the end? Yes. This book is all about the slow build up, the transition from friends, to something more. But it’s also very much about Ari, his growth as a character and the difference a supportive relationship can make. If you came for the romance, then you have to be patient, because this book is really focused on Ari and his mistakes, but you will fall in love with Ari like I did.
Not to mention the illustration totally won me over. I was skeptical at first because with comics where they are just one color aren’t normally my speed, but this illustration style brought something new to each panel. And what I wasn’t prepared for was how much I would enjoy Ari’s exploration with his parents. They want him to stay and help with the bakery, but he has his own musical dreams, and so this graphic novel is also about his journey to figure out who he is and what he wants to do.