Bloom by Kevin Panetta (Author), Savanna Ganucheau (Illustrations) – Review

Baking, sweet boys, and a summer of slow burning romance. What will these months bring for Ari and Hector? There’s only one way to find out.

Step up to the counter at Krykos Family Bakery and say hello. 🙂

 

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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Goodreads | Indiebound

Published: 29 January 2019

Publisher: First Second

Genre(s): Graphic Novel/LGBT+/Young Adult/Romance

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.

 

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Rep: Greek-American MC, Samoan MC, M/M relationships (ex/current)

 

content warnings - Copy

 

Mild ableist language, off screen death of a grandmother, ild assault mentioned, (spoiler – highlight between tags to display) fire & related loss of property (end spoiler)

 

what i enjoyed

 

The sheer enjoyment that Hector got from baking was sweet to watch. The way that it rubbed off on Ari and helped not only their relationship, but Ari’s inner turmoil was a benefit to the story.

Ari’s friends from high school who were in his band, the ones that he thought he’d be moving to Baltimore with, the evolution on their relationship was definitely an interesting one.  There was something to be said for the was the band’s friendships changed and some parts irrevocably so over the course of the story. It felt like an honest portrayal of real life relationships rather than an idealistic one that is seen a lot. However, Ari’s friendships did at times feel like more of a background plot line, taking a seat to Ari and Hector’s blooming relationship, so I wasn’t quite pleased with that handling of it.

Savanna Ganucheau’s art was a perfect choice to complement the Kevin Panetta’s text. The softness of the linework, the shading and the color choices, complemented the tender moments when Ari and Hector were the bakery, letting their guard down as they baked, or even in some of the harsher moments, when Ari was fighting against his father’s wishes for him or even his own confusion about the future (a familiar fear that many readers may identify with).

 

what i didn't enjoy - Copy
Ari’s bandmates were split between supportive and very not. Cameron for instance? Oh boy. Cameron was a jerk who didn’t much care about the other members of the band besides Lauren, with whom he had a more personal relationship. Not liking him, though, wasn’t the problem, exactly. It was that the band members took a backseat to the Ari/Hector plotline and their intermittent appearances felt awkward at times. Even though there were two that ended up being friendlier and more essential, Cameron and Lauren felt very underdeveloped aside from Cameron’s jerkiness.

 

to sum it up - Copy

 

The slow burn romance, the questioning of one’s future, the break up of friendships, and excellent art tying it call together…Bloom has a lot to recommend it. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and would suggest picking it up so y’all can watch Ari & Hector fall in love for yourselves.

 

 

 

 

 

I received a copy of this book as part of the Amazon Vine Program in exchange for an honest review. Quotes included are from an advanced reader copy and may not reflect the finalized copy.

All media belongs to the respective owners and is used here solely for the purpose of review and commentary.

 

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