Bloom by Kevin Panetta | Book Review

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Image result for bloom kevin panettaTitle: Bloom
Series: standalone
Author: Kevin Panetta
Illustrator: Savanna Ganucheau
Publisher: First Second
Genre: young adult, romance, LGBTQ+, graphic novel
Pages: 368
My Rating: ★★★★☆
Goodreads page

This is a short, spoiler-free review!

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Synopsis

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.

[ This synopsis is from Goodreads. ]

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Thoughts

I love the message of this story. It’s about a boy named Ari who wants to travel with his band and get out of working at his family’s failing bakery. While trying to find a replacement to take his place at the bakery, Ari finds Hector, a boy who loves to bake. They’re complete opposites, but they get along nicely. When the time comes, Ari learns to understand that certain decisions can have bad consequences, but there are people who are there to support him through his life.

I think this is a book about relationships, and not just the romantic kind. Ari learns a lot from his friends, family, and Hector. He learns how not all his friends actually have his back, and that it still hurts even when they can treat you badly. He learns the meaning of family, and how even though they don’t see eye-to-eye all the time, they are always there for him. He also learns from Hector what it means to be passionate, to find what he truly loves, and to be kind to others. He learns the meaning of true relationships.

That being said, I’m not sure I approve of Hector and Ari together. Hector is too nice for Ari. Ari often times treated him like trash, and Hector deserves better. I guess that’s part of the lesson, though. Forgiving others is hard, but it can be done.

Whenever I review a graphic novel, I always talk a little bit about the artwork. I like the artist’s style, with the monochromatic shading of teal. The color scheme reminds me of the beach, which is where the story happens to be set near. It gives off a cozy and familiar vibe, like you’re slipping into some comfortable summer pajamas.

Overall, this is a very cute story that is easy to read. I recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a quick read with a good story.

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Characters

Ari

He’s probably your most stereotypical teen. He’s moody, angsty, wants to do nothing but play in his band, and is eager to move out the house.

Hector

Hector, on the other hand, is a soft boi that must be protected at all times. He is precious and no one else can tell me otherwise.

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Conclusion

I give this story 4 / 5 unicorn horns! It’s a fantastic story with a fantastic message!

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Until next time….

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