Bloom

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

I got this ARC from netgalley and loved it! I will be filming a video review for my youtube channel as well. I really enjoyed this one! I think the title was one of the best titles they could ever think of! It was such a sweet story of new love, starting to become yourself and seeing all the tough times in between! I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to see a hard copy of it.
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Bloom is the story of Ari, a recent high school graduate who is torn between moving to the city to rock out with his band or staying home with his family to help them with their struggling bakery. When Hector comes to town and ends up working at the bakery, Ari views the bakery and his friends a little differently as he continues to struggle with what he wants to do with his life.

Let me start by saying that the artwork in the book is lovely and easy to follow, an important factor in any comic or graphic novel. Unfortunately, art is only a portion of the experience and the story, the whole reason the book exists, was weak in my opinion.

Though I read this book in its entirety, I didn't know that Ari was out of high school until I took another glance at the synopsis. There were a lot of little pieces missing. Why does Ari feel the way he feels? He says that he doesn't know what to do with his life...but a book is more about showing than telling and a graphic novel is a great opportunity to do that. I just felt like that opportunity was missed.

The language in the book felt strange at times, the jokes falling flat, the serious moments lacking any emotional oomph. 

This is a sweet book and I did love the baking scenes (basically anything with Hector, who was a great character), but everything started so quickly and ended so quickly that I never engaged enough with the characters and the dialogue often felt stilted enough to completely take me out of the story.
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This is an adorable romance. I loved the artwork. It was a short read but still fairly long for a graphic novel which allowed me to become more invested in the characters and their relationships. By the end, I was almost weeping.  This is a great choice for LGBTQ representation and diversity.
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Recently graduated from high school Ari dreams of moving to the city with his bad and leaving his work at his family's bakery behind. He knows his dad will need help, though, so he tries to at least find a replacement before he leaves forever. Enter Hector, the adorable cooking-school dropout who’s in town cleaning out his late grandma’s house and is absolutely perfect for the job. Over baking, deliveries, and languorous summer fun, Ari and Hector get closer during the quiet, everyday moments that draw them together. The romance is a slow burn and perfectly paced. When disaster strikes and the future of the bakery is called into question, Ari has to face some hard truths about himself. 

  The montages of Ari and Hector are beautiful as Ganucheau’s artwork captures the unspoken intimacy between Hector and Ari as well as the variety of baking techniques of making bread and cakes. You definitely don't want to read this graphic novel when you are hungry. Unfortunately, the character development is lacking in this graphic novel. I wanted to learn more about Ari outside of his interactions with his band and Hector. When he has his epiphany towards the end of the graphic novel, it doesn't particular stick nor is it profound. I also wanted to learn more about Hector. We learn that he is Samoan and that his past relationship did not turn out well, but that's pretty much it. I also wanted to learn more about Ari's band of friends and how his friends shaped Ari's personality and desires. Overall Bloom is a quiet, sweet romance that has a lot of heart and warmth, but it left me wanting more.
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Thanks netgalley for the free arc for review! 

4.5 - the pacing is great and art communicates a lot of really difficult and find movements incredibly well. Found myself rooting against Ari in the first place and was fascinated with liking/disliking him as the protagonist. Portrayed a healthy response to a relationship that could have gotten very dangerous and had a positive (tho quick) resolution. It's nice to see some LGBT rep that isn't JUST a perfect relationship - tho it does feel like apology scenes happen Very Quickly.

Good read for OMG, Check Please & Prince and the Dressmaker fans. Art wise - a similar take to Brosgol's Be Prepared, given a limited palette of colors, and is pulled off well.
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The title is fitting, as you watch a friendship slowly bloom into something more. My favorite thing about this graphic novel is how it portrays the small, simple things that bring two people closer together-- Ari and Hector's little moments baking, sitting under the stars, simply being. Not just that, but how friends come and go, and family relationships can fluctuate. What a wonderful coming of age story-- soft, warm fuzzies are not optional.
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Ari works at his family bakery but dreams of moving to Baltimore to pursue a career in music with his friends. The bakery has been struggling for some time now and Ari will need to find a replacement if he wants to leave. That's when Hector moves to town looking for a job and stumbles across the bakery. Ari instantly hires Hector and they become closer as the year passes them by. 

The story was cute and I was definitely rooting for both Ari and Hector. I think that both Ari and Hector's stories were very relateable, especially for teens. Ari is confused on what he wants moving forward and Hector is struggling with the expectations others put on him. I wish that there was a sequel, I definitely want to see where these two go from here!
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The best buds are ones that go through the harshest of conditions; hence, they cast their shells away to flaunt what is beautiful within. Kevin Panetta proves this in his endearing and heartfelt take on the coming of age story that is ‘Bloom‘. It is a palette of what it means to be a teenager and what it takes to know one’s true self  and what makes them happy.

We follow Aristotle “Ari” Kyrkos as he figures out life after high school. Determined to hold his own, he irks to move to the big city with his friends their “rising” band. That is if his father let’s him out of the bakery for once to find his own way. He realizes the only way is if he could find a replacement and in this search he meets Hector, an easy going guy who loves baking. While juggling responsibilities at the bakery and piecing the future together, Ari finds comfort in Hector and a budding love story peaks to bloom – only if he does not mess it up.

Word of caution: it’s my first time reviewing a graphic novel. I got an early e-copy of this graphic novel which will be released on January 29, 2019. Flipping though it, I don’t know if I am credible enough to critique this medium of narrative but here are my thoughts. I think this novel’s charm is in its simplicity. The story is linear which makes it great when it’s told in illustrations and dialogue. The path it took to portray how a highschool grad makes sense of the puzzle that is “of what’s to come” is very relate-able and honest. The whole love story was just so cute and yet it is not one bit cheesy or tacky. It flowed effortlessly and I was just smiling strip after strip. I also liked how real the relationships are with Ari or Hector’s friends and oh, I just fell in love with Mr and Mrs Kyrkos! I think that is also one strength of this book, that it did not just focus on the Ari-Hector couple but the overall interlinking relationships that is present in all the characters. It’s also great that it celebrated diversity in the cast. Kudos to that!

If there was something I would want more, that would have been more strips for the sweet moments shared by our two MCs. Also would have appreciated it if there was more character development in Hector’s end. We could have seen what went on with him during the timeskip before the ending (I can’t tell you what this meant without spoiling so I am going to shut up). However, considering the length of this book, I think wrapped up a solid story.

Savanna Ganucheau illustrated this book and I am in awe I the art style. The copy given to me were in blue tones (I think the finished copies will also be like it.) and although it used a single color palette, the frames still showed dynamics and contrasts. I particularly like the baking montages. It felt like there was really bread and pastry cooking while I was reading it. The still on-pagers in between chapters also helped in creating the atmosphere throughout the book. I am excited to see more from Ganucheau.

Overall, it was decent and very adorable graphic novel everyone can relate to. I kind of want more of the Ari-Hector ship and I am keeping my fingers crossed that there would be a sequel.

P.S. Already added this to my to-buy list. Knowing where I am from, I need to started saving up fro when it is out.
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Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of an earc for an honest review.

I loved this graphic novel Bloom.  I really like the art style and the story too.  I loved the friendship and relationship of Ari and Hector.  I didn’t like some of Ari’s friends and how they treated him and Hector too. I definitely want to get this when it comes out next month. I absolutely recommend it. This is my favorite graphic novel I’ve read so far.  I gave this a five out of five stars.
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This book is not gluten free.  Ari is looking forward to the future he is helping out with the family's bakery but he's really looking forward to making it with his band and moving to the city.  He meets Hector a young man with a passion for baking when he's interviewing candidates to help with his parent's bakery.  Ari and Hector spend a great deal of time together and over baguettes, bagels, doughnuts, cookies and spanakopita they slowly fall in love.  This is such a cute story about two people trying to find their way in the world, falling in love and discovering what's important.
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This book was sweet, caring, smart, and a wonderful read. It fully immerses the reader in Ari and Hector's world, and you never want to leave!
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The copy I received of this may not be the final edit, so my take-away quote may not be applicable (but man I sure hope it is)! :haha: Also, if you read Bloom on a mobile device, I recommend not reading it on night mode, because it makes the art look really strange. 

Bloom follows recent high school graduate Ari as he struggles with the desire to flee his hometown with his friends, and his father's need for him to remain home and help with the family bakery. In an effort to persuade his father to let him go, Ari creates a job notice that catches the eye of culinary student Hector. Hector's love of baking reminds Ari of the joy he used to have as a child helping his father. It also awakes another kind of love, but there's a big chance Ari could mess everything up. 

My entire knowledge of baking comes from watching The Great British Baking Show. Having said that, the artist appeared to do an amazing job of showing us what the process of baking bread looks like. Like the art of baking bread, this story has a slow build. If you're familiar with manga classifications this would be a Shounen Ai kind of story. Keep in mind, though. By slow build I don't mean slow paced. The story was a quick read, and everything moved at a perfect pace. You'll understand when you read it. 

One thing I really liked about it, is that while this is a Boys Love (BL) story, it isn't treated any differently than a story with a male/female pairing. Some stories show us the struggle of a LGBTQ relationships - which is fantastic, but I like that we're starting to get to a place culturally where it can just be a relationship.

I leave you with the following take-away quote (that has nothing to do with the story), "Daddy would have gotten us uzis..."

Adorable! out of 5! 

Stefanie Rae (review will be published to personal blog January 2nd.)
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A wonderful growing up and coming our story. The choice of colors gives the book the beachy, beautiful ambiance. The romance was well paced and enjoyable.
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High school is ending and college isn't in the cards, but a rock band might be, if this group of friends can just get their acts together. Then someone comes along as they're making other plans - a baker to help out with his parent's business - a real baker who instils a passion for the craft, and a passion of first love. This coming-of-age and coming out story is sensitively told and endearing.
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This book was an incredible coming of age story set in the scrumptious backdrop of a family bakery. Ari--Aristotle, to his parents--just wants to move out of his family's bakery and in to a shared apartment with friends. He doesn't care for baking or keeping up with the family business and is desperate to find a replacement for his duties at the bakery. Enter Hector, a college dropout who is in town to organize his Nana's house to sell after she passed away. Hector loves to bake and is an eager employee, fitting right in with the family and Ari, even if Ari's friends pick on him and don't welcome him as Ari's family did. 

Over the course of the summer, Ari and Hector bond over sourdough and red velvet cupcakes. Ari's anxious restlessness is soothed by Hector's easygoing nature and their relationship blooms. It isn't until a disaster and miscommunication happens when the two realize their feelings for each other that Ari grows up a bit (he was a bit annoying and immature for a good chunk of the book). 

Any baking story will immediately be a favorite. A graphic novel with baking is also lovely. I loved Hector as a character and was charmed by his relationship with Ari. I flew through the story and was happy that there was a happy ending, even if things weren't tied up in a neat bow. I will definitely be recommending this to fans of CHECK, PLEASE--even if it is a bit more serious. Definitely recommended--especially for the art and extra recipe/playlist at the end!
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This was so cute! I loved Ari’s relationship with his parents it wasn’t always perfect but they were very open with talking and telling him the love him. And I loved Hectors admiration of Ari’s parents relationship. The colors were very calming and the story just flowed perfectly.
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A very sweet, realistic story about friendship, growing up, and falling in love.

Ari's parents own a bakery and expect him to keep working there. But Ari wants to make music and is trying to move out with his friends. His dad agrees that Ari can leave if he finds a replacement for the bakery.

That's when Hector comes into Ari's life. Hector is studying baking and is a perfect fit for the bakery. As the business begins to grow, so does Ari and Hector's friendship. Meanwhile, Ari's friends start to grow away from him  and he is stuck at a crossroads: stay at the bakery with Hector and his family or move away with his friends (who aren't being very good friends anyway).

With Hector, Ari feels like himself and he finally feels like he has found his place. But disaster strikes and Ari ruins everything. Now he must make things right again with his family, the business and Hector.

Watching Ari navigate his changing friendships and his blossoming friendship (and more) with Hector was very entertaining. This is a poignant story for teens who are transiting into adulthood and are facing those tough choices concerning their futures.

**I received an eARC from Netgalley**
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This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019! 

The artwork is absolutely beautiful. The style fit with the story perfectly and I really loved looking at all the details. 

The story itself was a really beautiful story of growing up and figuring out who you are. I think that Ari was portrayed very realistically where he didn't have a direction to go in. He loves music but it didn't work out and in the end he found that the bakery really was important to him and he wanted it to keep on going. Sometimes I really hated what he did but mistakes are a part of life...no one is perfect.

I also thought that the relationship that blooms was very organic and wasn't forced. Often times, authors know two people are going to end up together and they try and force the relationship to happen but I didn't feel this way at all. They were very sweet together and I enjoyed watching them get to know one another.
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This graphic novel is dreamy, sweet and romantic. Ari wants nothing more than to get out of his hometown and make it big with his band, but he needs to find someone to replace him at his family's bakery. Enter Hector, who's new to town. As they get closer, their relationship evolves from friendship to more. Ari has to navigate friendship and family dynamics and determine what he actually wants from life. The art is muted but stunning. I would recommend this one to anyone who wants a sweet, heartwarming romantic read.
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While things are tied up a little too neatly for my tastes, the lovely art and fantastic family dynamics more than make up for it. My teens are going to eat this up!
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