Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 12 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

This was a really good book. The story was excellent and the artwork was wonderful. This book touches on many important topics, but is also light and wonderful - so the story comes across without the reader feeling like they are being harangued or preached towards very harshly. The story of Ari and Hector portrays two very different people and the different lives that they lead, as well as the lives of their families, and how their actions may affect their families. There are also some wonderful recipes in this book, that I am really looking forward to trying.
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This graphic novel was so sweet (pun intended) and heartfelt. I loved the illustrations, particularly those of Ari, his family, and Hector baking. It was a mostly lighthearted coming of age story in which Ari is trying to find himself and figure out what he wants to become. He feels as though he is being pushed in one direction by his family, but is not sure it's what he wants for himself.
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Ari lives with his parents in their family owned Greek bakery. While it is expected that Ari will continue on the tradition, he just wants to tour with his band and move to New York City. When it looks like another summer of helping around business, Ari hires Hector, a culinary student who just moved to town. Hector brings a new life to the bakery and Ari finds himself romantically drawn to him. It is hard to balance familial expectations and self-desires.

This was a sweet romance, that I just couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. The main characters were fabulous, but Ari’s friends are total jerks. Visually this is a quieter book. It is perfect for teens ready to graduate into adult graphic novels.
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This YA/New Adult graphic novel is a gentle love story. High school is over, and Ari can't wait to move out of his hometown. He and his bandmates are planning on a big move to the city, where they can get more gigs and make their names - now, all Ari needs to do, is convince his dad to let him quit his job at the family bakery. At the same time, Hector comes to town to wrap up his deceased grandmother's affairs and sell her house. He loves to bake as much as Ari is sick of it, and he ends up being the perfect replacement for the struggling bakery: even Ari's dad loves Hector! But as Ari works side by side with Hector, getting him up to speed on the bakery, the two fall in love... until disaster hits, in more ways than one. Can Ari's family recover when their business and home burns to the ground, and can Hector and Ari ever work out their relationship?
Created with soft blue and white artwork, Bloom is a sweet story of first love, identity, and independence. Ari can come off as pretty whiny, but his friends are even worse. Hector is the strong, silent type that pulls Ari out of himself and helps him discover who he is - and that he doesn't need his friends in order to give him an identity. Bloom also explores consequences: Ari has to make big choices in this book, and not every choice is going to be the best one for him. It's part of growing up, and growing up can be painful. It's how you work through it that matters. Bloom is a good add to your YA/New Adult graphic novel collections and a love story that will give readers the warm fuzzies.
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This is a sweet, but predictable story about a young adult (I hesitated on that word and I'll explain why in a moment) who is living aimlessly and trying to find purpose. I believe that this is a dilemma that most post-adolescents have and with which they can relate. I hesitated on describing Ari as an adult because he seems so very young, both in terms of character details and behavior. He is not always likable because he is immature and selfish, though this is wrapped in charm and a cute face. Imagine Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but gender swapped. 
This is an uneventful romance with a satisfying ending and will appeal to fans of "fluffy" stories.
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I loved this! It was so cute and adorable and full of baking! Diverse characters, a more thoughtful story line. Win win win.
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This was a really, really well-developed story about 2 older teen/YA boys who are figuring out who they are, how they fit in and dealing with relationships. This is a really good LGBT title with a wonderfully, slowly developing love story. It deals with realistic YA personalities and struggles, and handles them in a realistic manner. My copy is an ARC, so I'm not sure if the book is going to be printed black/ white/ blue, and if it stays this way, it's fantastic. 
Will definitely add to our YA collection, and was talked about in our teen book group with a lot of interest. Our teens are critical of fast moving love stories, and this will make them happy.
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Ari feels trapped in his life; his parents rely heavily on him for help in their bakery but all Ari dreams about is making music and moving to the city with his friends. When Ari hires Hector, a boy who loves to bake, to help so he can focus on his music Ari begins to see the bakery in a different light. Hector also teaches Ari that sometimes love is a crazy, wild unexpected thing.  
A touching, gorgeously written (and illustrated) novel that I thoroughly enjoyed!
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I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Summary: Ari gives up his dream of being a musician in the big city to help his family's failing bakery. Hector has just arrived from out of town to sort through his Nana's things when he applies for a job at Ari's family bakery. The two start off a little rough but end up becoming friends. Antics ensue and we have a sweet summer romance.

I absolutely adored this graphic novel! The beginning did not explain some of the character’s relationships very well but after Hector started his job at the bakery things took off and I loved every minute of it. I was a little confused as to what the relationship was between Meg and Hector. She calls him babe and I think they're a couple but she mentions bringing another guy out, however it did not clear up until a bit later when Hector and Andrew (Hector's ex) are talking by themselves. 

Hector was a great love interest: sure of himself and what he wants and understands the turmoil Ari is going through and allows him the space to figure it out while still being there for him.
Ari is a lovable protagonist who is trying to discover what makes him happy and keeps him going. Feeling that everything he does ends in disappointing results, he has a very melancholy attitude throughout the novel until he and Hector begin to spend time with each other.
I loved the art style and hue of the novel. It was beautiful and said so much with just a page or frame. The dialogue propelled the story but the artwork made it come alive. The scenes of Hector and Ari baking together were lovely to look at and the flow and movement of the baking process was simply poetic. I am hungry for more and would love to try making my own Kyrkos Family Bakery’s Famous Sourdough Rolls while listening to Diamonds and Pearls or Miasma Sky.

The only concerns I had while reader were that Hector seems to have forgiven Hanna quite quickly after being made fun of by her and the others. I also wondered why he seemed to have a problem with only her when the entire crew made fun of him?
 I was also confused as to how old Hector and Ari are: is Ari still in high school or is he getting ready for college this summer? Hector says he's in culinary school but exact ages are not given. 

I highly recommend this book and would love to see it on school library shelves.
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This book is an adorable love story full of bread. 

The two protagonists are Ari and Hector. Ari's family owns a bakery, and Ari is expected to work in it the summer after high school. But Ari wants to move to the city with his friends and have a successful band. His parents agree to let him go if he can find a suitable replacement for the job. 

So along comes Hector. He's in town because he's staying at his grandmother's place after she died. And he loves baking! So he applies to work at Ari's family's bakery. 

The two become fast friends, and then of course feelings of friendship turn to something more. But even though I say 'of course' and even though that was expected to happen, the story is told beautifully. It's also perfect for anyone wanting lgbtq representation that isn't a coming out story, but still a cute love story. 

Pick up this book when it comes out. It will make you smile! 

Thank you to Netgalley and First Second for providing me with a digital arc in exchange for an honest review!
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A sweet and slow-moving romance between a boy desperate to get out of his small town and the culinary student he hires to help out at the family bakery. Ari (the protagonist) is selfish and short-tempered, but still endearing, while Hector (his gallant knight in sourdough armor) is almost too good to be true: sweet and gentle, but aware of the importance of personal boundaries and determined to enforce them. I don't think this story will appeal to everyone, but for those who like slice-of-life with realistically flawed protagonists, I think the payoff is worth investing your time.
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The coloring and artwork are gorgeous. The characters are very relatable, and the story was so sweet.
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This was...good. Not my favorite and not the worst graphic novel I've read. The characters were interesting and cute and the art style was great, but it was all just a little bit underwhelming. I often feel like graphic novels try to take on more than they should, given the limited style of the format. I thought the same here. The character development felt forced and unnatural, though I did like the realism of the two main characters' interactions with their friends (both were critical of the other when speaking with their own friends). Overall, not terrible, but also not incredible. Just sort of meh.
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What a lovely, poignant graphic novel! 

Ari is a recent high school graduate who wants nothing more than to move out of his small Maryland town, away from the pressures and obligations of his family's bakery, and play music in a band with his friends. But then he meets Hector, a college student who comes to town to take care of his late grandmother's belongings and begins working at the bakery. Hector shows Ari the beauty of baking, and their friendship blooms into something bigger than either of them could have imagined.

Kevin Panetta crafts a marvelous story, completed by Savanna Ganucheau's beautiful illustrations. Anyone who feels lost or unsure of their future will benefit from reading this story.
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Bloom is such a cute comic about baking and boyfriends! After school is over, Ari doesn't know what to do with his life and he kind of just ends up working at his parents bakery while dreaming of his band making it. His parents want him to bake, but the boy doesn't even know what he wants until he meets Hector, who comes to work and bake at the bakery. These two get to know each other and feelings grow until everything is almost destroyed because of fire. Bloom is an heartwarming story about growing up, finding your place in the world and finding that special someone too. It's mundane in a sense, but full of feelings and tears even. Very down to earth, I'd say. The plot moves with a perfect pace and everything is simple and hard at the same time. I really loved the comic!

The art looks cute and appealing with naivety that works so well. The art compliments the story well as it conveys the feelings wonderfully. Perhaps the panels are slightly too thick and overwhelming eating the lightness of the art. I wish this could be in colors, though. Light autumn colors would look so good with the art. I enjoyed the liveliness of the comic and how everything is normal and extraordinary at the same time. Bloom is a beautiful comic, so do try it. The baking part is the best really and you can see how much Panetta and Ganucheau love it themselves! The baking recipe bonus was awesome too.
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Panetta, Kevin. Bloom. First Second, 2019.

Ari has just finished high school and is excited to move to the big city with his band and pursue his love of music, but his family is insisting that he stay home and help run the bakery in the hopes that they will not have to close it down. Ari finds Hector to replace him at the bakery. Hector is in culinary school and loves to bake, and Ari finds himself drawn to Hector. But what about the band and Ari's musical pursuits?

This is a lovely graphic novel love story that is perfect for teens still searching for their place in the world. Ari isn't sure what he wants to do with himself, but he is definitely sure he doesn't want to bake. Maybe. Probably. The blue palette used for the panels is appropriate for the wistful tone of most of the story and helps to keep the focus on the characters and their relationship. Ari's love for Hector is beautiful, especially considering that it happens organically in the tale and that this isn't a coming out story, but rather a love story where the two main characters are male. Recommended.

Recommended for: teens
Red Flags: none
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley for the purpose of review.
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Aristotle works at his parents bakery, but he dreams of moving to Baltimore and playing in his band with his friends. He finds Hector who loves to bake and is willing to work in the bakery. The two find a rhythm working alongside each other that is just adorable.

The monochrome blue colors worked since it took place in a beach community, the art had a manga feel and there were beautiful full page spreads of gorgeous landscapes and streetscapes. This read very quick. I don’t normally go for romance, but it was easy to root for Hector and hope Ari reconnected with his loving parents. Well defined characters. Highly recommended for teens looking for realistic romance.
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I absolutely loved this book! I enjoyed the black and blue-hued color scheme. It was a great reflection of the ocean town and the gentleness of the story. Ari is conflicted about life after high school. He wants to pursue music but is needed at the family bakery he once loved. A chance meeting with Hector, who is in town to take care of his recently-deceased grandmother's house, brings out Ari's love for baking and the family's bakery. There is also a romantic element to the story but it's more about finding out what you love, not what you ink you're supposed to love. I would hand this to 9th grade and up.
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When I first heard about Bloom, I knew it was my kind of story. Some key features that readers should be aware of when picking up this graphic novel: adorable romance, wonderfully realistic family dynamic, and baking! This story left me with so many warm fuzzies once I finished, and I think it would appeal to many different readers whether they're new to graphic novels or hardcore readers like me. 

While the main focus is on Ari and Hector's developing relationship, I really loved how much all of the other characters contributed to the story. There's Ari's stoic but also supportive dad, his warm and compassionate mom, and a multitude of friends (both Ari's and Hector's) that just add to the overall richness. And it's fascinating to see the differences in Ari's friends from Hector's since both sets seem to have a slight age difference. Ari and his crew have only just graduated from high school while Hector's group have been in college for at least a year. Still, despite their sometime immature behavior, Hanna and Jake are hugely supportive of Ari. It felt as though Cameron and Lauren kind of faded into the background more, but that was likely due to their own developing relationship both romantic and working. 

Now, I say this is a romance, but it's also a story about finding yourself or at least finding a path that means something, and Panetta and Ganucheau did an excellent job of showing the inner turmoil that Ari experienced. On one hand, he's really interested in music and would like to pursue that interest, but on the other, he has his duty to help in his family's bakery. And then along comes Hector who might be a solution to Ari's situation, and yet even he makes Ari unsure on what he wants to do, especially when Hector has such a passion for baking. It's quite adorable seeing both of them working in the bakery together. 

Finally, I have to say that the art style is lovely, clean, and crisp, and it really made Bloom a joy to read. Ganucheau's art is truly one that exudes warmth even in the most challenging moments of the story. I have to wonder how the graphic novel would have turned out if it had been shown in full color. However, I think the black, gray, and white really captured all of the story's tones and characters, allowing everything from the backgrounds to the transitions to really shine from the page. 

I highly recommend this graphic novel for any public library's graphic novel collection, and I know I'll be adding a copy to my personal library once it's released in 2019.
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This is such a great , sweet read! It has a slow build up which is nice. Ari & Hector are well thought out characters with distinct wants and needs. The art is awesome too! This is a great queer romance!
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