Mini Review: Bloom
While I'm not always the best at knowing about new books and their release dates, I am blessed to be surrounded by people and - in some cases - things (*waves at Amazon algorithm), that know me well enough to give me a gentle nudge in the right direction. Whether it be a friend making reccomendations, a knowledgeable staff member at my local shop, or some strange Goodreads based rabbit hole I've fallen into, there are a lot of great ways to hear about what's new in the world of comic books. Thanks to my many resources, I've managed to make a very nice discovery. In the interest of trying to include myself in that grand network of book sharing, I wanted to use my post this month to let you know about one of my latest finds that is truly enjoyable.
Bloom - written by Kevin Panetta, Art by Savanna Ganucheau
Bloom has everything I love in a book - romance, emotional growth, and baking. And yes, you read that right - baking!
The story doesn't really break that much new ground. After graduating from high school, Ari is itching to leave his home town to join his friends in the city and seek success making music. Ari doesn't get too far as his father asks that he keep working in the charming yet struggling family bakery until a suitable replacement can be found. In walks the enthusiastic Hector, who not only reminds Ari of why he used to love baking, but also challenges him to think about what it is he truly wants.
What follows is a very solid coming of age story that is both sweet and satisfying.
So, what makes this book so good?
Savanna Ganucheau kills it with the art in this book. The backgrounds create tone that doesn't steal from the emotion of the scenes, but instead enhances it. You can sense the summer heat and breezes. The characters themselves are soft and expressive, with a great variety of different faces and expressions.
Maturity is hard and for most of us, it doesn't come overnight. Ari has a lot of growing up to do, and that journey feels very natural in this book. He goes from being passionate and relatable in one scene to stubborn and resentful in the next. Kevin Panetta writes Ari in a way that never feels forced. Instead, it feels natural as Ari struggles to choose his next steps. Hector, on the other hand, is older and has learned from his experiences. He sticks up for himself and encourages Ari to work harder. The chemistry between these two characters is very real and while I was reading, I couldn't help but root for them both.
Bonus - hot baking action
I'm a sucker for a book that focuses on food, especially when food is used to connect family and community. In this book, it's the act of baking that provides the space and spark that bring Ari and Hector together. There's meaning in the sharing of recipes and experiences. This book illustrates that beautifully.
As I mentioned before, there isn't a lot in this book that is groundbreaking or new, but it doesn't really matter. There are books that are warm, comfortable, and enjoyable even if you know where the plot is going the entire time. You are still taken along with the story and have a great journey along the way. Bloom is that kind of book. So if you're looking for something undeniably tender and warm, this book is made for you.