Bloom by Kevin Panetta & Savanna Ganucheau

A whimsical graphic novel about gay love that warms my heart in this winter season

Bloom was a truly heart-warming reading for me. Much enjoyed. It is a love story between Ari (short for Aristotle), a boy whose passion lies in playing music and joining a band, and Hector, a boy who inherits the love of cooking from his family. Ari does not want to continue his Father’s business, a bakery since his plan is to move to a big city to seek his fortune as an artist with his band. So, he finds his parents a substitute, hence where Hector comes in. 

We, as a veteran in the arena of romantic works, would know immediately where the path of these two figures is leading. And it is sweet, just like a beautiful piece of confection.

Bloom is a story about gay love, indeed. But it does not emphasize on the LGBT part of it, to be precise, the struggle LGBT might face, as we might see from other LGBT-related works. The story treats the two protagonists as 2 boys, who are fully aware of their sexuality and comfortable with it. There is no coming-out scene or a point where they are anxious about other people’s views in this judgemental society.

I am not complaining here because the book is not meant to be a didactic device like, let say, Heartstopper, where some readers could feel like they are being preached on while trying to enjoy the story. Sometimes, we just want to read a story where gay people are already deemed as ‘normal’ as hetero love. So, the narrative can focus on the romantic side and not on the struggling side. But I do not mean that the struggle of LGBT should be overlooked. No. It is just not very hopeful. It is good that there is a story that provides an escape from our dreary lives.

Story-wise, it is very simple and straight-forward, almost predictable, nothing too dramatic. However, that does not mean it lacks the charm that keeps readers turning the pages. Simplicity may be something we need in the world full of chaos and plot twists. 

The illustration is very cute and beautiful. The colour choice of light blue on the verge of mint gives the story a cool tone to it. It gets along well with the slow pace of the story. I am totally in love with the art here 

All in all, Bloom is a story worth reading if you want something light and warm.

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