If you like slice of life stories, you need to read Bloom. It has everything I've grown to love about that genre with beautiful art conveying a quieter, very cosy atmosphere, the more emotional, personal feel, and the richly developed characters and dynamics.
At first, I stumbled across this book by accident. I was looking up another graphic novel also with a gay romance, and a very similar tone and feel, when this appeared under the "You Might Like This..." section. I read the description and I thought "Oh yeah. I think I absolutely will. This sounds perfect for me."
When I read that description I was immediately compelled and intrigued to check out the book, and it did not disappoint. I love how Ari is established as a character at the beginning and developed throughout the book. Everything about him and his interactions, relationships and struggles with the other characters feels so genuine and realistic.
If you want a great well written character story, with gay characters, I highly recommend this. The whole baking theme ties it all together really nicely, running through the heart and soul of this book's story. It also touches on everything from family, romance, friendships and that awkward time of fully growing out of being a teenager and into adulthood. That last one is something that felt very personal to me, so I loved how Ari's character arc was executed around that, and how as his friendship and then romance with Hector is developed it's used to help Ari reflect back on his life and what he has.
I hadn't heard of the creative team before, but I absolutely loved their work here, and I'm so excited for the sequel to Bloom when it releases in 2023. The writing feels effective and nuanced, the characters' faces are so expressive and full of life, and the baking scenes are so intricately illustrated. They are so satisfying to read through and absorb, and add a delightful unique flair to the reading experience.
If this has sounded at all interesting to you, I highly recommend!
If you want more of Joe's comic thoughts and reviews, you can find him on Twitter @JoeLovesComics and on the League of Comic Geeks also @JoeLovesComics.
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