Graphic Novel - 2019
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"Baked with love! Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band--if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom...that is, if Ari doesn't ruin everything."--Page [2] of cover.
Publisher: New York, NY :, First Second,, [2019]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781250196910
Branch Call Number: GN Y PANE
Characteristics: 351 pages : color illustrations ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Ganucheau, Savanna - Illustrator


From Library Staff

Grades 10+. This is the end-of-summer book for teens who aren't ready to make up their mind about life, college, or anything else. A good reminder that we're all still figuring out how to make friends and what we want to be when we grow up.

Deciding what to do with your life is one of the toughest parts of being a teen. In Bloom, two guys are meet working in a struggling beachside family bakery -- Ari cannot wait to leave to follow his music dreams in the city, but chill out-of-towner Hector finds may the first place he feels he bel... Read More »

Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band—if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But ... Read More »

A boy, who wants to move away from his home and the family bakery his parents expect him to take over, starts to reconsider when a new guy begins to help. The two fall in love over the course of a summer filled with baking and hanging out. This graphic novel is beautiful and delightful and made m... Read More »

From the critics

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IndyPL_TammieB Dec 16, 2020

This is a great book! It has LGBTQ themes, but it does not push the theme. It is just there and part of the story like any other romance. It is just normalized as it should be! It also has family, friendship, and identity themes. It is a touching tale of finding yourself in the world as an adult. The title “bloom” is woven in, but again, not overly played. There are floral frames on pages when the romance is “blooming.” The images are all washed in blue tones. If there is anything I don’t care for, it is that some of the illustrations of Ari make him look more like a girl and it can get distracting. This Indie Comic will have you rooting for Ari as he discovers himself.

Oct 29, 2020

Many things to love about this graphic novel from the art style to the pantone printing to the setting and all the baking! Hector, Hanna, Jake, and Ari's parents were wonderful characters. Ari's character is very hard to like, which made the story a little difficult for me to read. But all the other factors made up for it.

Sep 30, 2020

Bloom by Kevin Panetta is the perfect one sit read graphic novel for all you soft hearted people in need of romance. Recent high school graduate Ari has worked in his family’s bakery his entire life and is ready to leave all that behind until he meets the baking-obsessed Hector who’s getting ready to replace Ari in the bakery. As the two spend more time together and start to catch feelings, Ari starts to get confused and he begins to wonder if he really does hate his life of bread baking and pastry making. The aspect I most enjoyed was the slow-developing relationship between Ari and Hector. The romance came very naturally and both their storyline melded really well. If you are new to graphic novels and love YA romance, start off with Bloom.

Jun 16, 2020

So adorable. I may have an addiction to this genre. [

Lise_biblio Apr 10, 2020

This is wonderful book about young adults finding themselves and their place in the world. It is also the story of first loves. The illustrations are beautiful and Kevin Panetta gives the characters careful expressions to show complex emotions. Highly recommended.

Mar 30, 2020

There's stories about teenagers, then there's stories about being a teenager. Bloom's greatest strength, besides its stellar artwork, is probably that it falls into the latter category. Bloom follows teenager Ari, who's grown tired of working in his parents bakery and dreams of moving to the city with his band. But then he meets Hector and things with his band start to get messy. Bloom may not be shockingly original, but it uses its medium well to tell a story that will resonate with plenty of teenagers. I personally found it comforting to find a story that understands how scary it can be to have your whole life ahead of you. That being said, some readers may find Ari an immature and unlikable character at times. It didn't bother me too much, because I found it refreshing compared to the usual world-saving wish fulfilment characters found in Y.A. If you like baking or just graphic novels aimed at teens, then I'd recommend giving it a try.

Jan 06, 2020

Bloom is a beautifully illustrated book. A lovely coming of age story, and a subtle little gay romance set amidst family struggles, a journey of self-discovery and a bakery. All around him Ari's world is changing and he thinks he knows what he wants out of life until another boy shows up and shows him that what he may think he wants is not really what his heart desires. Ari is an adorable if not very sympathetic main character. At times he gets on my nerves with his irascible attitude. Hector, older, wiser and more grounded is a lot more easy to love as a character. It's a lovely story about how they meet and become friends and then more.
It's a subtle little gay romance, like so many others, and honestly while cute I found the story to be treading on well worn ground. It wasn't all that interesting or different than most coming out stories and gay ya romances. I for one would love to read a story where the characters are already in love and have a good gay romance that perhaps runs into different troubles. This story is about Ari finding himself, and finding his romance with Hector but again this is well worn territory about first love and it really takes half the book to even get to that part. If you're looking for coming of age, this is an excellent story, if you're looking for a gay romance you'll get it but it's very subtle, very little and very much towards the end. A good book, but not great. The artwork however is beautiful and lovely and I hope to see more from this artist.

Dec 29, 2019

High school kid Ari feels trapped in his miserable life. He spends his days dreaming of the music business and his nights working in his family's small struggling seaside bakery. I enjoyed the story, but the homosexual romance didn't do anything for me.

Nov 08, 2019

Man, I wanted to like this story but Ari as a character made it... really really hard. Like, don't get me wrong, I don't mind mopey romantic leads but Ari was just.. pathetic. Like we're supposed to sympathize with him when he's repeatedly just being such an ineffectual pushover that he makes himself and everyone around him miserable. There's a point at the book where Hector was like, "You're earnest! You're funny!" and I was genuinely confused because I was like, "Have we been reading the same person? Hector. Buddy. Please. You can do better."

Maybe it's just really hard for me to watch someone self-sabotage through inaction for several hundred pages.

Three stars goes mainly to the art style.

forbesrachel Oct 09, 2019

Delicate, and moving, Bloom is the coming-of-age story of a young man named Ari who is seeking something more in life, and of Hector, who is looking to find more stability. On his own, Ari struggles to realize that his dream may not in fact be his dream, and that his dissatisfaction at working at his parent's bakery may stem from factors other than disliking the job. On his own, Hector has sought a bit of solitude after the loss of his grandma and a failed relationship. Then when meet, they bloom. Hector's passion for baking, and maturity captures the heart of Ari, while, Ari's cute awkwardness and earnest nature, attracts Hector's. This graphic novel slowly builds their bond, and some last minute drama tests it, but there is also a good amount of time spent on their relationships with friends and family.... and also baking. The illustrator draws moments of baking in a sensory style. These are wordless moments, where panels lose their box-like forms to flow and elicit the sense of a shared blissful moment. This is just one of those heartwarming reads that stays with you.

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IndyPL_TammieB Dec 16, 2020

IndyPL_TammieB thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

May 23, 2020

blue_cat_22969 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Nov 21, 2019

the_axolotl thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Kristen MERKE
May 06, 2019

Kristen MERKE thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary
IndyPL_TammieB Dec 16, 2020

Ari has just graduated high school and has big dreams. He wants to leave his small town for the city to become a rock star with his band. His challenge is that he works with his mom and dad in their bakery. The bakery is struggling, and they need his help. When he makes a deal to find his replacement and then he can leave, a lot of things change. Does he know what he wants? Does he know what makes him happy? Does he even know what it means to be happy?


Add a Quote
IndyPL_TammieB Dec 16, 2020

“It’s just not what I want. The problem is… I don’t know what I want. I don’t even know what makes me happy. Or if I even know how to be happy.”


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