Book Review: Blue is the Warmest Color

17465574Title/Author: Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh

Genre: Graphic Novel, Adult/NA/YA Fiction, Realistic/Contemporary Fiction, LGBTQ, Romance

Published: September 3rd, 2013 by Arsenal Pulp Press

Paperback, 155 pages

How I Got This Book: Checked it out from the library

Why I Picked It Up?: I was watching the Golden Globes and saw that a movie by the same name was nominated for best foreign film. When I realized that it was based on a graphic novel, I just HAD to read it!

Book Jacket Blurb: “Originally published in French as Le bleu est une couleur chaude, Blue is the Warmest Color is a graphic novel about growing up, falling in love, and coming out. Clementine is a junior in high school who seems average enough: she has friends, family, and the romantic attention of the boys in her school. When her openly gay best friend takes her out on the town, she wanders into a lesbian bar where she encounters Emma: a punkish, confident girl with blue hair. Their attraction is instant and electric, and Clementine find herself in a relationship that will test her friends, parents, and her own ideas about herself and her identity.”

Thoughts:

Sometimes you find stories, and sometimes stories find you.

In this case, this story found me. I watched the Golden Globes this year, and in the foreign film category a French film by the same name. When they mentioned that it was based on a graphic novel, I was ALL OVER IT! I immediately put a hold on it, because a movie that is based on a GRAPHIC NOVEL…..wow! I knew I just had to read it, and I am so glad that I watched the Golden Globes, because I would not have found this book on my own.

This graphic novel of 155 pages packs a punch of raw, relatable emotion. There is SO MUCH in this story, so much that just completely resonated with me. This one story encompasses

Grief.

Accepting oneself.

The Struggle of Coming Out, and the negative ramifications.

The struggles of relationships.

Love and forgiveness.

This is such a powerful story in so many ways and on so many levels. I read this in one sitting, and then I finished it and just sat there thinking about the power of such a story. Blue represents everything that is important in Clementine’s life. Likewise, blue is the only color other than gray-scale that the illustrations include. Also, I really loved the idea of a journal-entry graphic novel. I really felt connected to both Clementine and Emma because of how personal this story is, being told through journal writing. It was able to express raw, real emotion through art–it is quite intense, and quite cool.

I did have a really hard time deciding the age-genre for this book. I “labeled” this book YA, NA, and Adult because I think that it could easily fit in any of those categories. Yes, this novel is a bit graphic, which is why you will find it in the adult section in most libraries. But if stories like Ask the Passengers or Two Boys Kissing where made into graphic novels, would you just automatically put them into adult just because of graphic sexual content? The content of this story is very relevant to the YA/NA age bracket and fulfills many of the qualities that those genres of books have. So I really don’t know where it belongs, and I think that is okay. I think that readers from 15 + could read this and connect with the characters in one way or another.

If you are looking for a graphic novel that deals with raw and real emotion, pick this one up. If you are looking for a way to bridge yourself into the graphic novel world and you like reading this genre, pick this one up. It is a great reflection of the reality of the emotional journey of falling in love.

My Bookshelf Rating:

4shelfA Fourth Shelf Book!

A story about love and accepting love. A story about grief and hope. A story about finding yourself and growing to accept yourself for who you are, not who everyone else expects or wants you to be. A story about forgiving others and forgiving yourself. Blue IS the warmest color for Clementine, who tells her story through journal entries she has written over the years that Emma is now reading. Blue is the color of desire, it is the color of change, of growth, of acceptance, of love. A fantastic story told through sequential art.

Love and Passionfruit,
Jennifer

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