BLOOM

A tender blend of sugary, buttery, and other complex flavors that’s baked with a tremendous dash of heart.

Summer love rises between two boys in a bakery.

High school may have ended, but Ari is stuck with sourdough starter at his family’s bakery instead of summer gigs in the city with his band. As his family’s money grows tighter, Ari feels tethered in place. His friends start to drift toward their own futures. But the future of their band—and their friendship—drifts toward uncertainty. Under the guise of recruiting another baker to take his place, Ari hires Hector. A culinary student in Birmingham, Hector has temporarily returned home to find closure after his Nana’s passing. The two grow close in more than just the kitchen. Ari, who hates baking, even starts to enjoy himself. But will it all last? Panetta and Ganucheau’s graphic novel debut is as much a love story between people as it is with the act of baking. Ganucheau’s art, in black ink with varying shades of blue, mixes traditional paneling with beautiful double-page spreads of detailed baking scenes, where the panels sometimes take on the shape of braided loaves. The romance between Ari and Hector builds slowly, focusing on cute interactions long before progressing to anything physical. Ari and his family are Greek. Family recipes referenced in the text code Hector as Samoan. Delicious.

A tender blend of sugary, buttery, and other complex flavors that’s baked with a tremendous dash of heart. (recipe, production art) (Graphic novel. 13-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-641-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

DPS ONLY!

A captivating read for teens, especially those who enjoy e-sports.

A talented gamer hides her identity and competes in an e-sports tournament.

Sixteen-year-old Vicky Tan lives in the shadow of her older brother, Virgil, an e-sports champion and her legal guardian. Virgil always speaks for her, believes she hates video games, and chooses food she doesn’t like, making it hard to communicate with him. Little does he know, Vicky has a secret: She not only loves playing Xenith Orion, the game he also plays, she’s extremely talented and dreams of one day playing on stage and winning a tournament. Between her brother’s unpredictability and the harassment and scrutiny women face in the male-dominated field, Vicky prefers playing as Aegis, her powerful alter ego. When the game developers announce an open tournament, Vicky and some new friends have the chance to realize their dreams. This is an emotion-filled story of family, friendship, growth, and identity based on a popular webcomic. Even readers unfamiliar with gaming will be able to enjoy it, as it includes enough explanation and background information. As the story develops, the misogynistic tendencies of the e-sports world are exposed, bringing awareness to the issue. Virgil and Vicky’s sibling relationship also portrays the fine line between being protective and overbearingly toxic. Vicky and Virgil are cued Chinese American; there is a diverse cast of secondary characters.

A captivating read for teens, especially those who enjoy e-sports. (Graphic fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 8, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5248-7649-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

THE ODYSSEY

Hinds adds another magnificent adaptation to his oeuvre (King Lear, 2009, etc.) with this stunning graphic retelling of Homer’s epic. Following Odysseus’s journey to return home to his beloved wife, Penelope, readers are transported into a world that easily combines the realistic and the fantastic. Gods mingle with the mortals, and not heeding their warnings could lead to quick danger; being mere men, Odysseus and his crew often make hasty errors in judgment and must face challenging consequences. Lush watercolors move with fluid lines throughout this reimagining. The artist’s use of color is especially striking: His battle scenes are ample, bloodily scarlet affairs, and Polyphemus’s cave is a stifling orange; he depicts the underworld as a colorless, mirthless void, domestic spaces in warm tans, the all-encircling sea in a light Mediterranean blue and some of the far-away islands in almost tangibly growing greens. Don’t confuse this hefty, respectful adaptation with some of the other recent ones; this one holds nothing back and is proudly, grittily realistic rather than cheerfully cartoonish. Big, bold, beautiful. (notes) (Graphic classic. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4266-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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