What it is: Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh is the story of Clementine, a high school student, and Emma, a college student, who begin a romantic/sexual relationship. Emma guides Clementine to understand and come to terms with her sexuality, but ultimately tragedy tears the two apart.
What I liked about it: The art is fantastic. I have a tendency to speed through graphic novels, only reading the words and not paying much attention to the pictures, but Maroh’s art grabbed me and slowed me down. The blue motif throughout is excellent, and she used illustration accompanying dialogue to describe emotions without words. Both of these strategies perfectly utilized the advantage of a visual style. For example, Clementine is shown drowning when she feels overwhelmed–it’s a quintessential example of “show, don’t tell.”
What I didn’t like about it: The storyline and character relationships aren’t particularly original. While I was engrossed in the book because it’s so quick and easy to keep turning the pages in graphic novels, I wasn’t overly entranced by the story or characters themselves. It was an enjoyable read, just not profound.
Memorable quote: “Love catches fire, it trespasses, it breaks, we break, it comes back to life…we come back to life. Love may not be eternal but, it can make us eternal…”
Overall rating: 4.5/5 stars.
Challenge satisfied: #5, read a book by or about someone who identifies as LGBTQ.
Additional notes: There’s also a movie version of Blue is the Warmest Color (and I’m pretty sure it’s on Netflix), so I’m interested to see how they compare.
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