Review of “Blue Is the Warmest Color” by Julie Maroh, Ivanka Hahnenberger (Translator)

“There is only love to save this world. Why would I be ashamed to love?”

Excerpt from Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh

About

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.


Stats

  • Rating – 4 out of 5 stars
  • Paperback, 156 pages
  • Published September 3rd 2013 by Arsenal Pulp Press (first published April 1st 2010)
  • Original Title Le bleu est une couleur chaude
  • ISBN1551525143 (ISBN13: 9781551525143)
  • Edition Language English
  • Characters Clementine, Emma, Valentine

Awards

  • Prix du Festival d’Angoulême for Prix du public Fnac-SNCF (2011)
  • BDGest’Art for Meilleur Premier album (2010)

My Thoughts

“I want to do everything with you. 
Everything is possible in a lifetime. ”

Excerpt from Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh

I think that this is one of those important books that someone should read once in their life.

Just once.

It is too heart-rending to read more than once. This is a story of the hardness and softness of first love. How it can both shred your soul like tissue paper and leave you like a piece of hardened steel.

Le bleu est une couleur chaude Also known as Blue is the Warmest Color is about Clementine. A young girl at the start of the story, a 16-year-old junior and her fascination with Emma. Emma is everything that Clementine is not at the beginning: outgoing, sure of herself, and most importantly… out. They have instant electricity and start a sweet love affair that challenges Clementines preconceptions of herself and helps her become the person she wants to be.

Blue is the Warmest Color talks openly about the challenges of being a homosexual, and finding that love sends chills through your body. What I enjoyed and laud the author over is how she wrote the love story so openly and honestly. Oftentimes when reading about a gay or queer character it can get unauthentic and tropey. This isn’t.

“I can not feel anymore. 
I feel like I’m carrying light in my veins. 
All that happens to me has a name … Emma, ​​her name is Emma. ” 


Excerpt from Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh

Aside from the gorgeous writing, it is stunningly drawn. The scenes are crafted carefully with a limited color palette of grays and the single color blue. Most often found in Emma’s hair. Emma’s hair is almost a blue flame burning through each scene. You can tell why Clementine is so attracted to her. She lights up every room. There are quite a bit of sex scenes dealt with very honestly in this story. I appreciated it and I thought that it enhanced the love story between the two of them without detracting from the overall story. Some readers might not be comfortable with that level of open sex between two consenting adults. Just know that, unlike the movie, this isn’t pornlike. This is a loving depiction of a romantic couple expressing their passion for each other.

Highly recommended


Procurement

I checked this out from the library.


About the Author

Julie Maroh (born 1985) is an author and illustrator originally from northern France. She studied comic art at the Institute Saint-Luc in Brussels and lithography and engraving at the Royal Academy of Arts in Brussels, where she still lives.

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