Book Review: Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh

Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: April 1, 2010
Source: Borrowed

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.

Way back when I blogged over on Tumblr, a movie called Blue is the Warmest Color came out. Everyone talked about it. You couldn’t escape it. I always planned to watch it and never did, but when I saw the graphic novel that the movie is based on at my library, I decided I had to read it.

It was heartbreaking.

This is the story of a teenage girl discovering and coming to terms with her sexuality. It’s the story of the ups and downs of her relationship with a somewhat older artist. It’s incredibly emotional and very well-written. The illustrations complement the writing perfectly.

The only criticism I have, and the only thing keeping it from a full five stars, is that the ending felt very rushed in comparison with the rest of the story. We got this really detailed history of a relationship and then a surprise plot twist and it was done. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it just made the ending feel a little off.

The only other thing I want to mention is that this graphic novel is definitely not YA. It includes both nudity and sex scenes, and although they’re not particularly explicit, they’re definitely something to be aware of.

#mm19: diversify your reading
#mmd19: a book in translation
#romanceopoly: freedom friars


Have you read Blue is the Warmest Color? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Summer 2019 TBR

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s theme is pretty fitting since I just shared my (lack of) progress on my Ultimate 2019 TBR the other day. Shockingly, I am not going to be talking about all of the 84 books I still need to read from that list. Instead, I’m going to share ten ARCs and books I’ve recently bought that I’m hoping to read really soon.

Without further ado, today we’re talking about my summer 2019 TBR.


Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

I got this ARC at BookCon and I’m super excited to read it! I loved Emergency Contact and can’t wait to read more from this author. 🙂


The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

I am so, so excited to have this ARC and I cannot wait to read it. It’s definitely on my more immediate TBR.


No Ivy League by Hazel Newlevant

This is another ARC I got at BookCon and, after meeting the author, I’m even more excited to read it!


The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

I’ve been hearing such great things about this book and I’m really excited to read it! This is another BookCon ARC.


She’s the Worst by Lauren Spieller

I’ve been slowly working my way through this ARC. I’m really enjoying it but keep getting distracted by other things. I’m hoping to finish it this week!


The One Hundred Nights of Hero by Isabel Greenberg

I just bought this graphic novel about two days ago and I’m really looking forward to reading it!


Little Birds by Anais Nin

Erotica published more than 20 years before I was born isn’t really my typical thing, but I couldn’t resist buying this when I found it in the “old and unusual” section of my library’s used bookstore.


Eyes on Me by Rachel Harris

I received this ARC a couple months ago and it’s probably about time that I read it!


Killing and Dying by Adrian Tomine

I picked this up at my library’s annual book sale, mostly because I really liked the cover. I’m really looking forward to eventually getting around to it.


Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash

I just picked this up at the library two days ago and I’m probably going to dive into it very soon!


Did you do your own Top Ten Tuesday post today? Feel free to leave your link in the comments and I’ll check it out! Do we have any of the same books on our summer TBRs? Have you read any of these books? Let’s talk in the comments!

Book review: Lost At Sea by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Lost At Sea by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Rating: ★★★★★
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: December 22, 2003
Source: Borrowed

Raleigh doesn’t have a soul. A cat stole it – at least that’s what she tells people – at least that’s what she would tell people if she told people anything. But that would mean talking to people, and the mere thought of social interaction is terrifying. How did such a shy teenage girl end up in a car with three of her hooligan classmates on a cross-country road trip? Being forced to interact with kids her own age is a new and alarming proposition for Raleigh, but maybe it’s just what she needs – or maybe it can help her find what she needs – or maybe it can help her to realize that what she needs has been with her all along. 

A couple years ago, I read the first volume of Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley. I enjoyed it, just as I’d enjoyed its movie adaptation, but I kind of ignored everything else he’d written. Fast forward a few years and Lost At Sea showed up at my library. I walked by it a few times before finally deciding to take the jump to read it.

At the beginning, my feelings toward this graphic novel were something like, “Hmm, this is fine.” As it went on, though, I began to love it so much. I’m not even sure how to describe what I loved about this book because it kind of snuck up on me. It’s like I was reading it, enjoying it but not feeling any strong feelings, and then all of a sudden my heart was exploding with love.

This isn’t a cute graphic novel. It’s sad and emotional and it deals a lot with the struggles of growing up. Emotionally, Raleigh has a lot going on, which is revealed piece by piece as the book continues. I appreciated that none of what’s going on was terribly dramatic — it was relatable, coming across like a story that could be about almost any teenager.

I loved the writing, I loved the art, and I loved all of the cats. I loved Raleigh and her new friends, and I think this book single-handedly pulled me out of my post-BookCon slump.

Highly recommended if you’re looking for a good graphic novel.

#romanceopoly: library


Have you read Lost At Sea? Is it on your TBR?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Book review: The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez

The Love Bunglers by Jaime Hernandez
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
Links: Amazon • TBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: May 17, 2014
Source: Borrowed

Featuring Hernandez’s longtime Love and Rockets heroine Maggie, The Love Bunglers is tied together by the initial thread of the suppression of family history. Because these secrets can’t be dealt with openly, their lingering effect is even more powerful. But Maggie’s ability to navigate and find meaning in her life — despite losing her culture, her brother, her profession, and her friends — is what’s made her a compelling character. After a lifetime of losses, Maggie finds, in the second half, her longtime off and on lover, Ray Dominguez. In taking us through lives, deaths, and near-fatalities, The Love Bunglers encapsulates Maggie’s emotional history as it moves from resignation to memories of loss, to sudden violence (a theme in this story) and eventually to love and contentment. Much like what John Updike created in his four Rabbit novels, Jaime Hernandez has been following his longtime character, Maggie, around for several decades, all of which has seemed to be building towards this book in particular.

Alright, so there I was in my library’s graphic novel section when this spine (and then cover) jumped out at me. I should really learn to look books up on Goodreads before checking them out, or at least before reading them, because it turns out that this is NUMBER TWENTY-EIGHT IN A SERIES. Oddly enough, I just checked my library’s online catalog (just in case I was completely oblivious to the other twenty-seven volumes of this series) and I did not just miss an entire row of books — this is the only one they have. This also isn’t mentioned anywhere on the copy I checked out, which I find a bit odd.

Because of the very minimalistic art style, the various time jumps, and the whole “number 28 in a series” thing, I had a hard time keeping the characters straight and remembering what was happening to who and how everybody was connected. Overall, the book was very confusing, which was, again, at least partially my fault. That said, I feel like, after 110 pages, who was who and what was going on should have been at least somewhat clear to me.

As for the plot, or what little of it I understood, it was just so sad. And why, I’m not sure. I mean, I figured that a book called “The Love Bunglers” would be at least a little sad, but I didn’t expect something like the repeated rape of a child to be something that would be a throwaway plot line. I suppose I can’t speak to what happened in the 27 volumes that came before this one or anything that comes after it, but in The Love Bunglers, it’s just something that happens, is a thing for a few pages, and then disappears.

With a Goodreads average of 4.25 stars, this is clearly a very well-loved book, but it wasn’t for me. I nearly DNFed it around page 25 (that’s when the rape starts happening) but I wanted to push through to the end to see how everything was resolved. Turns out it wasn’t and I’m mad that I wasted my time.


Have you read The Love Bunglers? What about the rest of the Love and Rockets series?
Let’s talk in the comments!

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Weekly Update

In case you missed it, here are this week’s blog posts:

I’ve been reading:

Recently acquired:

  • I don’t think I’ve acquired anything this week!

1 thing this week:

  • This has been a weird week (at least in terms of work) but this afternoon I’m headed to a baby shower and tonight I’ll be in NYC, so things are definitely looking up.

Song of the week:

I’ve been thinking a lot about twenty one pilots’ cover of Mad World recently, so here it is. This live version is my favorite.


How was your week? What’s the best thing you read or listened to? Anything interesting happening in your life? Let’s talk in the comments!

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