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.
First published in French by Belgium's Glénat, the book has won several awards, including the Audience Prize at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, Europe's largest. The film Blue Is the Warmest Color won the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
I am new to graphic novels, the first one I read Fun House I found undesirable, but I am not one to give up very easy, so I checked this one out from the library and guess what? It is phenomenal between the depth of the story and striking graphics I am in awe. For those of you that are unfamiliar with graphic novels they are nothing like comic books with graphic novels the story is more complex and finished in one book unlike comic books that are short parts of a story that come out in issues over time. A very interesting fact about graphic novels is that they pre-date comic books the first graphic novel was published in 1783 while the first comic book in 1837.
The prose of this read contains numerous tones such as personal growth, life and death, love, betrayal, forgiveness, and so much more creating a phenomenal tale of two individuals. Therefore, stunning me further such a sophisticated novel can be written in dialogue balloons and captions. The story felt too short yet the quality of writing it contains made up for it bizarre as it is wanting the story not to end is the only bad thing I could come up with about Blue is the Warmest Color.
Next is the graphics which are mind-blowing. They are startlingly lifelike looking comparable to actual photographs the graphics are so detailed from the facial expressions to the little things such as a piece of trash on the ground or the door hinges. There are a lot of areas in this novel that the graphics, for example, the facial expressions communicate so well on their own the author did not even place words as well with the color blue.
Then put together both the prose and graphics and you have something astonishing. Sensational graphics that will show you what is happening takes storytelling to a whole new level. Some readers might argue that it takes away from using your own imagination to picture what is going on, but I say no everyone will look at the graphics in a different way. Also, each time you look at the graphics you pick up something new you missed the first time. It also is just not a book for lesbians either, it is for everyone. You can learn a lot from this book. I was reminded to live every day to it's fullest and holding grudges gets you nowhere.
About this 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.