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Blue Is the Warmest Color Paperback – September 3, 2013
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"A beautiful, moving graphic novel." ―Wall Street Journal
"Delicate linework conveys wordless longing in this graphic novel about a lesbian relationship." <—New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice)
"Blue Is the Warmest Color captures the entire life of a relationship in affecting and honest style." ―Comics Worth Reading
"A tragic yet beautifully wrought graphic novel." ―Salon.com
"Love is a beautiful punishment in Maroh’s paean to confusion, passion, and discovery ... An elegantly impassioned love story." ―Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW)
"A lovely and wholehearted coming-out story ... the illustrations are infused with genuine, raw feeling. Wide-eyed Clementine wears every emotion on her sleeve, and teens will understand her journey perfectly." ―Kirkus Reviews
"The electric emotions of falling in love and the difficult process of self-acceptance will resonate with all readers ... Maroh’s use of color is deliberate enough to be eye-catching in a world of grey tones, with Emma’s bright blue hair capturing Clementine’s imagination, but is used sparingly enough that it supports and blends naturally with the story." ―Library Journal (STARRED REVIEW)
"It's not just the French who have a better handle on sexy material than Americans -- Canadians do, too ... Who's publishing it? Not an American publishing house but by Arsenal Pulp Press, a Canadian independent." ―Los Angeles Times
"A deeply compelling story ... Maroh displays tremendous insight into the highs and lows of a young girl’s journey of self-discovery as she moves from adolescence into adulthood." ―Lambda Literary
"A hymn to love." ―Le Figaro
"A sensitively told narrative." ―Tetu Magazine
About the Author
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Simply enough, the novel, written and drawn by Maron, is about a fifteen-year-old girl Clementine who is doing her best to be a "normal" young girl. She dates a senior at her high school, she studies for her exams, and she has the "right" friends. Until one moment of one day, as she's walking down the street, she passes a beautiful older girl with dyed blue hair, and she cannot get this girl out of her mind. The blue-haired beauty invades her dreams with shocking sensual and sexual imagery, and Clementine can't understand what these feelings mean. She just CAN'T be gay. She refuses it, and in that refusal, her passion for this mystery girl grows. As she sneaks out one night to be with her best friend, Valentin, who is a young gay man, they go to a gay bar, and Clementine meets the mystery girl. Her name is Emma. And from then on, Clementine, no matter how hard she tries, she can no longer deny the feelings of love and lust she has for Emma. But once they finally realize who they are to each other, all the other parts of Clem's life start to spiral out of control. Her parents refuse to accept their daughter's deviant lifestyle, as do her straight friends. Soon, all she really has is Emma, and for a even a short time, that's more than she ever thought possible. But time catches up to all, and it catches up to Clem in a tragic way that is certain to leave everyone in tears.
Maron gives Clementine such a realistic voice that any adolescent or someone who survived adolescence and the awakening of desire for love and sexuality can immediately relate. You feel your heart lift when hers does, and even more so, you feel your heart break when hers does. The art and particularly her use of color is excellent. The writing is so strong that you really feel that you're with these characters, and even though you may find some of them despicable, you understand them. Maron never makes the mistake of painting stereotypes of any of the characters, so that even when they do or say something terrible, you understand where they're coming from.
And this is the only other graphic novel, aside from Art Spiegelman's MAUS, that has ever made me cry.
Again, though, we must go to the place that I hate to go to, which is the argument of Art Versus Pornography. This book, which I'm sure is probably banned in more than a few libraries, has a sequence of graphic sex between Clementine and Emma. This will be objectionable to many parents of adolescents who may receive comfort from the emotional realism of the book, but it is NOT pornography. Pornography is meant for the sole purpose of sexual stimulation, and is not intended to show realistic portrayals of sex. And believe me when I state that there is nothing resembling that in the least in this book. Is it erotic? Yes. Is it art? Yes. Is it pornography? Absolutely not.
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR is an extraordinary graphic achievement, and it's something that I would recommend to anyone with a love for great storytelling and an open mind.
It is fair to say that Blue is the Warmest Color as a film is completely different to the book. Although Julie Maroh’s excellent work is a graphic novel and much that she created should have been easy to translate into a screen version, the film takes only the idea behind her work. There is little, aside from the basic idea and a few scenes, which resemble the original. This, for some who have seen the film first, may come not just as a surprise, but as something of a disappointment when they finally have the book in their hands. What they expect, what they have in mind from the moving version, isn’t there in the static, illustrated version.
Instead we have a work of deep feelings with less explicit sex. We have characterization which goes beyond what we have seen in the cinema, and a completely different storyline, a totally different relationship spanning – something which does not come across so well in the film – fifteen years. We have a love story which goes beyond the film, beyond our expectations of what love should be. The book is a work covering the entire life of a relationship between two young women, from its very beginnings through to the end. And it works just as well as the film, if not better. We feel the characters and their innermost thoughts through this work; we are taken far deeper into their thoughts, into the reasons for their actions, right down to the bitter, life-like ending.
The film and the book are two completely separate works. Both work exceptionally well within their field, both are worthy of acclaim. But to compare the two, to complain that the one does not match with the other, would be a mistake. They are different works with a different audience in mind and, best of all, they both work, providing that the viewers do not keep their memories of the film in mind when reading, do not heighten their expectations, and the reader, when viewing the film, doesn’t forget the limitations of the cinematic world.
The graphic novel is a wonderful, deep and moving work and an outstanding debut for this young illustrator and writer.
Most recent customer reviews
Art- the style was very pleasing, I enjoyed how the only time it showed color it was usually Emma's hair (when it was blue).Read more
Would like more backstory to last 20 pages
Interesting love story for the 21st century