Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh - 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. From Goodreads.
My best friend recommended Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh to me while he was reading it himself. He loved the movie, and so wanted to read the book, and found the book to be just as amazing. Although I'm not a huge fan of graphic novels, I trusted his opinion and bought it for myself. Having now read it, I can say this is a seriously beautiful love story.
This is a really wonderful story of a young girl discovering her sexuality and finding love. Watching Clementine learn about herself is really sweet; from the first stirrings of attraction to Emma, her initial confusion, shock and disgust with her feelings and desires, and eventually coming to accept her sexuality and that there's nothing wrong with it. It's lovely watching Clem and Emma's relationship develop, Emma trying to help Clem accept her sexuality; the fragile, nervous beginnings; and plunging head first into their love affair.
Theirs isn't a relationship without it's problems. Clem does take some risks to be with Emma, but Emma doesn't seem to be fully committed at first. There is almost a selfishness to Emma, but also fragility and fear. As much as she helps and encourages Clem to discover her sexuality, she's also worried about being hurt. The actions of both characters, at some point, really caused problems for me, I had a hard time dealing with the lack of respect shown, but it's very realistic. Everyone makes mistakes, and I could sympathise with their reasons for the things they do. Although they get past their issues, they still have to put up with the disgust of others, and their lives are far from easy.
Blue is quite sexually explicit, but it's not gratuitous. It's not sexy, it's more sweet, with Clem finally allowing herself to feel and do what she wants, and just give in to it, discovering and falling in love. It's quite beautiful really.
A wonderful graphic novel with a beautiful story.
Published: 3rd September 2013
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press
Julie Maroh's Website