A New York Times bestseller
The original graphic novel adapted into the film Blue Is the Warmest Color, winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival
In this tender, bittersweet, full-color graphic novel, a young woman named Clementine discovers herself and the elusive magic of love when she meets a confident blue-haired girl named Emma: a lesbian love story for the ages that bristles with the energy of youth and rebellion and the eternal light of desire.
First published in France by Glénat, the book has won several awards, including the Audience Prize at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, Europe's largest.
The live-action, French-language film version of the book, entitled Blue Is the Warmest Color, won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2013. Directed by director Abdellatif Kechiche and starring Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos, the film generated both wide praise and controversy. It will be released in the US through Sundance Selects/IFC Films.
Julie Maroh is an author and illustrator originally from northern France.
"Julie Maroh, who was just 19 when she started the comic, manages to convey the excitement, terror, and obsession of young love—and to show how wildly teenagers swing from one extreme emotion to the next ... Ultimately, Blue Is the Warmest Color is a sad story about loss and heartbreak, but while Emma and Clementine’s love lasts, it’s exhilarating and sustaining." —Slate.com
"A beautiful, moving graphic novel." —Wall Street Journal
"Blue Is the Warmest Color captures the entire life of a relationship in affecting and honest style." —Comics Worth Reading
"Delicate linework conveys wordless longing in this graphic novel about a lesbian relationship." —New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice)
"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
Love is a beautiful punishment in Maroh's paean to confusion, passion, and discovery. Clementine, a high school student, is in the midst of an identity crisis when she locks eyes with older, blue-haired Emma on the street. That moment keeps bubbling up in Clementine's dreams, drawing her toward a romantic truth that neither she, her family, nor her friends can or want to understand. Maroh's moody, exaggerated drawings and cool-hued colors give everything a dreamlike patina. Adolescent identity-seeking plays out against a mixture of heart-thumping decisions and brief but steam-heated romantic interludes. Maroh twists this potentially diagrammatic love story into a more operatic affair by telling it all in flashback, as Emma reads Clementine's diaries under the glowering eyes of her beloved's parents, who blame Emma for their daughter's death. Translated from the French, Maroh's graphic novel has already been adapted into a film that won the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year. Controversy over the film's explicit love scenes (criticized by some, including Maroh herself, for being too voyeuristic and unromantic) will likely result in a lot of interest in this elegantly impassioned love story.
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The Other Perspective
As a heterosexual male, a family member had come out recently. I was lost as to their mentality. I was unable to empathize with their feelings of confusion and guilt at their "unnatural" feelings as other family members put it.
This book conveyed to me the emotions that family member felt that they simply couldn't put into words for me. Emotions I could never feel.
A strongly recommended read that introduces or otherwise reminds you of the other perspective on homosexuality: being the homosexual and coping with that realization when the world expects you to desire what is right.
There is no right. As the book says. It's perspective and experience.
A beautiful read.