BOOKS
Bloom
illus. by Savanna Ganucheau. 368p. First Second. Feb. 2019. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781250196910; pap. $17.99. ISBN 9781626726413.
COPY ISBN
RedReviewStarGr 8 Up—Aristotle Kyrkos has graduated from high school and desperately wants to move to Baltimore with his friends to make it in the music industry. His father, owner of their family-run bakery, is less than understanding of Ari's "anywhere but here" mentality, so, with the summer tourist season coming up, Ari hires a replacement. Enter Hector Galea. On sabbatical from culinary school, he's in town to organize his late grandmother's estate and figure out where his life is going. His skills boost the family's struggling business, and Ari realizes the reason he's spending so much time in the bakery has nothing to do with the delicious cupcakes and baguettes. With Baltimore starting to feel like a distant dream, Ari must make a decision about his future. Beautiful artwork depicts characters coping with life's increasing responsibilities and is especially sumptuous when focusing on the yummy desserts. This is both a delicious foray into the world of baking and young love and an endearing, realistic tale of two teens helping one another grow.
VERDICT A fresh take on the coming-of-age story that spotlights the triumphs and travails of young people. A must-read for teens craving a realistic love story.

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