Maroh, J. (2013). Blue is the warmest color. Vancouver, BC: Arsenal Pulp Press. ISBN: 9781551525143
Annotation: After Clementine’s death, her partner Emma reads Clem’s diary from when they met and began to fall in love and learns about the struggles Clem had accepting her sexuality.
Reaction: Whoa. This book is intense. It’s beautiful and completely tragic, and Maroh tells you up front that there’s no happy ending here.
The art is beautiful and done in muted colors, except for the bright pops of blue here and there, which mark important people or events in Clem’s life. The art really adds to the wistful, reminiscent tone of Clem’s diary.
This book is a wonderful, moving narrative about coming out and accepting oneself and first love, and I think it’s the kind of thing that could be therapeutic for teenagers on the same journey, but there are a couple of sex scenes, so I would probably only give it to teens 16 and up. Clem’s coming of age story is also pretty universal and is likely to resonate with any adults who remember the anguish of falling in love for the first time.
Awards: Prix du Festival d’Angoulême for Prix du Public (2011), American Library Association Rainbow List (2014)
Author’s Website (in French!)