Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Reader's Diary #1064- Julie Maroh, translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger: Blue is the Warmest Color
Yeah, that positive energy lasted about a day. Since then it's been mired in controversy with the original author Julie Maroh speaking out against it and the lead actors and the director involved in a very public feud.
Despite all of it, I was curious to know if the source book was any good. Thankfully, Canada's own Arsenal Press offered up an English translation by Ivanka Hahnenberger and allowed me to judge for myself.
My impression early into the book was positive. The artwork was beautiful, especially with the watercoloured sketches. I was a bit uncomfortable with the age of the love interest— Clémentine is a high school student who falls for a university student known as Emma. A large part of the story involves Clémentine discovering and coming to terms with her own sexuality, which of course is a very common teenage experience, but with the older woman, it felt somewhat like Emma took advantage. Still, I was able to overcome that and move forward.
(Spoiler alert!) Unfortunately, there's a very stupid moment later on that I can't believe I can't find anyone else complaining about in the other reviews that I've read. One night, when Emma is sleeping over at Clémentine's parents house— parents who not only do not know that Clémentine and Emma are dating, but who would also not be accepting of a lesbian romance— Emma decides to go down to kitchen to get a drink of milk. In the nude.
Who the hell would do that? Of course, the two get caught and it's a whole big scene, but for me it completely ruined the book.
It's too bad. It had so much potential. It's also annoying that no one is calling out the book for that. Everyone seems to be focused on another— in my humble opinion— less than important angle.