Booklist Reviews

Ari is sick of working at his dad's bakery, and he can't wait to get out of his dead-end beach town and move to the city with his band. He knows his dad will need help, though, so he tries to at least find a replacement before he leaves forever. Enter Hector, the adorable cooking-school dropout who's in town cleaning out his late grandma's house and is absolutely perfect for the job. Over baking, deliveries, and languorous summer fun, Hector and Ari get closer, and Ganucheau's perfectly languid artwork, rendered in arcing brushstrokes and a minimal palette, beautifully showcases the quiet, everyday moments that draw them together. Her montages of baking are particularly lovely—the panel edges in these scenes transform into soft, organic shapes accented with sentimental flourishes—and it's clear that she's paid careful attention to the motions and techniques of making bread and cakes. When disaster strikes and the future of the bakery is called into question, Ari has to face some hard truths about himself. A quiet, earnest romance with warmth and depth. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews

Summer love rises between two boys in a bakery. High school may have ended, but Ari is stuck with sourdough starter at his family's bakery instead of summer gigs in the city with his band. As his family's money grows tighter, Ari feels tethered in place. His friends start to drift toward their own futures. But the future of their band—and their friendship—drifts toward uncertainty. Under the guise of recruiting another baker to take his place, Ari hires Hector. A culinary student in Birmingham, Hector has temporarily returned home to find closure after his Nana's passing. The two grow close in more than just the kitchen. Ari, who hates baking, even starts to enjoy himself. But will it all last? Panetta and Ganucheau's graphic novel debut is as much a love story between people as it is with the act of baking. Ganucheau's art, in black ink with varying shades of blue, mixes traditional paneling with beautiful double-page spreads of detailed baking scenes, where the panels sometimes take on the shape of braided loaves. The romance between Ari and Hector builds slowly, focusing on cute interactions long before progressing to anything physical. Ari and his family are Greek. Family recipes referenced in the text code Hector as Samoan. Delicious. A tender blend of sugary, buttery, and other complex flavors that's baked with a tremendous dash of heart. (recipe, production art) (Graphic novel. 13-adult) Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Ari is excited to move to the city with his bandmates after high school, leaving his small East Coast beach town behind. His father needs help at their struggling family bakery, however, so Ari must find a replacement before he goes—enter Hector, who is taking time off after his first year of culinary school. The two bond over baking throughout the summer and even fall for each other, until an accident costs the family its bakery. A wedding montage, close-ups of family cookbooks and a beloved sourdough starter, along with scenes of people cooking alone, together, and for each other, combine into a loving meditation on the central role of food in relationships. Illustrator Ganucheau's black, white, and blue art is drawn in a simple, naturalistic style with manga-adjacent expressions that suit the story. While some of the supporting characters are thinly developed, a pleasantly diverse cast and realistically varied relationship dynamics from Panetta (Zodiac Starforce) offer a thoughtful look at how one grows into and out of relationships, with all the commensurate joy, awkwardness, and reconciliation that family and friends offer. Ages 14–up. Author's and illustrator's agent: Charlie Olsen, Inkwell Management. (Feb.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 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.—Michael Marie Jacobs, Darlington School, GA

Copyright 2019 School Library Journal.