I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.
An HUGE thanks to DC comics for this free book for review.
TW: homophobia, homophobic slurs, physical assault
Jake Hyde lives in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, a city in the desert, with his overprotective mother, eager to keep him safe and away from the water, since his father drowned.
But Jake is attracted to and longs for the ocean, he wants to leave his hometown where he feels suffocated and go to college on the coast, while Maria, his best friend and neighbour, wants to stay there and Jake’s mom wants him safe and sound with her.
But Jake isn’t safe, not when he starts to question his sexuality, not when he applies to Miami University without telling anyone, not when he’s attracted to the swim team captain, Kenny, who is out and rebel and stick out in their hometown, bullied for being himself.
Jake’s life is complicated and full of secrets, secrets he hides from others and secrets he doesn’t even know about himself. When the time comes to face them, will he be ready?
I loved You brought me the ocean. I already knew Julie Maroh and Alex Sanchez and this graphic novel is simply amazing.
The artwork is so beautiful and evocative, I was really in love since the first page. The plot is captivating and I was right away able to relate and connect to the characters and their struggles.
Jake feels trapped in his hometown and his eagerness to get away and explore the world and the oceans, his dreams, fears and secrets are drawn and written skillfully. So his relationship with his overprotective and kind mother, with sweet Maria, with rebel Kenny.
It was so sweet reading how slowly Jake starts to understand his own feelings and decided to be himself around himself and others. How Jake starts to question his “birthmarks” and his affinity for the water, how he discovers his powers and past.
I was able to feel how he felt, his being trapped and eager to explore, to move, to be true and honest to himself. Maria and Kenny are also amazing characters, Maria with her secret feelings and the difficulty of being honest with herself and her best friend, Kenny with the fact he didn’t want to conform to anything and pretend to be anyone, with his complicated relationship with his father, who is struggling to accept his sexuality.
It’s beautiful and intense reading about Jake’s journey, in discovering his identity, his sexuality, supported by his friend, love and family.
You brought me the ocean deals with a lots of important themes, like homophobia and bullying (since, first Kenny, then Jake too are bullied by the bigots of the town), coming out, the difficulties of following your dreams, the loss of parents, friendship issues, physical assault.
It’s a book about the difficulty and strength in being true and honest to oneself, friendship and first love.
I recommend to everyone who wants to lose her/himself/themselves in a wonderful graphic novel about identity, love, courage and friendship.
HERE SOME IMAGERY TO SHOW YOU HOW AMAZING IS THIS GRAPHIC NOVEL!
About Alex Sanchez
Alex Sanchez has published eight novels, including the American Library Association “Best Book for Young Adults” Rainbow Boys and the Lambda Award-winning So Hard to Say. His novel Bait won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Book Award and the Florida Book Award Gold Medal for Young Adult Literature. An immigrant from Mexico, Alex received his master’s in guidance and counseling and worked for many years as a youth and family counselor. Now when not writing, he tours the country talking with teens, librarians, and educators about books, diversity, and acceptance. He lives in Penfield, New York, and at http://www.alexsanchez.com.
About Julie Maroh
Julie Maroh is a cartoonist, illustrator, feminist, and LGBTQ+ activist from Northern France. They wrote and illustrated the graphic novel Blue is the Warmest Color, about the life and love of two young lesbians, which was adapted into the award-winning film of the same name.
About DC’s YA Graphic Novels
DC’s young adult graphic novels introduce DC’s most iconic Super Heroes to a new generation of fans with stories told by some of the most successful authors from the young adult publishing space. The YA titles are standalone stories, not part of DC’s ongoing continuity, and completely accessible to new readers who have no previous knowledge of DC characters.