Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “As the Crow Flies” as Want to Read:
As the Crow Flies
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

As the Crow Flies

(As The Crow Flies #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  2,542 ratings  ·  502 reviews
Melanie Gillman's webcomic about a queer, black teenager who finds herself stranded in a dangerous and unfamiliar place: an all-white Christian youth backpacking camp.
Published (first published August 1st 2017)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about As the Crow Flies, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Isaiah Middle school and up would be fitting. There is a lot of talk of questioning religion and set ways of thinking, which fits well with that age group!

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,542 ratings  ·  502 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of As the Crow Flies
David Schaafsma
Melanie Gillman's unique webcomic turned paperback about a queer (but I only learned this for sure from the cover, because it wasn’t obvious throughout) black (though her Dad appears to be white) teenager on a backpacking trip with what appears to be an all-white, cis-gendered Christian feminist organization. The teen, Charlotte, or Charlie, eventually finds that other girls also feel sometimes marginalized by the women leaders. Though I personally don’t see it as deeply disrespectful to either ...more
It's interesting that I've read two graphic novels in a row featuring a prominent black female with thick ankles named Charlie, short for Charlotte. Was that a writing assignment for last year?

I don't know what to do with this graphic novel.

I mean, look at the summary: A queer, black teenager finds herself stranded in a dangerous and unfamiliar place: an all-white Christian youth backpacking camp.
It sounds like the kind of stuff I've been reading like crazy lately but I don't actually kn
Krista Regester
Mar 01, 2018 rated it liked it
My absolute favorite thing in this graphic novel is how the incredibly drawn (all in colored pencil) the landscapes are. I think it's worth a read just for that.
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
There's so much rep in this, and it's a really cute and sweet graphic novel. Definitely heavy on the religious/Christianity aspects at times, so if that isn't something you enjoy reading about, be forewarned. I usually don't pick up books with religious sub-plots, but I liked the fact that As the Crow Flies represented the fact that queer Christians exist and that's okay, as I know it's a group of the queer community that gets erased a lot.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. While I agree with most of the messages strewn throughout this YA comic, I'm left conflicted, because here we have yet another LGBTQ non-binary white woman (sorry) who really, really, really believes her experience is exactly the same as a gay black youth's experience and that rubs me the wrong way, hard.

I'm sick of pretty much every LGBTQ person saying their persecution is the same as black people. It's not. Yes, they both suck and are unnecessary and wrong, but LGBTQ people, you're
Skye Kilaen
A compelling YA graphic novel about what it's like to enter a space you can't be sure is safe, take hit after hit (metaphorically speaking), but try to keep going and bond with others in similar circumstances. Initially published as a webcomic, it's about a queer black teen girl who goes to a Christian feminist camp. Charlie is immediately wary when she realizes every other camper is white. Her black mom immediately gets why she's uneasy, whereas her white father doesn't see what the big deal is ...more
Sylwia (Wish Fulfillment)
The representation was handled very well while our black possibly-queer protagonist (whose body doesn’t match magazine covers) and the transgirl they gets to know experience the white cis straight ignorance around them. I loved the subtlety of how Sydney mentioned things that Charlie might not have processed yet. I loved how we see their responses to the ignorance through both appropriate emotional experience and through pondering, and then I also love how after calling out ignorance, there is u ...more
This book felt so much like home that I almost forgot that representation like this is rare.

Fantastic intersectionality, and I liked recognizing a discomfort with strenuous hiking (paired with a genuine love of the outdoors) like mine. The religious content is ticklingly familiar and adjacent to my own experience.

Really interesting illustrative style, easy to follow panel composition, gorgeous landscapes.

Main complaint is that this doesn't feel like a complete story - it feels like the climax i
Dewey's #Readathon Book 1 - I loved this book so much. The story of a black female questioning teen at an all-white summer camp is just the amount of idealism and snark I liked. And the artwork is well-drawn and gorgeous. However, the ending was a small letdown because I wanted more. I think this does continue further, and I'm down for it.
Erica Henry
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's definitely clear that Charlie and Sydney are getting close
Rod Brown
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A summer camp hike becomes an enthralling microcosm of a lot of today's hot topics: race, gender, sexuality, feminism, spirituality, microaggressions, bullying, and our relationship with nature.

The only flaw that really needs attention is the fact that the cover design does not include a clear indication that this is only the first volume of a series so the reader does not expect a complete story. I was worried as the book started running out of pages and shocked when the story just stopped. I r
Hannah Garden
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: november-2018, comics
Wait I LOOOVED this but is that the end!?? Is this volume one!?? What happens!!!!

Oh ok pardon me I just took the two seconds necessary to find out the answer to my screaming and yes this is part one.


Ok well so then my review is: I LOOOOOOVED this and am dying for more.
Loooved this, though I'm super disappointed at where it left off (I wasn't aware that this was going to be a 2-volume release).

Charlie, a queer black teen, has committed herself to an all-white Christian backpacking camp. Charlie doesn't feel like she fits in with the other campers but is resolute to finish the week-long hike the camp has every Summer.

It's a brief description, but that's more or less the plot. Gillman is much more interested in exploring Charlie - her feelings, thoughts, and d
laura (bookies & cookies)
As many have stated in their reviews, this feels unresolved, but life is also unresolved, so I'll deal.

I really appreciated Charlie and Syndey's friendship. It felt extremely natural and comfortable.

Also, this is the 3rd summer camp graphic novel I've read this month... during the summer... so do with that what you will because I have no clue.
Hmm hmm hmm. There's a lot I liked here--the art is gorgeous, I loved reading about Charlie's story and I think this raises a lot of important issues--questions of faith, microaggressions, macroaggressions, sexuality, gender, Nature... but I guess I didn't realize that this was a collection of a webcomic, and I guess I.................kind of question the decision to collect this at this point in time? The story doesn't come to a conclusion and since it's building up to such an obvious next step ...more
Jun 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt
a bit disappointed, as i had been looking forward to this one. the art was lovely! especially the landscapes. but the story felt limited and didn't seem to get any resolution, and most of the characters fell flat. the dialogue was cutesy, though, and i enjoyed the interactions between charlie and sydney.

it would have benefitted a lot from being 2 or 3x the length.
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic
A sweet, thoughtful story with stunningly beautiful color pencil artwork.
Nay Keppler
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Kept waiting for something to happen. This book is perfect for fans of Crayola colored pencils who like watching grass grow.
Charlie is thirteen and black and maybe queer and at an almost all-white Christian summer camp. As the book opens, she's in a sort of teenaged limbo, not sure she wants to be there. And as the book closes, she's still in a sort of teenaged limbo, because the story is unfinished. There's no real satisfaction to be had here.

As the Crow Flies started as a webcomic. The entire text to date is still available online (there's a note here that says the whole story is eventually meant to be published in
Maggie Gordon
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it
I don't know where I fall with As the Crow Flies. It is a beautifully illustrated book with an important story, but given this first book's lack of resolution, I'm unsure where it is heading. The story involves a black teen who has joined a women's religious group on a trek up a mountain. She immediately recognises that she is one of the only non-white individuals attending (save for one counsellor), and is discomforted by the lead's way of discussing women's retreats and "purification". Along t ...more
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels, ya, queer
The premise caught my eye when I first saw it. A young queer youth who has been sent off to a Christian summer camp where they are the only person of color.

This is a realistic story of what happens. There is no Christian bashing, if you think that will be what goes on, but Charlie has other feelings, longings, crushes, as they march from the camp up to Three Peaks, where once, women who were there in the time of the early white settlers, fled to get away from their husbands. There is more here
Bogi Takács
I didn't realize this was only Book 1 of... I assume more books, it's not marked anywhere. I thought it was a standalone, but it ends very abruptly and there are more pages online.

I had mixed feelings, which are colored by the fact that while I'm not Black, I was an ethnic minority person in a Christian (specifically Catholic) summer camp and my experience was.... very different and much more terrible. Granted, in a different country. I might need to sit on my feelings a bit before I review this
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really really gorgeous. I have 2 issues with it: 1. It felt unfinished and like kind of a copout to keep talking about a surprise at the summit of the mountain and never go there. 2. I didn't like that she kind of guilted Sydney out of participating. Transfolk should be supported when they choose to take part in traditional gender expression.
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A short book but yet the best. This book for a teenager you can really relate to a lot. It has all of those detailed moments and it's humorous. I think the character strength is friendship because in the book one of the characters-Charlie meets someone new and throughout the story becomes her best friend.
Beautifully illustrated and it feels like I’m missing a few things (the subtle hints that pop up in Charlie’s mind, shown as thought “boxes”) in terms of back story. Will sneak online to see if there’s any more...
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a beautiful and important book! I loved the illustrations especially.
Kat Ice
it was cute but a little to religious for me. loved the artistry and the flow of the book though.
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-authors, lgbtq
I really, really loved this graphic novel! As the Crow Flies follows a black, queer teen girl who goes to a religious girls outdoor wilderness camp. She is questioning things and is struggling to connect with God, while also dealing with thoughtless, low-key racist religious talk. (i.e. spiritual cleansing being referred to as "whitening") and an anti-male version of feminism that makes her transgender friend and fellow camper very uncomfortable.

What's interesting about this book is that is real
Kayla Livingston
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great graphic novel it wasn't what I was expecting but I really enjoyed it.
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has been on my radar for awhile, perhaps looking at Eisner or Ignatz nominees? I was excited to hear it won the Stonewall Award and moved it to a higher priority on my list.

This is a quick read thanks to Gillman's use of lots of aspect-to-aspect panel transitions between wordless panels, many taking up whole pages. I'm usually a fan of this anyway but I really think it helps this story in particular. The colored pencil art is impressive due to the medium but not my favorite.

This book has a
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Fictional Graphic novel 1 5 Nov 13, 2018 05:53AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Archival Quality
  • Kiss Number 8
  • Lost Soul, Be at Peace
  • Are You Listening?
  • Taproot
  • The Hidden Witch (The Witch Boy, #2)
  • The Breakaways
  • Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me
  • Spinning
  • The Girl Who Married a Skull: and Other African Stories
  • Snapdragon
  • Bingo Love
  • All Summer Long (Eagle Rock #1)
  • Luisa: Now and Then
  • Gender Queer
  • On a Sunbeam
  • Bloom
  • The Witch Boy (The Witch Boy, #1)
See similar books…

News & Interviews

There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
36 likes · 13 comments