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Everything Is Beautiful, and I'm Not Afraid: A Baopu Collection

liked it 3.00  ·  Rating details ·  29 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Everything Is Beautiful, and I'm Not Afraid perfectly captures the feelings of a young sojourner in America as she explores the nuancesin searching for a place to belong. Baopuis a monthly serialized comic on Autostraddle, and this book includes beloved fan favorites plus new, never-before-seen comics.

This one-of-a-kind graphic novel explores the poetics of searching for
Paperback, 128 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
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destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I really, truly appreciate the idea behind this collection: a bisexual Chinese author talking about how hard it was to come out to her mother, stipulations that come with being from an immigrant family, the struggles of a conservative mother, and more. All of that said, unfortunately, the execution didn't work for me. I didn't enjoy the art style, some of the layouts of the comics were a bit hard to follow, and the narrative voice as a whole didn't mesh with me. I really wanted to like this more ...more
Nov 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
This wasn't for me in any way. I can't really talk of experience, maybe it might do some good to young people struggling with their identity... That wasn't my case, but I still feel like this book purpose and execution was a bit blurry! I wouldn't recommend it!
Alicia Bayer
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This comic collection is definitely for a certain audience. The author identifies as a queer Asian immigrant and it's quite an existential series of cartoons about issues like coming out to disapproving parents, stresses involved in being an immigrant from being afraid to speak out on social media to the legal costs, relationship troubles, depression and much more (favorite spread: the fear bingo, with squares like "racist comments when I'm not prepared" and cancer).

The artwork is often
While I did like some of these comics, I found that most of them didn't really work for me. I wasn't the biggest fan of the art style, although I did find some really beautiful pages, and I found the writing to be unnecessarily complex for such short comics, and overly simplistic at other times. Due to the lay-out of the pages, it was sometimes difficult to follow the correct sequence. Maybe I just read this at the wrong time, but I didn't really end up enjoying this. It's not at all a bad comic ...more
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book isn't for everyone and I think that's why there are a lot of differing reviews. I really enjoyed it and I'll try to explain why.

The art style isn't exactly consistent (I feel like that's on purpose) and it's a little on the cartoon-y side but I actually really like it. There isn't a set formula like a four panel comic in this book, all the panels change from page to page making it feel more active and dynamic. The simplistic style also lends itself to focus less on the pictures and
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So moved by this book. I'd seen some of Yao Xiao's work on Autostraddle over the years, and eagerly snapped this up. I was not disappointed.

An absolutely poetic graphic novel, beautifully done. And oh-my-god the feelings... all of the feelings. Dark and lonely; hopeful and at peace. This work clearly illustrates a restless searching for belonging - with society, with family and with oneself.

“I’m not afraid”
[…] But I’m still here.
Everything is fucking beautiful.
And I am not
Annemieke De
Nov 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an Arc from NetGalley to write an honest review.

Yao Xiao made this graphic novel that tells the story of an Asian girl living in New York.
Although that may not be an experience that fits in with the live story of every boy or girl, this graphic novel will appeal to many young people.

It's a story about being bisexual, about being different, about coping with expectations others can have and you can have about yourself. It gives us a peek in the mind of young people, and all the
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Everything Is Beautiful and I’m Not Afraid by Yao Xiao is a pleasant graphic novel. I found the layout hard to follow but the overall story was a good concept.
Thanks to netgalley for letting me read this.
Lindsay from TrulyBooked
I keep seeing people say that there's something chaotic about the way that the book is set up, but that worked for me. I took away that it was meant to be jumbled, that it was meant to sound like a diary or someone trying to work through how they feel about life. There is no order to the way that we live even if we'd like to think so. There are no neat boxes to tuck ourselves away with or structure that will allow only the important story beats to shine through. The journey is just as much part ...more
This story goes through the emotions of figuring out who you are and how to accept yourself when others do not. It promotes healthy attitudes and seeking professional help, it encourages leaving toxic relationships behind, and supports having those difficult conversations and seeking out answers for struggles from your past. Because it is told in a poetic format the story is broken into 2-3 page segments. While they all focus around similar things, it felt disjointed and didn't flow smoothly. ...more
Kassy MacPherson
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book has a dark tone to it. It is very sad and depressing. I can see the narrator as having severe depression. The main character hates everything about coming out, her body, and just everything in between about themselves. The graphics show the struggle as well as a lot of them are colorful even though they are struggling internally with dark stuff. The subject matter is intense. The main character is bi-sexual who knows their family will not accept this fact. Additionally, the graphics ...more
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novel
This graphic novel was very uneven. Some pages were so soft, so well drawn, with a very inspiring message ; and many other pages were very low quality, both in terms of graphics and writing. The structure was also very off and hard to follow. I understand that the author wanted to be authentic and to include her full journal, but I feel like if only half of the best extracts would have been chosen, it would have made the overall experience of reading this book way more pleasant, bumping the ...more
Ms. Arca
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Lovely concepts and there were a few pages that were spot on for me (would be useful for teaching tools, too).

The entire compilation as a whole didn’t work for me though. It felt messy for lack of a better word?

Queer, Chinese immigrant woman sorting out life and its ups and downs. From the description I thought it would be a perfect match for me, but it just didn’t quite work for me (art or writing) But! Graphic novels are especially personally, I think, and like I said there were a couple
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2019
Yao Xiao navigates the young adult life of the narrator, who is struggling with identity as an (im)migrant, queer person, in a home that is not her home, and all the other questions of belonging and love in New York City. I like the descriptions and illustrations depicting the narrator's immigrant, queer status, and finding her identity. but the "self-help advice" peppered in throughout the book is distracting and takes away from the more personal feel of the fictional memoir.

Reviewed for
Anubha Ghoshal
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
The book wasn't written in a flow, the author basically expressed her thoughts with illustrations about racial discrimination, coming out as bisexual, self love, trying to fit in a foreign country, immigration problems, loneliness, unsupportive friendships and other abstract thoughts and feelings. But these were not organized well in parts and sections but randomly put together with no proper structure. As a whole it just felt like a ranting comic instead of a well presented journey of a girl ...more
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It’s too much too take in at one go. Yao Xiao’s ‘Everything is Beautiful, and I’m Not afraid’ needs to be contemplated on page by page. It’s illustrations studied for it’s beauty and meaning and yet you can’t stop but turn the page to delve deeper. Her innermost thoughts laid bare, Xiao’s book is like navigating through stormy seas with an expert hand guiding you, leading you, prodding you to calmer waters, to safety. Pick and choose what you like, this book is a keeper to turn to, to turn over, ...more
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
While I found the concept of this graphic novel was moving and emotional., I also found myself disconnected due to the way in which the novel was presented. There is no plot or story to be found, but rather, what appears to be a jumbled, rambling, internal struggle thrown on every page. I did not hate this book but I did struggle to push myself to finish this longer than necessary novel.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
The ARC of this graphic novel was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I enjoyed reading this book but I don't think it was for me. It was kind of rambling at times and I didn't always understand what was going on. It wasn't bad, just not the best! The art style wasn't my favorite either but it might be someones!!
Jess Smiley
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Part illustrated diary, part advice in the form of comics (somewhat in the vein of Yuma Sakugawa’s Illustrated meditations).
Dec 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
Quite pretentious non-fiction comic, with overly complex design and wordage. Really not my thing.
Kayli Corriveau
Nov 22, 2019 rated it did not like it
I didn't like this at all. I just found it quite boring. The artwork was weird and not that great. I just personally didn't find anything different. Just average.
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Nov 12, 2019
rated it it was ok
Nov 10, 2019
Becca (Coffeebooksandjournals)
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Dec 05, 2019
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Dec 09, 2019
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