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

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  145 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Everything Is Beautiful, and I'm Not Afraid perfectly captures the feelings of a young sojourner in America as she explores the nuances in searching for a place to belong. Baopu is 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
...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published March 3rd 2020 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
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Average rating 3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  145 ratings  ·  67 reviews


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Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
'11 months of fiction. 1 month of reality.'
.
.
Who else can relate to this?
.
Me!

I love this book so much! Inspite of the cute and colourful illustration, this one is really hard-hitting talking about reality and queer gender issues. I would like to call this book a coming of age story and discuss issues that affect women on a day-to-day basis.
There are a few parts on racism and discrimination. There are a few original lines or poetry by the author in between which I really appreciate. The book
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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
Chad
Dec 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019, netgalley-2019
This just didn't work for me. It's a self-reflective look at the author trying to belong. It's almost like a book of private journal entries the author decided to share. The artwork and lettering were really difficult to follow making this a no-go for me. I started skimming halfway through.

Received a review copy from Andrews McMeel Publishing and NetGalley. All thoughts are my own and inno way influenced by the aforementioned.
Andi
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.

Favorites:
Im not afraid
[] But Im still here.
Everything is fucking beautiful.
And I am not afraid.

Don
...more
Anniek
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
Etienne
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!
Sarah Marie
Everything is Beautiful, and I'm Not Afraid by Yao Xiao

3.75 stars

This is a graphic novel collection that follows the musings and thoughts of a bisexual Chinese immigrant living in American who has been rejected by her Chinese mother. The artwork is beautiful and has a lot of transcendental landscapes that will appeal as well as encourage a lot of women or men with similar stories. I can't relate personally, but I appreciated the heart of this and the emotional capacity that this graphic novel

...more
Brianne Hofmann
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it
I found parts of this really moving and thought provoking (Amplified Voices was, in my opinion, the strongest comic in the collection). At times it felt a little too Rupi Kaur for me. Im in agreement with some of the other reviews in that I couldnt always follow the narrative voice easily. It was marketed in a way that makes you think its a collage of thoughts with a central message, but I think that gets lost. ...more
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
...more
Amit Verma
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
It is about sadness enveloping someone who is alien to everything surrounding. To his own blood as well as to foreign land.
It is about misfit who cannot escape traditional restraints and also cannot survive in the cage. So he is caught between two worlds, both of which are out of his control.
It depicts with extreme sadness how everything falls apart for main character.
Artwork is very good, eye-catching and innovative in most part. .
It is the artwork that kept me going inspite of it being a very
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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 didnt 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 didnt quite work for me (art or writing)

But! Graphic novels are especially personal, I think, and like I said there were a couple pages
...more
Silvia
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was sent this book as an advanced copy by the publisher via Edelweiss for reviewing purposes, but all opinions are my own.

I enjoyed this autobiographic comic by a bisexual Chinese artist living in the United States. I obviously can't judge the content since it's her own experience, and there were a lot of experiences that I as a white woman I probably can't even begin to fully comprehend. I did however relate a lot to the feeling of being an immigrant and kind of forever losing your sense of
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Karen
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading Everything is Beautiful, and Im Not Afraid. As a queer Asian American, this was very relatable for me. I went through similar struggles with the clashing of my identity and my conservative Asian culture. The search for acceptance from family, for belonging, and for self-love was one that I think many queer Asians can relate to.

There are many other topics that Xiao touches upon such as fat-shaming in Asian culture, racism, xenophobia, etc., all of which are present in
...more
Monika
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is a collection of the serialized comic Baopu that runs on Autostraddle. The art is lovely and the comics feel like a hug, but this didn't work for me in book form. It felt thematically disorganized, and it was hard to tell when one comic ended and another began. Sometimes titles appeared at the beginning, other times they were in tiny lettering at the end. The reading flow was often interrupted by random theme changes, and it took me a few panels to realize it was a new comic. It was ...more
Scrblasco
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Its a heartacheingly beautiful book.

As a bi person with a middle eastern background, I was able to relate to a lot of Yaos beautiful writing and illustrations.

I think it allowed me to uncensor so many build up emotions. Though, I dont mean this in a sad way but rather in a way that it opened my heart to beautiful feelings.
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Chandra
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I wasnt sure what to expect out of this graphic novel, but it was extremely relatable and informative. I was mesmerized while reading it. ...more
Irene
Feb 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
i didnt know the author, but the book is okay, i liked the title and the illustrations are simple but cute.

it was difficult to read some parts, i had a lump in my throat because i identified with the situations in the comics (the gloomy days, i'm falling...).

but, even thought the book shows the complex life of the author, it lacked context and maybe a litte of sympathy to understand/like more the book.

*note: i received a copy via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
...more
Vanessa
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
...more
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
...more
Jo
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Everything Is Beautiful and Im 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.
...more
Emma
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've read all the Baopu comics on Autostraddle and enjoyed reading this collection of new comics. The artwork and meandering storyline are almost dreamlike, as the author explores life as a queer person and an immigrant to the US.

[ Free ARC from NetGalley]
Michelle |  A Geek Girl's Guide
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Everything Is Beautiful, and Im Not Afraid: A Baopu Collection is a queer coming-of-age comic book following a Chinese woman living in America and ultimately facing the challenge of finding where she belongs as a queer immigrant.


I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was not familiar with Yao Xiao and her Baopu comic prior to this book, but apparently, it is an existing comic that is part of the online queer women magazine Autostraddle. This comic book
...more
Sarah
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
I really enjoyed this book. I found the concept being written about very relatable. The author discusses her experience as a queer immigrant whose family does not accept her for who she is, and sometimes whose new country does not accept her for who she is either.

I myself am not gay, but I think that people can relate to this book from many different backgrounds including extreme religions and ultra traditional families.

The art was beautiful and the emotion was raw and real. I cannot get over
...more
Isaiah
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
To see more reviews check out MI Book Reviews.

I got an ARC of this book.

I am really in a slump of books that are just eh right now. I did not read far enough in the description when I requested the book. I thought this was a memoir. So I was trying to piece together the story through these comics, but things just weren't happening in a way that made a cohesive memoir work for me. It makes a little more sense now that I see it is a fiction, but there are still a lot of time jumps that make it
...more
eternal.chapters
Dec 31, 2019 is currently reading it
Ratings: 3.5/5

At first, I was very excited to read this book because it sounded like it would be an incredibly inspiring story conveyed through adorable illustrations. However, after reading it, I was a little disappointed.

The art style was very adorable but it was not as breathtaking as I hoped and certain pages appear to be rather messy. The visual just did not measure up to other graphic novels that I have read and I did not click with the art style as much as I hoped, which devastated me.
...more
Anjana
Mar 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an intense and personal collection of comic strips. There is nothing remotely 'HaHa funny' about them. Most of the ones I follow on social media do have personal incidents influencing their collections, but this one was of a slightly different ilk. I had seen one or two in passing forwards somewhere, that was enough for me to try the entire collection.

The author draws on her coming out to her mother and the way her life is fashioned around her life in the US while her roots continue to
...more
Pei
Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful and poetic collection of thoughts and experiences as a queer immigrant. It was very lovely and personal, and definitely made my heart ache the whole time. The comics and illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, and sometimes deceptively simple; every small panel has so much hidden detail to it. I know other reviewers have commented on difficulty following the book, but I actually liked the way the layouts shifted from page to page, and personally I liked the way that it flowed. ...more
Natalia
Feb 06, 2020 rated it liked it
This a very unique book from the perspective of a Bi-sexual Chinese immigrant woman, and I will acknowledge that this is a very important book, but I think I wasn't the audience for it. As a teacher in China, however, I know this book would mean so much to the students that I meet, that are still trying to figure out who they are, where they belong, family turmoil, and the question of if I am this way, will I ever be able to go back home. Do they even have a home? It is a hard topic to navigate ...more
Abbyturnsthepage
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
I loved this story! I think the idea of understanding who you are and finding your place in this world is relevant to all ages. This story resonated with the adolescent and young adult in me; I struggled to find a circle to call my own; I struggled with confidence and not allowing myself to get taken advantage of. Part interactive and wholly introspective, this is a great introduction into graphic novels and a story that is readable and approachable for all ages. The art isn't very detailed but ...more
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