Cover Image: Fine

Fine

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Member Reviews

A really fun way to read about something so important. It was definitely a slow burn and as a cis female I did feel sometimes patronised and sometimes overwhelmed with information. It took me a while to complete and although my understanding is better it’s definitely not a binge read.
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I read this book in two sittings, and took a much needed break because this book was a lot for me to process as a gender fluid person. It stirred up so many feelings and memories and fears of my own as I read about the varied experiences people of all genders experience. The social exclusion and finding community part of this graphic book hit me the hardest. I’m fortunate to have queer friends online thanks to Twitter and Instagram, that I consider very dear friends. But I’m  intimidated to make queer friends IRL, because I don’t feel queer enough (even though I’m Demi-pan). I also don’t feel I can use trans to describe myself since I can easily pass as a cis woman, despite being genderfluid.  I also don’t feel like I belong to the “straight cis” world either. In either setting, the queer or the straight, I have to hide something of myself. Thankfully, I do have a few online friends that I can be myself with completely, which really keeps me going. 

FINE is quite the powerful graphic memoir that I highly recommend to everyone willing to read with an open mind and heart. Gender and expression are not easy to define, and they can mean different things to different people especially when one considers race, cultural background, socioeconomic status, even location. FINE did a great job of progressing through the years with the interviews and became more intersectional and inclusive regarding gender, sexuality, race, and cultural background, too. There are opposing views in this book because the author interviewed a wide variety of people, but it illustrates the different ways people experience gender and expression. We don’t always have to agree to understand. We just need to be open and to listen, especially to the voices who tend to be silenced and ignored such as the voices of trans women of color. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC. This is my honest review.
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In a search for the author's own identity and understanding around, "What is gender?" they interview 56 different participants discussing everything that encompasses one's experiences surrounding gender. 

This is an important read. Part summer project, part research and part memoir, I could not fault it. It is poignant, eye-opening and the illustrations are just amazing. It emphasises that everyone's relationship and experience around gender is different  and unique. This book also highlights how factors such as race, religion, support (or lack thereof) or upbringing can affect this. 

Everyone who is human can take something valuable away from this book, and this will definitely be an asset in any library. 

An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review..
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"This book is dedicated to everyone who wonders if they are enough. You are enough."

This is amazing, phenomenal, fantastic, great, wonderful, and so many other words. This entire book was a heart punch. It was also a memoir, a journey, a conversation, and a damn good graphic novel. It touches on so many topics that it makes it hard to list them all but I'm going to try: masculinity, femininity, race, culture, gender, identity, language, privilege, expression, healthcare, housing and so much more.

I believe everyone should read and discuss this book. It's such an amazing look into the complexities of gender. Definitely do yourself a service and pick this book up when it comes out. You won't be disappointed.


*Note: I am a white non-binary queer individual
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Fine is a beautiful graphic novel about the complexities of gender, and how different people experience it. There are interviews with so many different people, and it was great to be able to read about so many different peoples perspectives, and relationships with gender. Some of the interviews are from a decade ago, but they're still relevant today. I'm sure I will be thinking about this book for a long time to come.
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This was a really interesting look into the diverse identities and expressions experienced across a variety of people. I especially appreciated the perspectives of older trans people, because they are not a demographic I've heard from very often. This book covers gender identity in a pretty complex way and also explores various issues that affect the trans community, such as healthcare, housing, and community support. It covers a span of quite a few years as well, so it was interesting to see how the language somewhat changed and evolved since Ewing began these interviews. 

I really liked how the author weaved their personal gender discovery and exploration into the narrative. This book felt unique in that it did follow one narrator, but the reoccurring people they interviewed were also complex supporting characters; it felt like watching a documentary. 

Thank you, NetGalley for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is going to become a text we can share with the world. I just know it. This comic explores gender and its many facets and influences. Rhea has really done something here. This book will inform not only those outside the community, but also those inside it who may not understand some of the other feelings and identities. Bravo!!
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An amazingly informative and sweet graphic novel that explores gender in an educational way. I found the interviews really enjoyable and this aspect of the book really helped me connect and drew me in deeper. Highly recommend!
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Thanls to NetGalley for the advanced copy of this graphic novel.
This was such an amazing read.
Despite being an ally, this provided me with a more in depth idea of gender fluidity, and the different aspects and issues that arise within the individuals journey with gender and acceptance 0f themselves.
I am so grateful for the chance to read this great graphic novel and become better aware of what I can do to consistently improve my language around gender identity, and to create a safer space for the amazing people embracing their truth.
I recommend this book even if you are not a fan of graphic novels, because the illustrations created a connection to the people. I particularly love that Rhea added their own experiences through this journey of discussing gender and the resulting thoughts. 
This was very cleverly created, respectful to the interviewed people, and very informative.
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A well-constructed and expressive dive into the diversity of experiences surrounding gender identity, told in a strong voice that acknowledges the author's subjectivity while centering those interviewed.
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I've read a handful of similar graphic novels exploring queer experiences related to gender or sexuality, but this one was a pleasant surprise. I won't title drop - I think all literature genuinely exploring LGBTQ issues is useful - but I often came away feeling like something was missing. I'm grateful for easy to understand pocket books that I can slip to my mom, who's still wrapping her head around the word "nonbinary." But I want more complicated literature that acknowledges that gender is a messy topic! It's hard to write about! It's fluid! And that's where Ewing really nails it. 

They don't try and explain away the messiness or intersectionality of gender. In fact, they embrace it! I related to their confusion, because even deciding what pronouns to use requires tackling much larger questions like, what even is gender? Sometimes that gets watered down for cis readers. I loved seeing the different language people used to describe their gender and experiences. 

The medium works really well too - you don't expect to find an oral history in the form of a graphic novel, but Ewing's drawings bring the interviews to life and do them justice.

I also really appreciated Ewing's pages exploring their intended role of "researcher" and how that position of distance related to their whiteness. It shows how much research and careful thought went into this project. There weren't just a few pages at the beginning mentioning gender-diverse cultures: there were discussions about navigating gendered languages, the effects of white colonization on gender discussions, societal views of Black masculinity vs. white masculinity, etc. And ableism! How ableism relates to gender! 

The only thing I was disappointed by was how quickly the novel switched between interviews. I wanted longer with each person! But as I kept reading, I came to appreciate that the purpose of this book isn't to create one single narrative. While I still wish some of the interviews were longer, I know that probably would have been at the expense of a perspective or two, which doesn't feel right either.

*Thank you to Netgalley for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.*
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This is such a great book! I loved how Rhea's own tale of cracking their egg was interwoven with the wider project of interviewing people about gender. What was also fabulous was that there was no attempt to make gender seem like a monolith - there is no single gender narrative.

What people share about their experiences of gender, and what it means to them, are different for every person. 

The art style of the book is also really engaging, and Rhea's art brings genuine warmth and character to the people she draws. A lovely book, and totally recommended!
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An in depth look at gender, what it is and how it impacts so many parts of our lives.  I found the interviews to be very informative and eye opening.  An amazingly well done graphic novel.  Recommended for new adult and adult collections.
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A wonderful look into ones journey of gender. Rhea takes the reader along while explaining various steps on the way through various unique voices. Each interview is illustrated how the interviewee felt comfortable with and the care Rhea showed each person truly shows. Each section of the book showcases individuals that dealt with or are part of that community, again the care put behind this project really shines through. 

I cannot wait for this to be published.
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I have been amazed at the ability of graphic novels to artfully approach difficult topics, and Rhea Ewing's "Fine" does so with a deeply personal expertise. Ewing's exploration of gender identity and the social landscape is rooted in the real-life experiences of interview subjects from most walks of life. Ewing tackles difficult subjects related to gender and sex, such as disparities in healthcare, relational intimacy, housing, race, and community, and does so in a way that encourages the reader to dive into these issues, not despite the discomfort, but BECAUSE of it. 

Not since Maia Kobabe's "Gender Queer" have I wanted to shove a graphic novel into the hands of every person I meet, but Rhea Ewing's "Fine" makes me want to do just that. 

"Find who you aren't connected with - the people who power ignores. Then listen. Then build." - Rhea Ewing
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As Rhea Ewing neared their college graduation, they asked themselves the question, “What is gender?” To find the answer, they interviewed people in their Midwestern town to ask them questions about how they identify, and it brought about varied tales of adolescence, changing identities at times, pronouns, name changing at times, and many other stories. The project grew to be more than just the Midwest, and it’s an inclusive tale of gender. Perfect for anyone wondering about their own gender or just wanting to learn about the experiences of others. Will recommend.
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More in depth look at gender and the different ways it can be expressed. More for adult or teens. While it's written in a simple format, graphic novel, but the language is still clear and informative.

*I received an ARC from NetGalley. My review is my own.
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FINE is a beautifully well-done narrative of the author's exploration of gender identity through interviews they have with others.  I really appreciated the interview style being such a major factor due to the fact that, for many trans* people, the exploration of identity is heavily rooted in discussing our thoughts with others, allowing their perspectives to help us draw our own conclusions.  It was also wonderful to have different viewpoints that reflect the complexity of gender and its intersection with race and culture.  I appreciate that Rhea brings this up in the book and actively seeks out diverse voices to make these topics more prominent and particularly felt that the inclusion of how gendered language affects individuals (such as using gender-neutral language with an English-speaking group and using gendered language within a Spanish-speaking group but knowing that the latter still respects your identity but there isn't really a (convenient) way to utilize that knowledge within the context of gendered words.)  

I highly recommend this book and will absolutely be recommending it for our library shelves!
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Fine is a graphic novel created by Rhea Ewing that is based on set of interviews, Fine explores different gender identities through many contexts such as culture, race, etc. It gives insight on how different people with different lives and background see gender, as well as letting you follow Rhea's story. A must-read for anyone, no matter their gender identity.
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A wonderful exploration of gender identities through interviews and presented by subject. Readers get to learn more on how the intersectionality of personal identities as well as society effect gender along with the author as their researched progressed.
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