Cover Image: Fine


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Member Reviews

This book was amazing. It was so educational and showed so many diverse and unique perspectives and experiences. It took me longer to read than a graphic novel typically would because I found myself often pausing and considering the text and even my own self. I also love how the author inserted their own story and experience in with those they interviewed. This is definitely a text I would use in a classroom or suggest to anyone who wants to learn and expand their views on gender.
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Cute graphic novel stunning art work but very basic overall, though that didn’t ruin it it still would’ve been a little better with some more plot.
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I like that Rhea tried to talk to people off all genders when they interviewed people for this book. I like that the book was broken down by subject. Each chapter provided an interesting look into how the interview subjects defined/viewed that topic.

I have already recommended this book to everyone I work with; I think it will be a great addition the pride table and will help readers start open & honest discussions about gender.
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I’ve just finished this graphic novel that I was accepted for on @netgalley. Wow. So poignant, so important and so insightful. The topic of gender is one that I always want to read about, learn about and think about. I would recommend it to anybody who feels able to read it x
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Fine examines gender in a unique and important way: through story telling. Focusing on folks from the Midwest, Fine tells the important story of trans folks in America today and examines what it means to be trans. A well crafted, focused, and informative graphic novel. I’d recommend Fine to anyone, whether you’re trans or cis we can all benefit from what Fine has to offer.
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I have been waiting for a book like Fine for a long time. This excellent nonfiction graphic comic/memoir is an incredible resource for conversations about gender, in all its intersections with race, age, and other identities. This reminds me of "Good Talk" in the ways in which it illustrates the conversations that are happening between Rhea, as they interview people to ask how they identify, reflect on concepts such as "feminine" and "masculine," and speak to their experiences based on gender identity, expression, sexuality, etc. It also reminds me of "The Undocumented Americans" in the way that Rhea as an interviewer is imbedded in the community that they interview -- some of the interviewees have had similar experiences of questioning and gender dysphoria, and these conversations come amidst a struggle for Rhea understand their own identity at the same time. 

Both of those books are two of my favorites that have come out in the last few years, and are some of the books that I most frequently recommend to folks that are looking for antiracist learning material. While Rhea is a white person, they do interview a diverse set of folks that live in the Midwest, and the way in which gender identity impacts basic lived experiences from getting housing to using a public restroom to finding community - is deeply moving and relevant for frontline, social services work. I will absolutely be buying copies of this to share in our reading group at work. There is so much nuance in this graphic novel, with stories that directly conflict, and with language that shifts between different users both in talking about their communities and themselves, and while it's in a specific geographic area, you get a diverse set of stories that shows how boring the binary is and how much larger our understanding of gender could be (if we need that at all!). Complex, great for starting a conversation, and sure to be a hit when it comes out.

Thanks to NetGalley for an early review copy, all opinions are my own.
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I loved this book so much. We are getting so many good graphic memoirs that explore gender and sexuality and I am here for it. Rhea interviews several people over the span of years on what sexuality, gender, and gender expression mean to them. A must-read for everyone!
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my thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for this digital review copy. This is my honest review.

Fine is a graphic novel that follows the author's initial university project examining gender that progressively evolves into a multi-year expansive interview and research project that not only includes a wealth of interviews but significant self-reflection by the author as well. 

The format is approachable and easy to follow. The idea of doing this as a graphic novel is inspired--the interviewer and the interviewees are rendered three dimensional with their words and visual representations, This was a sensitive, raw, honest, and compelling book. There were heartfelt conversations, optimistic and self-affirming statements, as well as traumatic experiences and personal histories. This book went beyond gender to include race, body image, ableism, mental health and more; it had. a nuanced approach to issues of privilege, exclusion, conformity. 

I found this book informative, heart wrenching, inspirational, and honest. It is definitely a book that is needed. I would recommend it be shelved in any public or school library. It is a resource for all--those questioning, those looking for more information, those seeking to inform themselves and support others. 

Highly recommended.
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This is one of those books that I want to give all the stars to and buy copies of for everyone I know (and a lot of people I don't know). This book doesn't have any answers, but it DOES have insight. That's important, because I don't think there's any one correct answer for anyone. The more people we hear from, though, the more stories we take the time to listen to, the more educated and informed we become, and who knows how far you can go with an educated and informed populace?
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This piece of graphic nonfiction feels like the Vagina Monologues of gender identity and experience. Author/illustrator Rhea Ewing sets off on a mission to understand gender by interviewing people of all identities and expressions with a focus on trans-identified individuals. Rhea thought they would find answers, and they did -just not the ones they were looking for. The illustrated interviews and author reflections are split into sections that relate to the topic being discussed - from healthcare to surgery to pronouns to family relationships to acceptance to rejection to finding community - Fine: A Comic About Gender has it all. 

Fine: A Comic About Gender is a dense read. It will expand any reader's perspective, which means it can't be consumed in a single setting. I truly think this piece of graphic nonfiction could be a pivotal turning point in how everyone thinks and talks about gender. I would love to see it adapted for the stage.
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A rich visual exploration well worth sharing. I would gladly add this to a classroom or school library collection.
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Fine is a nonfiction graphic novel based on interviews the author had with people about gender. This book is not just from a trans perspective, and includes a wide range of different people and their views and experiences. It is a beautiful exploration of the complexities of gender and how gender means something different to everyone.

I liked the art style. There are a wide range of people with different bodies depicted. I would have liked more colour, but that's a personal preference. 

The graphic novel format works really well for the subject matter. It makes it easy to really engage with the interviews, without things getting boring or repetitive. The interviews are chopped up and then grouped by theme, so that the book jumps backwards and forwards between the different people as they discuss the different topics. I appreciated the exploration of different intersections of identity, and how that affects a person's view of gender, for example the way that gender intersects with race or disability. The author's own, very personal story is also woven inbetween the interviews. It's interesting that the process of making the book helped the author to figure out their own trans identity. I was able to read the whole book in pretty much one sitting and I really enjoyed it.

The book has a mix of positive stories and more traumatic stories, but overall it has a predominantly hopeful feeling to it, and I felt good once I had finished it.
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This book is an amazing explanation/reflexion of how people can feel about gender. Through the interviews and the biographical parts, put in comic book form, I really connected with those people. It felt somewhat intimate and personal, and did help me put into words feelings and thoughts about Gender. I really liked that Rhea Ewing put a good diversity of humans, as much as they could within their means as disclaimed in the introduction. It made me see how gender is viewed or experienced in different environments than mine (white francophone lesbian). While it didn't give an answer to what it gender (because no one can really claim they have the answer to that), it illustrated many view on the definition of, some which resonated with me, some didn't, some changed my vision of things. I think this is a great book for people like me who are questioning themselves because it gives tracks to start your own journey, and it lets us see that we are no alone in those thoughts. Because it is so direct since we get the words of the interviewed people, I think it would also help people like parents or people who didn't grow up learning about this concept understand it. There is no never ending explanations, just human experience: anyone will resonate with that.
To conclude, this book definitely helped me putting words on some of my feelings, and helped understand how to be a better person for trans people around me, may they be nonbinary, ftm, mtf, genderqueer, etc.

5/5 stars, incredible book, will for sure get myself a physical copy to reread when I need it and to keep as a reference. Thank you #NetGalley for giving me access to this ARC!
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"Fine" by Rhea Ewing is a fantastic graphic novel that takes a deep look into gender through interviews with friends of the author and strangers from all over the country. A lot of topics around gender are covered in this book and each one made me stop and think for a while. It was much more than what I was expecting, in a very pleasant way and was an insightful read. I highly recommend it and will definitely be putting it on the purchase list for the high school library I work for.
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Note: Post goes live a month before publication date, so March 3, 2022
Publication date: April 5, 2022
My Thoughts:

This comic starts with the author/ilustrator's own niggling question about gender and how gender is defined. As they went further into collecting stories from a diverse group of people in the American Midwest, Rhea moved from outsider researcher to insider participant. The initial question moves from a scientific curiosity to a personal quest for self. 

What I appreciate about this is that like the anthology Growing Up Trans: In Our Own Words, this comic's power is in Rhea's ability to be a participant in their own truth seeking. This kind of honesty around grasping complexity, including going further into culture and diversity to further complicate simple answers is helpful for young students who are themselves trying to identify and define themselves beyond the binary markers that are set forth for them in the home, in the school, even in society.

As teachers, if we do not have a book like this or Growing up Trans in our classroom, the message we are sending is that it is not important. Even if we are well meaning and have just not thought about it or seen something like this as a gap in our classroom library, we are in fact making a statement.  As part of our social equity agenda as teachers, we need to diversify our bookshelves and bring forward stories that address more than just race. This is a great start. 

From the Publisher:

As graphic artist Rhea Ewing neared college graduation in 2012, they became consumed by the question: What is gender? This obsession sparked a quest in which they eagerly approached both friends and strangers in their quiet Midwest town for interviews to turn into comics. A decade later, this project exploded into a sweeping portrait of the intricacies of gender expression with interviewees from all over the country. Questions such as “How do you Identify” produced fiercely honest stories of dealing with adolescence, taking hormones, changing pronouns—and how these experiences can differ, often drastically, depending on culture, race, and religion. Amidst beautifully rendered scenes emerges Ewing’s own story of growing up in rural Kentucky, grappling with their identity as a teenager, and ultimately finding themself through art—and by creating something this very fine. Tender and wise, inclusive and inviting, Fine is an indispensable account for anyone eager to define gender in their own terms.
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I absolutely loved Ewing’s approach to the interviews and discussions throughout the graphic novel. They are very clear to indicate that these are people opinions. There are footnotes that remark upon the use of outdated or unpopular language. I read some words that made me personally uncomfortable, simply because it is not the language most commonly used in the trans/nonbinary community in more recent times. However, this was a needed reminder to me that every person creates their own approach to gender. In the same way that I am comfortable identifying as queer but many others are not… others may still use terms such as “transsexual,” a term that I have always known to be offensive/outdated. Everything about gender is a personal choice because gender is a societal construct.
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"Fine" is an amazing deep dive into the journey of gender identity. Ewing did their research and they did it well. Interviews with countless sources, people from different backgrounds (race, class, sexuality, religion, etc...), and in-depth questions were key to unlocking the sheer amount of information in this graphic novel.

The art is quirky and charming, and their knack for giving character to some of the anonymous interviewees is inspiring. I was really fond of the superhero one!

This is a LONG graphic novel (but in all honesty it's needs to be to tell these stories well) so it's something you'll be able to pick up and put down or re-read sections. I got emotional at some points and needed to take some breaks but in a good "holy cow that really hit me in the feels" kind of way.

Very excited to add this to my library collection as well as my personal collection!
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This text is going to be important to a lot of people because 1. some folk will see themselves represented on the page like they haven't before and 2. other folks will get to learn something.v Ewing does a great job of showcasing individuals and their stories. Seeing so many different gender expressions in one text was great and I especially loved that it was showcased in a graphic format.
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Wow, what a project. I’m not a usual consumer of comic books, so I was a bit skeptical of how I would enjoy this. I thought it was such an interesting medium to present these interviews. I learned a lot reading this comic, and it gave me more perspective on gender identify. I hope Fine gets a wide audience upon its release; it is important stuff!
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This book does a great job at introducing the reader to many different ways people identify and it's being published at exactly the right time. The author started this project while in college, partly as a way to understand their own identity. They interviewed numerous people and compiled those interviews into this book.

With so many books being challenged in libraries, we needed something like Fine.  There are no sexual images for the pearl-clutchers to point to as a reason to exclude this title from a collection. It doesn't preach or dictate. What it does is allow people to better understand one another and don't we all need a little more understanding in our lives?

I couldn't be happier with Fine. The diversity is a welcome breath of fresh air. I have already recommended it to colleagues and friends and I only finished it yesterday!

My thanks to Liveright Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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