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Xu Ping’s brother is mentally disabled.

But this s*upid brother only has eyes for his older brother.

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26 Reviews sorted by

Xiao Xinxin
New Xiao Xinxin rated it
August 10, 2020
Status: c33
Alright for everyone that's wondering why Brother got so many one stars, I'm here to explain. Boy, I am so done with this f*cking novel. Everything was fine until chapter 27 when ... more>>

Huang Fan raped MC.


But back to

Huang Fan's r*pe attempt, first of all, r*pe is one hell of a sensitive topic. I couldn't stop crying when reading that part as r*pe can scar people so bad they become suicidal and use self harm to get rid of he r*pe marks. But how MC acts after is just so unrealistic. First of all, he just forgives Huang Fan. How? HOW CAN YOU FORGIVE SOMEONE AFTER SOMETHING LIKE THAT HAPPENS? It's such bullsh*t and he even goes to People's Square afterwards to save him, all because of a phone call filled with heavy breathing and pitiful words of, "I'm hurt" or "I just wanted to hear your voice one last time".

Is the author trying to write a love triangle? Someone tell me why a person would save their rapist in the middle of a rebellion. Why did he even continue talking when he knew it was Huang Fan? I'm surprised MC didn't want to kill Huang Fan after all that and instead vented his anger out on his beloved brother. All of this Huang Fan sh*t just ended up getting him arrested and separated from his brother, getting beat up by police men, getting interrogated and humiliated in court as people thought he had a sexual gay relationship with Huang Fan, ruining his goal of going to Beijing University, and giving him a criminal record. After all that, I decided to read the last chapter of the series to see if the ending at least pushes me to keep reading but nothing changed. In fact, Huang Fan is STILL IN THE STORY WTF WHY.


Either way, the reason for the three stars is mostly because the beginning was written beautifully. As I've said before, the situations were realistic and nothing was thrown in just for the angst and drama. Their childhood taught them both a lot and it had beautiful life lessons said by the father and realizations of love and growing up by the MC. It builds a strong foundation for their modern day relationship. And when they grew up and MC had feelings for ML, it further complicated it but in a steady, paced way and it wasn't so bad. In fact MC's struggle of moving to university and leaving ML all alone is really concerning and the fact that ML was still in the same care centre when he was 8 was a huge slap in the face for me because back then, mentally disabled children would've been disowned immediately especially with the one child policy. Because of this, there aren't any professional mentally challenged education centres and only a daycare for ML to waste his life away in since he can't learn much. This also really opened my eyes to autism and encouraged me to help out at my high school's special-ed program.

Also, the translation was GOD TIER. I will offer both of my lungs and my heart if the translator ever needs them because it is seamless and fits so well. So in the end, if you like smut, tragedy and don't mind inscest BL and plot points that are sometimes ridiculous, go ahead and read it, you'll love it to tears. And also, prepare tissues because I swear to god you won't even have a heart after reading this. <<less
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New Wh_atever_123 rated it
August 5, 2020
Status: c54
Well mostly I have problem with the author writing style because it makes everything very slow and boring. I skipped most of it (not the papa sences tho 😏) and nearly dropped this story many times but their relationship kept me reading. When it came to the sad part I didnt feel anything tbh. The way the author described the surrounding were too much and some conversations weren't very necessary.
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December 11, 2016
Status: --
Incredibly well-written, sad, and heart-wrenchingly tragic.

Xu Ping has one mentally disabled younger brother and a near absent father. He grows up basically parenting his younger brother, and he has to deal with bullies, insidious gossip, and the frustrations of having to use all of his time and effort on a family member whom he can't get through to half of the time. Not only that, he develops doubly forbidden feelings. Homosexuality, by itself, is criminally punishable and shameful during this time period. The shame Xu Ping feels is doubled... more>> by the fact that the target of his interest is his brother...

The internal struggles that Xu Ping has to face and the nuanced external judgement that he must deal with make this a very agonizing and sad read. <<less
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KeikoKat rated it
March 23, 2016
Status: --
I find the development of feelings between the two brothers very adorable and real. Unlike some other fluffy yaoi novels, there is substance in the turn of events and enough character introspection that the audience can easily witness the character development. I find the characters very relatable, especially the main character, Xu Ping, and there are definitely moments where I could totally imagine myself having the same reaction. I wouldn't know much about China so I could be wrong but the time setting also seems legit and it gives the... more>> book a serious tone like the tone of an autobiography or a "based on a true event" kind of story. I guess the author is just that good at portraying things realistically. <<less
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moiralyn rated it
August 16, 2017
Status: c54
I honestly can't see how 24 people could have rated this 1 star. I suspect they didn't read it. Perhaps they didn't like the tags? I'm only speculating though. I just know that anyone who enjoys this genre would not give it a 1 star rating. And if you don't enjoy the genre... why are you rating at all?? *end rant*

What I enjoy are good stories and this is a beautiful story and should have a higher rating. I guess my rant wasn't actually over... On to the review!

The translation... more>> is top quality which showcases the author's talents as the language draws you in and immediately immerses you into the story. Wonderful imagery, authentic details (and interesting tidbits from the translator), often lyrical word choice, etc. The chapters are separated into 3 "books", Book 1 takes place in 1983, Book 2 in 1989, and Book 3 in 2006. Everything that was happening in mainland China in those years provides a vivid and heart wrenching backdrop to a very heart wrenching story. The characters are very believable and all the conflicts are realistic.

I read it all in one sitting and I cried many times. It's all worth it in the end though. <<less
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namio rated it
August 26, 2019
Status: Completed
The main character lives in the end, and he's able to have a relationship with the one he loves after decades-- yet when I first read it, I cried out of genuine pain.

Brother is about an older brother who fell in love with a mentally challenged younger brother who only had eyes for him. It's not a novel that fetishizes incest: Xu Ping's guilt and conflicting emotions over his feelings is lifelong and will never go away. Here is a boy, a teen, a man entrusted with a younger brother... more>> who simply lives in a very different world-- a bearer of such heavy responsibility, yet uncontrollable emotions bring an entirely different level of weight onto young shoulders. He struggles with these feelings, and its reciprocal doesn't bring simplistic joy-- there's taboo and he holds the moral responsibility for two. It's a reciprocated love, but it's a love so heavy for one person to bear alone.

Brother, Didi, is about an older brother trying to live and carrying his younger brother through life while at it. Set in the 80's and early 2000's, there's a deliberate dated feel to it, an old-movie faint sepia tint and color grading. But that marked time intentionally adds weight onto the readers: set in years that actually happened, we know that homosexuality was even more not accepted, much less incest. We know that it was a heavier shame. We know it was a time where children raising other children was more common, where adulthood can set in so early despite the young minds drowning aren't yet biologically developed well enough for it. Xu Ping could still be out there, ground down to the bones, still taking care of Xu Zheng.

There's a passage in the novel that to me spoke the core of it all:

Each of us loses the naivety in our hearts as we grow up, some earlier than others. Some are like lemons being grated for zest, slowly being ground into the shape of an adult's by the forces of life. Others are like porcelain shattering on the floor into a gazillion pieces. They have to crawl back up and try their best to piece themselves back together, and in this process it's not unusual to lose a piece here or gain a piece there. By the end of it all, each will have become a brand new person.

Our protagonist, Xu Ping, was now only eighteen years old, thirty three days away from the nation-wide post-secondary entrance examination. He was presently racing through the city street in the dark of night.

So many years later, it still feels like Xu Ping is presently racing through the city street in the dark of night. Perhaps racing with him now is Xu Zheng. Whether the journey in this dark night is less painful with such company, only one can answer for themselves. <<less
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Nic rated it
March 7, 2018
Status: Completed
At first I was reluctant to read this because I abhor incest but then the translator's comments won me over.

When I started reading, I couldn't stop anymore except for the moments when I couldn't control my tears that won't stop falling down. The plot is really too much for my fragile heart. The bond that they have which is stronger than that of brothers is admirable. I will not comment on the incest thing because I understand the feelings of the MC. Such courage and devotion towards his brother is... more>> something that only a few could do.

5 stars - for the sole reason that the story touched the deepest part of me. Good job to the author! <<less
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darlingv rated it
April 11, 2019
Status: Completed
This was the first translated novel that I ever read and till today it remains one of the most memorable. I won't talk about the wrongs about their relationship except to say that many things are required to be experienced in person or seen from another's point of view before being judged.

I completely understand how they fell for each other. When you only have one person in your life that you're close to, that you love, that you've been taking care off/ has been taking care of you, that person... more>> is your everything.

The story is tragic but also extremely beautiful. The struggles of life are abundant, but the resilience of the human spirit is not to be underestimated. And, as cliche as it sounds, sometimes, love is really all you need to soothe a weary soul (even if it is one that is taboo). <<less
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JohnnyCakes rated it
March 24, 2019
Status: Completed
This book hurts. It’s so beautiful and I cried so much in this damn. It’s a emotional roller coaster of a forbidden love between brothers. It felt like my heart was getting pulled out of my chest half the time.

The story is exciting and tragic, the characters are well developed and it was easy to understand (at least for me). I wish the author wrote slightly more in the years he was in prison, the life after the ending and more of Huang Fan. To be honest, I actually really... more>> liked him, I knew that he really loves Xu Ping and that he regretted his decisions...

Okay yes. I wanted extras for Huang Fan to see him suffering. I just like seeing sub-main characters suffering over the main characters... is it weird? <<less
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boundedbrother18 rated it
July 29, 2018
Status: Completed
I liked this novel so much that I had to register an account to write a comment on this. I rarely read a novel because it is often too long for me. But this one I read in 2 days straight to finish the whole story which I felt very moved. I have a different outlook about life now thanks to this. Highly recommended!
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Namjoon9499 rated it
January 12, 2017
Status: c46
I want to thank you so much for translating this novel. This novel make me happy, sad, angry, sometime even all mixed into one.
BL novel with incest is rare or maybe I couldn't find it, but this one was written beautifully, it touched heart deeply. I'm really thankful for translating such an amazing novel and I'm glad I pick up this novel. I hope my two baby have a happily ever after <3
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idlehands rated it
September 24, 2019
Status: Completed
First of, the author did very well in painting an accurate picture of China during a time with civil unrest, changing believes, the rise of political parties and the fight for democracy, how parenting and culture was back then, as well as how mental disabilities were viewed by the general public.

The problems I have can be split into two points.

No one in this story seems to be even remotely mentally healthy, or just a decent person, except for two side characters, neither of them speaks more than a few lines,... more>> the rest of the cast can only be said to be in need of intense psychological help.


I was quite shocked that the only real gay man was a rapist fighting for the right to be openly gay, and while some people might say that it wasn't r*pe but "questionable consent", I personally see beating someone, handling them so rough that they are bruised all over, and forcing them into submission until they go along with it, as rape.
Not only that, but he even strangled him when he tried to leave.
I'm certainly not someone who cares about representation, yet even I feel rather miffed when I see "gay rights" coupled with rape, it's a very poor choice.


The second and most complex reason is, the relationship between the brothers.
I started this novel because everyone said it was handled so well compared to your usual incest BL stories, for me it was so much worse due to one of the brother's mental disability, which I thought would be much milder than it turned out to be.
It's a fairly complicated topic, at which point is someone "too disabled" to have the right to choose with whom they are allowed to have s*x with?

All I can do is use my own opinion on this matter, a person who's unable to understand what love and s*x even is, going by nothing but desire, without enough awareness to grasp the concept of incest, when the person he desires happens to be the only one who loved and took care of him, his only attachment figure who can't be said to be mentally healthy, then I have to make a full stop.

Xu Zheng can't dress himself, wash himself, go anywhere without help, he burns himself with hot water if no one is there to check the temperature for him, if left alone, he would die, either due to an accident or because he starved, he's completely helpless without his brothers.
I can't help but feel very uncomfortable with their sexual relationship, they are so entangled that it's more a codependency than love, both can't live without the other, and one isn't capable of understanding what's going on at all, he simply follows his desires and whims, while the one responsible for keeping everything in check falls further down into this hole.
We aren't talking about two children, Xu Ping is already 18 when he and his brother have their first real sexual moment, he's an adult, he's his brother's caretaker, he should know better.

I really wanted to like this story, I was interested in the circumstances, living with a mentally disabled brother in China during such a turbulent time, falling in love with him and fighting for a good future together, but, I can't bring myself to enjoy it, it makes me utterly uncomfortable.
Maybe it's my fault and I had the wrong impression, the tragedy might actually be their unhealthy relationship and not how they fight for a good life.

It was neither a very good nor entirely bad read.

There are some inconsistencies, it was stated several times that Xu Zheng feels no pain, but flashbacks show how he gets hurt and cries out in pain, at the end of the story as well. I don't know if this is a translation error or not, I just felt very irritated by it because it's an essential part of the story. I could list other, minor, things, but they can be overlooked if you aren't deliberately searching for them (or aren't as perfectionist as I am so you notice these things no matter what).

Tragedy is a difficult genre, it's easy to cause much more misfortune than necessary to make the story work, this one, in my opinion, overdid it greatly.


We have a person who has to take care of his mentally disabled brother all on his own, starting when he was still a child, both of them being neglected by their father, bullied by other kids, then he gets send to prison for being gay and supporting the wrong political movement, their father dies of cancer, then he himself gets cancer, all on top of the brothers' relationship which causes all sorts of problems, before Xu Ping nearly dies of drowning.
This is a drama overkill, one instance after another, finished with Xu Ping's cancer that finally makes him realise that the romantic love for his brother should be lived out instead of repressed.


I love good tragedies, I read so many of them in the past 20 years, sadly this one fell into the quantity over quality trap, one or two well thought out problems are worth much more than 6 or so right after another, by the end I was absolutely numb to all tragic occurrences, all I could think of was: "This is the unluckiest guy on earth", which isn't a compliment to the author but a sign that it has gone too far.

Still, if you aren't as picky as I am, or maybe new to the genre, then give it a try.
If you have high expectations, know a lot of good tragedies you will involuntarily compare this novel to, then you should consider to look for something else.

Three well-meant stars for its historic accuracy and general idea. <<less
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J3n rated it
October 6, 2019
Status: Completed
This story is so under-rated. It is such a beautifully written and translated story. Although the topic is quite controversial, it really makes me pause and think. What is true love? Should people not deserve love in their lives? Their love hurts no one else and make both of their poor souls happy in this life times after so many unfortunate trials. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who want more substance in their reading materials.
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stygetsu rated it
March 27, 2018
Status: Completed
To have this work translated is a Blessing (with a capital B.) The translation is very good that it successfully evoked raw emotion, and it immerses you into a sad, heart-wrenching heartbreak of a story.

The tags may seem deplorable and atrocious, but I suggest you go out of your comfort zone and (at least) explore this one single work. You'll undergo an emotional turmoil so ravishing that you'll constantly find yourself in tears.

This is my kind of work.
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Catastrophe3905 rated it
May 21, 2019
Status: Completed
This is so well written, so beautiful. It deals the emotions of the characters extremely well. I am in love with this story. It is heart breaking and breathtaking (lol, look who became a poet). But it has a happy ending so go ahead and read it everyone. If this story happened anyway different it wouldn't have the same ending.

if the friend wasn't a backstabber he wouldn't have felt guilty and helped the MC

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hiryukaede rated it
June 29, 2020
Status: Completed
The story totally good,.. the development of MC and ML feeling, and their different things,... Also, don't worry its happy ending,.. but, like its said, there is incest, and the younger one (ML) have autism,... But, its doesn't Mean, the plot are tr*sh and full of drama Quin cliche plot,.. not at all,.. its just written beautiful, sad, tragedy, and amazing point of view,.. don't worry, its a happy ending, and I just can say, their stroy is beatiful... T-T
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spikyhedgehog rated it
May 30, 2020
Status: Completed
The story is great despite the taboo-theme in it. The author was very strict to details. It's easy to imagine the characters' movements, unlike other novels where you have to read and re-read again just to grasp what the author's talking about. It didn't actually felt like reading a novel but seeing the scenes unfold right in front of you. The words the author used were personal and intimate. It was like reading a diary. Felt like a voyeur, actually. Haha The smut is explicit, tho it was not much.... more>> NSFW chapters were *chef's kiss. Last time I was these immersed in a story was reading Hako no Naka and Utsukushii Koto.


My only issue was some characters sprouted like mushrooms. Maybe it was because the story was meant to be a quick read so the author hadn't had the time to splay details on other characters. The story really centered on the brothers. Like Huang Fan who I think played a major role in the story. And Mr. Zhang who secretly liked the brothers' father. It was left untouched. And Liu Jia, the one who bullied Xu Zheng. And Xu Ping's time in prison, that changed him into an adult, was just mentioned in passing.

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Sarah_Jae18 rated it
May 29, 2020
Status: Completed

but it's not really trigger my tears... the brother had bunch of misfortunes on his life... one came after the other,

the little brother is lovely, he actually can think crearly as long as it was about his brother ʕ•ٹ•ʔ
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Happyface143 rated it
April 29, 2020
Status: Completed
I been on this site for about 4 years now and never written an review, I'm going to start doing this more often, but before I do, I needed to start with the novel. Idk how or why, but this is the novel that helped me find this site. While my ass was sick of Wattpad and Goodreads, I started to search on Google for some translated Japanese light novels. Idk how I got this novel from searching, but I did and also this amazing site.

Actual Novel review: Like I... more>> said above, I found this novel 4 years ago and haven't read it since, so I can admit my review may not be the most accurate, but I do remember being very interested in this novel and wonder wtf was going on. I don't think I liked the MC very much and the ML reminded me too much of "of mice and men" which if you seen or read it, you should know who I'm comparing him to. I going to give 4 stars cuz while I barley remember it, it had to be very interesting for me to finish the whole thing (Its very hard for me to finish novels) and I may be a little bias cuz without it, I wouldn't have know this site existed. I have a huge back log of novels rn, but one day I might reread this book and give an more insightful review. <<less
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Kumo723 rated it
January 26, 2020
Status: c9

So far so good. It managed to get me hooked. I sympathize with Xu Ping. He grew up with an almost uncaring father (Seriously, he didn't rlly seems to care about his oldest son's feelings), his brother who is mentally challenged which restricted him from doing a lot of things bc of his strict dad, and bullying. My little sister is a similar case but not as severe and my mom, boy, I live with jealousy and bitterness. My mom treated my sister will such care and pampering while I just have to suck it. My dad like to say that my mom's treatment of my sister is nothing like how she treated me. So I understand how Xu Ping felt with Xu Zheng and I admire him. He's protecting his brother and compromising with him is something I would never do. I would have just told him to f**k off.

Another thing is his dad. He's a little too unfair towards Xu Ping. Honesty he's pushing too much burden and blame on a 12 yr old boy. He's the dad he should be responsible for his younger son, not his own son. I get that he needed to work to feed them but his action is very selfish. He's being to harsh on Xu Ping

4 stars for now. I still need to read the whole story

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laurachisom rated it
September 30, 2019
Status: c43
I know this was a psychological book but I have an autistic sibling and this just hits too close to home. From my perspective this is just manipulative and evil - the relationship with his autistic brother. From my perspective it was just 🤢🤮🤮🤮
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helix1s rated it
September 16, 2019
Status: Completed
This is my first time reading a story of a disabled gong, the start is good the middle is heartwrenching and becoming more so as it progress at the end of the story.

I was thingking that as an author the story has 2 ways to go, a cheerful one and a gloomy one. This story also has potential to become a light, comedic and heartwarming but the author happens to choose a serious approach which evokes our melancholy sides.

If there's a chance to be remake I would really like it... more>> to read it again on a lighter note.

Personally I feel this one is too heavy for reader who doesnt really like sad story, you will be crying reading this. <<less
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