* I am reviewing this book which I was gifted for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. *
More than weapons,
Could destroy bodies,
Could break hearts
More than fists or fury.
This is the story of Chris, what happened to him at age eleven and how that would change the rest of his life. A life-affirming and powerful coming of age verse novel that shines a light on chronic illness, who we are and how we live.
After reading and loving Fall Out by C.G. Moore, I was really excited to read Gut Feelings when it was announced. Having read it in under 24 hours, I can say that Gut Feelings in a worthy successor to Fall Out and everyone should read a copy.
The word, “raw” gets thrown around a lot with books, and I would admit that I do it through, but there is something about Gut Feelings that know it was made for that word. After reading the first section, something inside of me was transported to his emotions at that moment. This rarely happens to me anymore, so when it did, I was shocked because it really took me off guard.
At this moment, I knew it was good.
When I say that the book was raw, I literally felt every moment come off the page. The verse is definitely his medium, and I allowed me to feel every emotion, even how hard it could be. His voice came off the page, and from that moment, I was in for the rest of the story. Listening to Chris talk at his book launch, I know that he wrote a lot of it really quickly, but you couldn’t tell at all. If anything, that made it better as it definitely came from a special place.
Even though this book can stand alone, it is heightened by the illustrations and some of the page’s choices. Everything from some places where the text blurs when he is going under anaesthetic, to different word placements of the page all came together to enhance the story.
Even with more YA books are being published featuring characters with disabilities, hidden disabilities are less common, and even though this is a true story, I hope this continues in the future. As someone who has a disability, all be in a physical one, I still connected to C. G’s progression with his disability and how he learns to accept it. Some of the poems did affect me, and this book will help so many people in the future.
As well as this, there is going to be greater awareness given to hidden disabilities and the discourse that happens when people are seen as able-bodied as they have invisible disabilities. If this can break down stigma and help others emphasise with their own conditions, then it is for the better.
As someone who did not know anything about Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), this book allowed me to learn more, and the condition and I hope that this book gets into the hands of everyone who needs it. C.G. writes about his condition so honestly and frankly and I am sure that so many people will connect with his words on a personal level. Even though I could connect with some elements, some people will need it so much more.
As it is a true story, it seems so weird to comment on those in the book, but I think by sharing his family’s story, C.G. will help so many people so thank you for writing it.
You can tell the love and care that uclanpublishing put into the book because the attention to detail and the small things make a world of difference. It shows that these are supported for books that focus on disabilities, mostly hidden ones.
This has further cemented C.G. Moore to be one of my favourites, and I can’t wait to read more of his books. He is definitely one to watch!
Gut Feelings is a raw and lyrical look at life with a disability that hits readers to the core. It is a must-read for all YA readers alike.