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Immersive coming-of-age novel-in-verse exploring chronic invisible illness, LGBTQ+ themes and finding your voice
Selected for The Book Box by LoveReading4Kids
From the author of Fall Out, Gut Feelings is a powerful autobiographical novel-in-verse charting a boy’s life-changing operation at the age of eleven through to his hopeful young adulthood as a gay man. Sure to be enjoyed by fans of Sarah Crossan and Dean Atta’s The Black Flamingo, it’s both beautifully written and easy to read, with an impactful, unsentimental voice. There’s no self-pity here, despite the harrowing nature of what he endures.
Diagnosed with FAP (Familial adenomatous polyposis, a rare genetic condition in which a person develops precancerous polyps in the large intestine), Chris must have a total colectomy. His state of fear, isolation and loneliness is palpable as he describes the enemas and bedsores, and the morphine which evaporates his “maelstrom of fears, failures, social pressures”. Recovering in hospital, well-meaning visitors “have no idea what it’s like/To be confined to this prison, Bars lining the windows, Double glazing boxing me in - These familiar faces have/No idea how to reach me”. Then, once home, he feels abandoned: “The surgery has fixed me - I’m no longer worthy/Of attention and support.” And this isn’t the first time Chris has experienced adversity, for alongside the direct, detached exposition of his present-day existence, we learn of Chris’s troubled background - the father who had a debilitating stroke, the school peers who bullied him. Then, in time, through the darkest of days, comes a turning point when he realises that “Some will accept me, Some will reject me/But I must learn to love myself Because I am done with fitting in” and he shifts towards renewal and hope - “I’ll keep writing, Keep learning/Until I am/Free to embrace Who I am.”
Illuminating on living with chronic invisible illness, this story lingers long in the soul, and special mention must go to the book’s design and layout, with letters and words perfectly positioned as visual markers of emotional states.
Familial adenomatous polyposis is an inherited disorder characterised by the rapid growth of small, pre-cancerous polyps in the large intestines.
At school, I learned that words, 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.
|Publication date:||7th January 2021|
|Author:||C. G. Moore|
|Suitable for:||YA readers|
|Genres:||Family / Home Stories, Gritty Reads, Personal Social Health Economic , Poetry, Body / Health|
|Other Categories:||If They Like...They'll Love|
As an amateur baker and travel enthusiast, Chris loves cooking up a storm and exploring new places. He brings these skills to his writing concocting fiendish scenarios and exploring fictional worlds. His love of reading and of stories have seen him working upon numerous freelance marketing campaigns as well as providing insightful structural edits, copy-editing and proofreading services to improve manuscript development and accuracy. Chris is passionate about teaching and currently lectures on the MA in Publishing programme at the University of Central Lancashire. He has worked across a diverse range of publishing and marketing roles for companies ...More About C. G. Moore