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Hello, again! Today I’ll be reviewing Gut Feelings by C.G. Moore. This own voices novel-in-verse explores how chronic illness can impact your education, relationships, love life and future in general.
I first heard about this book during the cover reveal at #athomeYALC last year. And then towards the end of 2020, C.G. Moore reached out to let me know that they were looking for some own voices chronic illness reviewers to read and review the book if I was interested so I entered and here we are!
Many thanks to C.G. Moore and UCLan Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
by C.G. Moore
Publisher: UCLan Publishing
Date of Publication: 14th January 2021
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Paperback (400 pages)
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.
Familial adenomatous polyposis
fa mIljal aedI na matas p la pousIs
An inherited disorder characterised by the rapid growth of small, pre-cancerous polyps in the large intestines.
• surgical procedures
• chronic illness and disability
• childhood cancer
Let’s start by saying the obvious: there’s not enough own voices disability representation in fiction. And even if there was a sudden influx, it’s unlikely that these would cover all the different types of disabilities and chronic illnesses nor would they represent all the experiences of those actually living with these conditions. It’s always a victorious moment when any writer is brave enough to share their own experiences in an attempt to raise awareness and help others feel seen. So first of all, a big round of applause to C.G. Moore for bringing this book into the world.
While my chronic illnesses are different to Chris’s in many ways, I was pleasantly surprised to see similarities that I didn’t expect. Some of these overlaps were physical – we’ve both had colonoscopies, suffered from adhesions and had nurses use us as pin cushions while they fail at taking blood. And others were more emotional – feelings of frustration, of not being worthy of love, of being a burden to the people we care about. Plus there’s that whole theme of invisible illnesses not being considered as ‘disabilities’ or worthy of being disabilities by society at large. Of being told by people close to you that you’re not disabled, even though you know that you are.
Some people will find this uncomfortable. Even I found it uncomfortable, at times. However, I thought it was wonderfully bold to be so open about issues that are unfortunately seen as taboo such as poo and gay sex. After all, we can only normalise these types of things by talking about them openly and often.
Another thing that I loved about Gut Feelings was the relationship between Chris and his ‘mam’. This relationship was incredibly moving throughout the entire book – even though there were some conflicts.
I struggled with the poetry format a little bit. Possibly because the story moves on quite quickly as it spans a substantial period of time. (It follows Chris from age 11 through to post-University life.) I enjoyed that it covered a wide timeframe but sometimes it wasn’t entirely clear if we were still at a certain age or if we’d moved on.
Overall, I really enjoyed this and do recommend it to anyone looking for disability representation especially own voices.
- Own Voices for disability/chronic illness and LGBTQIA+
- YA that covers pre-adolescence, adolescence and adulthood
- Candid exploration of what it means to be chronically ill
Read This If You…
- Enjoy novels-in-verse
- Want to learn more about disabilities – especially invisible ones
- Have a disability or chronic illness and want to see more representation in fiction
- Want to read more own voices books
Thanks again to C.G. Moore and the publishers for sending me a copy of Gut Feelings. And thanks to you for stopping by to read my review! Gut Feelings is out now wherever you can buy books so if I’ve piqued your interest, please do grab a copy.
Will you be reading Gut Feelings? Let me know in the comments below.