Happy Monday lovelies! We would like to welcome you all to our stop on the Everywhere You Don’t Belong paperback release blog tour. We would also like to give a big shout out and thank you to Algonquin YA for providing us with our copies in exchange for an honest review!
In this alternately witty and heartbreaking debut novel, Gabriel Bump gives us an unforgettable protagonist, Claude McKay Love. Claude isn’t dangerous or brilliant—he’s an average kid coping with abandonment, violence, riots, failed love, and societal pressures as he steers his way past the signposts of youth: childhood friendships, basketball tryouts, first love, first heartbreak, picking a college, moving away from home.
Claude just wants a place where he can fit. As a young black man born on the South Side of Chicago, he is raised by his civil rights–era grandmother, who tries to shape him into a principled actor for change; yet when riots consume his neighborhood, he hesitates to take sides, unwilling to let race define his life. He decides to escape Chicago for another place, to go to college, to find a new identity, to leave the pressure cooker of his hometown behind. But as he discovers, he cannot; there is no safe haven for a young black man in this time and place called America.
Percolating with fierceness and originality, attuned to the ironies inherent in our twenty-first-century landscape, Everywhere You Don’t Belong marks the arrival of a brilliant young talent.
This book is a coming of age story set in South Shore Chicago. And the thing that drew us into wanting to read this book was the fact that it tackled important issues on racial injustices with a slew of diverse characters.
Claude McKay Love was abandoned by his parents at the age of five and spent the rest of his childhood being raised by his activist grandmother, who we were quite fond of, and her friend Paul.
Throughout this book we are on a journey with Claude as he tries to find his footing in this world. While he navigates through high school and on to college and gains an understanding of what it means to be black in America.
While this book is short (under 300 pages) and reads fairly quickly, we felt it was a bit disjointed. There are some parts where we couldn’t figure out the point of it being mentioned. Some characters were introduced, never to be brought up again. So we both wished that was all tied together in a more cohesive manner.
With that being said, this book does not shy away from tackling the issues of race, identity, family, friendship, and love. It is definitely a book that we would recommend to those looking for a good YA coming of age book.
Title: Everywhere You Don’t Belong
Author: Gabriel Bump
Publication Date: Paperback release January 12, 2021
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Coming of Age
Thank you again to Algonquin YA for providing us copies for review! And as always, thank you all for stopping by our blog and supporting us!