Graphic Novel Review: Guts by Raina Telgemeier


Publication Date: September 17, 2019

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Category: Middle Grade (MG)

Pages: 224

Publisher: Graphix


A true story from Raina Telgemeier, the #1 New York Times bestselling, multiple Eisner Award-winning author of SmileSistersDrama, and Ghosts!

Raina wakes up one night with a terrible upset stomach. Her mom has one, too, so it’s probably just a bug. Raina eventually returns to school, where she’s dealing with the usual highs and lows: friends, not-friends, and classmates who think the school year is just one long gross-out session. It soon becomes clear that Raina’s tummy trouble isn’t going away… and it coincides with her worries about food, school, and changing friendships. What’s going on? Raina Telgemeier once again brings us a thoughtful, charming, and funny true story about growing up and gathering the courage to face — and conquer — her fears.


I remember the moment I got the first two editions of this triology, Smile and Sisters, when I was nine years old. To make a long story short, I fell in love immediately, and I still re-read them every now and then to this day. On a recent trip to Barnes & Nobles, I finally got my hands on Guts, a highly-anticipated graphic novel for all of Telgemeier’s loyal fans–and let me tell you, it was all worth the wait! Guts is an absolute masterpiece!

At the beginning of this gem for tweens and teens, Raina (who is the author when she was in 4th grade), catches the stomach flu that had been spreading in her family. And when her stomach problems continue, she develops the fear of getting sick and throwing up (emetophobia) to the point where she is worried about catching something from her family and classmates. Eventually, her family signs her up to see a children’a therapist, and she progresses throughout the story learning how to face her fear while making new friends along the way.

Raina is such a quirky, fun, and relatable protagonist, so its not hard to take a liking to her character within the first few pages of the story. She seems like someone that I would’ve liked to be around back in elementary school. And believe me, having the protagonist be someone who I actually like as a person is critical to me when I read a novel for the first time.

While I thank God that I’m not a victim of anxiety, there are so many young people who struggle with their mental health, even if they fear something small like the dark or going to the doctor. Stories like Guts are not only relatable to a large range of audiences, but they also teach us that while fear is a normal feeling, we shouldn’t let the things that scare us take over our lives. And like any trial, fears can be conquered.

Like always, the vibrant illustrations on each page of this masterpiece illuminated the story, making it that much more entertaining for readers of all ages. Even though the topic of mental health among youth was discussed throughout the course of this story, the funny, light-hearted moments within the book didn’t fail to put a smile on my face.

Overall, Guts is a must-read for bookworms–and even non-bookworms–of all ages! I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it!

Rating: ★★★★✯ (4.5/5 stars, 5 being the best of the best)

Recommended Age: for readers 9+

I’ve got to admit that I am very pleased with Guts. It was one of the three books that I got for my birthday, earlier this week, and I’ve got to admit that I made some pretty good choices. Be on the look out for the book reviews for the other two novels of my choice; they’re coming soon!

If you haven’t read this book already, I hope my opinion will encourage you to give it a try! However, if you already have this book in your collection, tell me your thoughts on it in the comments!

Have a wonderful rest of your day/night, everybody! God bless you all and I’ll catch you later! Peace in! ♡

Book Review #3 – The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty

How are y’all doing, beautiful people? Fantabulous, I hope. Well, this might be old news to some of you, but a couple of weeks ago I listed a few books–both from my personal collection and borrowed from the library–that I’d started but just hadn’t finished yet. This story, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, happened to be one of them. But today, I was able to read the remaining 83 pages and finish it up. And WOW, I have a lot to talk about. So, let’s get started!

This book is all about 12-year-old Lucy Callahan, a girl who transferred to homeschooling when she was struck by lightning at the age of 8. The strike ended up destroying a small portion of her brain, then turning her into a total math genius. Despite her young age, she is a master of all things mathematics–so much so that she could already go to college. But, there’s one problem; her Nana, also her guardian, forces her to spend one year in middle school.

And all Nana asks is that Lucy does 1 year of public school, makes 1 friend, joins 1 activity, and reads 1 book. Ever since she was diagnosed with savant syndrome, she’s solved just about every problem that she’s faced with numbers. She was struck by lightning for goodness sakes! This should be nothing but a piece of cake, right? Wrong.

First of all, let me just say that this book is the epitome of a roller coaster. One minute, it has you laughing ’till your sides hurt and the next it has you on the verge of tears.

What really made this book almost impossible to put down was the realistic protagonist. Although Lucy is germaphobe with OCD who has to sit-stand 3 times every time she takes a seat–you’ll get it if you check out the book ;)–she is also a fantastic representation of how a lot of kids feel in school, whether elementary, middle or high. She feels like she doesn’t fit in. Like she’s out of step. When she first arrives to Hamlin Middle, she even purposefully gets test answers wrong so she can seem more “normal smart” rather than “genius smart.”

As Lucy faces her battles, or as the title implies, miscalculations, she goes on a journey of self-discovery and begins to find that life is more than numbers.

Self-confidence, peer pressure, bullying, animals in shelters who never get adopted, the power of friendship and family, as well as girl power are all topics hinted in the book, which I appreciate since a couple of those can seem a little bit overlooked in middle grade and YA literature.

In many ways, I saw myself in Lucy. We’re both super smart straight A students in middle school who have been homeschooled since 3rd grade and live with our grandmothers. To me, when a character is realistic and raw, not living in a fantasy world where trials and tribulations are nonexistent, I am automatically sucked into the story and I can connect with the protagonist much more.

Overall, if you are someone who loves animals and enjoys reading clean books with just enough humor to make you laugh but just enough emotion to pull your heartstrings, with a strong female lead, then this is definitely the book for you.

Age Recommendation: 9 or 10+

Overall Rating: 9/10 ★★★★★★★★★☆

This is a great read that I recommend for readers of most ages. If you’ve read or would like to read The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl or you have some (family-friendly) book recommendations, please feel free to comment them down below.

Thank you so much for reading, book lovers! Peace in! <33