Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Everywhere You Don't Belong: A Novel by Gabriel Bump

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

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.

my thoughts:

Everywhere You Don't Belong is amazing! What a fantastic story! I absolutely LOVED every minute I spent with this book. You definitely don't want to miss out on this must-read!

Claude is smart and sensitive and my new favorite character. He's grown up on the South Side of Chicago and been witness to violence, riots, abandonment, etc.; and now, he's ready to leave his hometown for something new, something different. He decides to head to Missouri for college.  He's hopeful and excited, but quickly comes to realize that he can't escape his hometown. Talk about a funny, heartfelt, and honest coming-of-age story. Such a great read!

Bump's writing is smart and engaging. His characters are such a treat to get to know. You can't help but be swept away and find yourself rooting for Claude. I just loved reading Everywhere You Don't Belong - what a great exploration of race, social justice, and the human condition.  I can't wait to read more of Bump's works!

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!


bermudaonion said...

It sounds like I need to get to know Claude.

Athira said...

I've been seeing this book around a bit and been meaning to check it out so I didn't know a whole lot about this book until I read your review. Sounds like this is a book well worth your time so I'm going to give it a shot.

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