Book Review: ‘Everywhere You Don’t Belong’ Is Good Debut Novel

A solid debut novel from author Gabriel Bump set in the South Side of Chicago.

This is the story of Claude McKay Love, a black child living on the south side of Chicago with his Grandmother after his parents split up. She is something else. She has a foul mouth and living with a gay guy named Paul. They do their best to instill in him that he will need to make his own way in life. He does the normal things kids do play basketball, meet girls and make friends.

As he grows he becomes aware of gang called the Redbelters in his neighborhood. She tells him to stay away from them. When gangs and the police square off it changes things in this neighborhood. Claude does the best he can along with his close friend Janice and his Gran and Paul. Heading off to college in Missouri he hopes to be able to leave the South Side behind once and for all but things don’t always work out that way.

Author Gabriel Bump has done a great job describing the place where Claude lives and the things he has to go through. There’s some funny lol moments and a strong story behind Claude, who even though it’s only February may be one of the best characters all year. Gabriel is someone to watch if he keeps writing novels like this.

You can pick up Everywhere You Don’t Belong in stores on Tuesday, February 4th from Algonquin Books.

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