Guts book review

An influential comic book which empowers readers and breaks stereotypes


As a way to prevent every kind of food that has a chance of causing sickness, ten-year-old Raina Telgemeier avoids anything and anyone with such symptoms, but learns that not everything can be in one’s control and to be able to talk about these fears despite the burden she may feel; all portrayed perfectly in her very own work, Guts.

In Raina Telgemeier’s personal narrative, Guts, watches as Telgemeier learns to face her inner struggles and learn to talk about it, establishing a powerful message all readers can take away no matter their age.

Starting at the age of 10, Telgemeier grew afraid of vomiting, and that meant anybody who’d vomit, she’d try to distance herself from. Even if it meant sleeping outside for the night. This fear had such an effect on her, that foods which made anybody she knew sick, made her feel sick too. She would be in a panic state, and automatically feel the need to use the bathroom. She’s afraid to talk about how she feels, with the fear of sickness, but never physically sick, the teasing and bullying she experiences and anxiety.

Telgemeier’s parents decide to put her into therapy, which she is afraid of going to at first due to the stigmas surrounding mental health, but eventually feels a huge weight lifted off her chest.

The comic book is an excellent read. It breaks the stigmas around mental health and presents the impactful message that there is nothing wrong to discuss your personal struggles to a trusted adult. In addition, throughout her annoyance with the peer who always teases her, Telgemeier learns to always treat people with kindness as you never know what they’re going through.

Telgemeier did a phenomenal job of describing her struggles in the form of this well-illustrated, relatable comic book. Though not everyone’s fears stem from the fear of vomit, though it is very common, to bring awareness of the importance of mental health is admirable because in reality, everyone is going through something, and it shouldn’t hurt to talk about it.

With the comic book being 211 pages, Guts teaches the message that whether young or old, it is important to talk about how you feel, and to not keep everything in. It is portrayed in a way that is eye-catching and audiences of all ages could pick up this important message.

Guts by Raina Telgemeier, a companion to the #1 New York Times Bestseller Smile earns five out of five.