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?
This book definitely needs a trigger warning for vomit. Guts and I did not get off to a good start because it began with throwing up. Ew. I powered through, though, and it was worth it.
I did like Guts because I definitely identified with it. I wish that I could have read it when I was younger. Like Raina, I have emetophobia (fear of vomit) and have since I was very young - younger than Raina was. Once, I had a stomach bug and refused to wear the outfit I had on when I came down with it. I was convinced that it had germs that would make me sick again. Also, like Raina in Guts, whenever anyone else had vomited, I stayed as far away as possible from them and was terrified that I would catch it. I've always felt like throwing up was an extremely weird thing to fear, mostly because of other people's reactions when I told them. According to the author's note in the back of the book, it's more common than I thought. Knowing that would have helped me out a little bit with my fear. I am happy to say that I handle it slightly better as an adult, but I don't think I'll ever lose my emetophobia. Overall, I think older kids will enjoy Guts, and I loved how the author handled the topic.