5 Jan 2023

We Can(ada) Read: GUTTER CHILD by Jael Richardson

We Can(ada) Read is by Canadians for EVERYONE to learn more about some amazing Canadian authors!


Author: Jael Richardson
Series: N/A
Source: Audiobook from Audible
Publisher: HarperAvenue
Publication Date: January 26, 2021

Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:
Representation: Black main character, Black love interest

Set in an imagined world in which the most vulnerable are forced to buy their freedom by working off their debt to society, Gutter Child uncovers a nation divided into the privileged Mainland and the policed Gutter. As part of a social experiment led by the Mainland government, Elimina Dubois is one of just one hundred babies taken from the Gutter and raised in the land of opportunity.

But when her Mainland mother dies, Elimina finds herself alone, a teenager forced into an unfamiliar life of servitude, unsure of who she is and where she belongs. Sent to an academy with new rules and expectations, Elimina befriends children who are making their own way through the Gutter System in whatever way they know how. But when her life takes yet another unexpected turn, Elimina will discover that what she needs more than anything may not be the freedom she longed for after all.

Gutter Child reveals one young woman’s journey through a fractured world of heartbreaking disadvantages and shocking injustices. As a modern heroine in an altered but all-too-recognizable reality, Elimina must find the strength within herself to forge her future in defiance of a system that tries to shape her destiny.
Amazon | Chapters | TBD
Content Warning: racism, forced pregnancy, taking away children, abusive relationships, toxic relationships

This book put me into a reading slump. The summary really intrigued me and I'm always so excited to give more attention to Canadian literature but this book tried to be a trilogy in 300 pages. There were too many areas that needed more details and nuanced to really hit the mark and it just didn't do that.

The characters ended up falling flat and becoming more and more one dimensional instead of more nuanced. A lot of typical tropes for characters and stories were thrown about to see what stuck best instead of incorporated in a way that would have made it more enjoyable.

Then it's split into three parts and each of those parts is way too short to get across a nuanced understanding of what was happening. I wanted more details, more time spent in the different places, and more of an understanding of what could have been versus what ended up happening. I just think it was too subtle in a lot of things and then very heavy handed at the end to try and put all the themes together.

Not sure if I recommend this one!

Are you going to pick this up?

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