Review: Sh!t Bag by Xena Knox

Title: Sh!t Bag

Author: Xena Knox

Pages: 362 Pages

Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group

The Blurb

‘Come along with me on this sh!tty ride or bail out now. It’s your choice . . .’

When Freya collapses and wakes up with a temporary ileostomy bag on her stomach, her dreams of the perfect summer go down the toilet. Instead of partying in the Algarve, she’s packed off to ‘Poo Camp’ – a place for kids with bowel disease to ‘bond’.

And things can only get worse. Someone has started calling her ‘Sh!t Bag’ . . . and it’s catching on.

Freya decides to live up to the nickname, raging at her friends, her ex and the world. Only her campmate Chris seems to see past her new attitude . . .

Can Freya get her sh!t together or will she end up with just her bag by her side?

A fresh, fierce and funny story about what happens when life literally goes to sh!t.

The Review

Representation matters.

Sh!t Bag is the story of a teenage girl who due to complications with ulcerative colitis had to get an ileostomy. Me. I’m that girl.

Okay, I’m not the protagonist of this story but like 1 in 300 people in the UK I have a stoma. However, in my lifetime I have only read 4 books where the character has a stoma and if I am honest 2 of them weren’t positive. Therefore, it is great to read a book that shows the positive impact having a stoma can have on a person’s quality of life.

Sh!t Bag focuses on Freya, a teenage girl who feels like her world has been turned upside down when she has to have emergency surgery to remove her diseased intestine. Every negative thought a person can have about having a stoma – she has x10. However, through the story Freya learns that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and she begins to see how empowering having a stoma can be and the positive impact on her lifestyle.

Honestly, Sh!t Bag was the book that I didn’t know I needed. Even though I am absolutely happy and content with my stoma (which by the way is called Paloma) it was amazing to read such a positive story and one that was so accurate in detail (loperamide, anyone?).

I am grateful to Xena Knox for writing this story.

Sh!t Bag by Xena Knox is available now.

For more information regarding Xena Knox (@XenaKnox) please visit he Instagram page.

For more information regarding Hachette Children’s Group (@HachetteKids) please visit

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