Gabi, a Girl in Pieces
Named to Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014Named to School Library Journal Best Books of 2014Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy's pregnancy, Sebastian's coming out, the cute boys, her father's meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.July 24My mother named me Gabriella, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn't want to meet me when I was born because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her. BEAT HER! She was twenty-five. That story is the basis of my sexual education and has reiterated why it's important to wait until you're married to give it up. So now, every time I go out with a guy, my mom says, "Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas." Eyes open, legs closed. That's as far as the birds and the bees talk has gone. And I don't mind it. I don't necessarily agree with that whole wait until you're married crap, though. I mean, this is America and the 21st century; not Mexico one hundred years ago. But, of course, I can't tell my mom that because she will think I'm bad. Or worse: trying to be White.Isabel Quintero is a library technician in the Inland Empire. She is also the events coordinator for Orange Monkey and helps edit the poetry journal Tin Cannon. Gabi is her debut novel.

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces Details

TitleGabi, a Girl in Pieces
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 14th, 2014
PublisherCinco Puntos Press
ISBN-139781935955955
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Realistic Fiction, Fiction, Contemporary, Poetry, Teen

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces Review

  • Pamela
    January 1, 1970
    I booktalked this to a teen who came to my Hot Cocoa and Book Chat program last week, and she said, "Wow. That's, like, my life."BINGO. We have a winner.Gabi, A Girl in Pieces isn't going to make the Goodreads Fangirl Cover Squeal List. Or is it Cover Lust? I don't know, except that it usually involves a lot of frantic gifs that make my eyes want to die. It's kind of a messy cover, because (dude, watch out, metaphor coming!!!) life is messy. Gabriella Hernandez's life is super messy. Her dad's a I booktalked this to a teen who came to my Hot Cocoa and Book Chat program last week, and she said, "Wow. That's, like, my life."BINGO. We have a winner.Gabi, A Girl in Pieces isn't going to make the Goodreads Fangirl Cover Squeal List. Or is it Cover Lust? I don't know, except that it usually involves a lot of frantic gifs that make my eyes want to die. It's kind of a messy cover, because (dude, watch out, metaphor coming!!!) life is messy. Gabriella Hernandez's life is super messy. Her dad's addicted to meth, her tía Bertha has embraced a strict religion to atone for her younger years of riding in cars with boys and possibly being a witch, and her best friend, Cindy, just told Gabi that she's pregnant. Oh, and Gabi's other best friend, Sebastian, came out as gay, which shocked precisely zero of his friends but got him kicked out of his own house. Plus, Gabi's never been kissed, never had sex, and has a crazy obsession with beef jerky. All these points relate to her "fatness." Gabi describes herself as fat, but really without any malice. It's an adjective: "I am fat," just like "I am tall" or "I am flexible." Yeah, so she does eat her feelings, but the girl also loves some most excellent Mexican food (like, the legit stuff made out of tongues and hooves and stuff) and takes joy in the simple act of eating. I never, not once, got from the author that Gabi was "bad" for loving food, or that she was unlovable for being fat. Girlfriend had dudes falling all over her, probably because she's smart and funny. We don't really know exactly what Gabi looks like except that her skin is pretty pale, so much so that her "Mexicanness" is questioned. Even her family worries that she's becoming too gringa. Ay. But none of that matters, because Gabi is also a kick-butt poet and all around creative volcano of awesome.Gabi, A Girl in Pieces follows Gabi's life through her pretty epic senior year of high school. There's babies, death, more babies, boyfriend drama, rape, and lots and lots and lots of slut-shaming, with Gabi fighting back against cultural and societal stigmas. Her family always tells her, "Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas" ("Eyes open, legs shut.") because obviously girls who get raped or get pregnant were "asking for it." Gabi's 'zine, which appears near the end of the book, is her riff on the female body. She points out how all of the female body parts have been objectified or labeled as "dirty," when really they're just parts of our body and not inherently bad. This book is an experience that you need to have. Like, right now. Preferably, you've already read it and realized how unbelievably awesome it is. If not, run, don't walk (and if you can't run, drive or take some sort of public transportation--but for the love of Cthulhu please don't hitchhike!) to your closest library or bookstore and GET THIS BOOK. Then, when you have it between your trembling, eager fingers, READ THIS BOOK. Then, like me, you will probably have to ORDER MEXICAN FOOD (note: do this only if you've got a taquería auténtica in your city--Taco Bell is no bueno and also will make your intestines fall out). If #WeNeedDiverseBooks needs a book mascot, this is pretty much it for YA literature. I kind of wish I were an octopus with opposable thumbs because then I could give this eight thumbs up. Two will have to suffice. Also, I now have to try Flamin' Hot Cheetos with Tapatío sauce ... because that just sounds amazing.
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  • Monica
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book for a high school aged girls book club. In the beginning I wondered if I would even finish it. As shown by my rating, I absolutely loved this book! By around page 80 I was completely hooked and couldn't put it down. It seemed overly dramatic from what I remember my teenage years to be. But maybe I have forgotten? Maybe the world isn't that different? The blunt honesty was very refreshing, especially from a Mexican-American girl, and makes a great conversation starter for a wide I read this book for a high school aged girls book club. In the beginning I wondered if I would even finish it. As shown by my rating, I absolutely loved this book! By around page 80 I was completely hooked and couldn't put it down. It seemed overly dramatic from what I remember my teenage years to be. But maybe I have forgotten? Maybe the world isn't that different? The blunt honesty was very refreshing, especially from a Mexican-American girl, and makes a great conversation starter for a wide range of topics: abortion, race, drugs, sex, grief. I highly recommend for teens and parents of said teens! This is an eye-opener!
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  • Charlie Radin
    January 1, 1970
    This is absolutely true diary of a part time Indian, for Mexican American girls. It's more than a little over the top: pregnant best friend, pregnant mom, meth head dad, etc, but it's timely, important, and has so much girl power! Gabi is hard not to love and the book calls out stuff that needs calling out: that girls are slutty and boys can't help it, girls need husbands, slut shaming, violence against women, etc. I'm not ready to call it one of the best of the year, but it's one of the most im This is absolutely true diary of a part time Indian, for Mexican American girls. It's more than a little over the top: pregnant best friend, pregnant mom, meth head dad, etc, but it's timely, important, and has so much girl power! Gabi is hard not to love and the book calls out stuff that needs calling out: that girls are slutty and boys can't help it, girls need husbands, slut shaming, violence against women, etc. I'm not ready to call it one of the best of the year, but it's one of the most important.
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  • Tatiana
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 starsI see why it received some critical acclaim and awards. The novel gets points for many things - diversity (the MC is Mexican, "fat," with a meth head father, pregnant girlfriend and a gay guy friend and is a poet, of course), it takes a feminist (teen feminist that is) stance on every issue under the sun - weight, sexuality, pregnancy, rape, religion, dating, education, etc., etc. But as a novel it's just not that great. Definitely not subtle in any way.
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  • Book Riot Community
    January 1, 1970
    I read 20 books this month–including Between the World and Me, The Book of Unknown Americans, Everything I Never Told You–so rather than driving myself insane trying to pick the best/favorite I went with the one I wanted to hug immediately after I finished reading it. Super scientific, I know. But after watching Gabi navigate through her senior year of high school, her dad’s drug addiction, a friend’s coming out, a friend’s pregnancy, dating… I’m left wanting not only to befriend this smart, wit I read 20 books this month–including Between the World and Me, The Book of Unknown Americans, Everything I Never Told You–so rather than driving myself insane trying to pick the best/favorite I went with the one I wanted to hug immediately after I finished reading it. Super scientific, I know. But after watching Gabi navigate through her senior year of high school, her dad’s drug addiction, a friend’s coming out, a friend’s pregnancy, dating… I’m left wanting not only to befriend this smart, witty, unique and amazing character but I’d also like to meet her again in her twenties, thirties, forties—basically every decade of her life. I loved every single thing about this book and would have no qualms about running up to strangers and tossing copies at them shouting “And you get a fantastic book!” — Jamie Canavesfrom The Best Books We Read In August: http://bookriot.com/2015/08/31/riot-r...
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  • destiny ☠ howling libraries
    January 1, 1970
    Assigned reading for MLIS 7421: Multicultural Youth Literature.Gabi is the kind of story that really took me by surprise; I don't know what I was expecting, but it was not this incredibly body-positive, sex-positive, feminist, heartwarming, gut-punch of a coming-of-age story. There is so much important content packed into such a quick read, which I couldn't help but appreciate, even if I didn't love all of the executions: 1. Fat rep: I have no idea if this rep is own-voice, but it felt authentic Assigned reading for MLIS 7421: Multicultural Youth Literature.Gabi is the kind of story that really took me by surprise; I don't know what I was expecting, but it was not this incredibly body-positive, sex-positive, feminist, heartwarming, gut-punch of a coming-of-age story. There is so much important content packed into such a quick read, which I couldn't help but appreciate, even if I didn't love all of the executions: 1. Fat rep: I have no idea if this rep is own-voice, but it felt authentic enough. She suffers constant shaming from her mother, aunt, and classmates, and lives in fear of her own skin. Did it feel honest? Yeah, absolutely - as a plus-size woman, I related so hard to everything and anything she said about her body. Was it healthy? No, not always. Gabi shows serious symptoms for an eating disorder with the extent that she takes her emotional eating to, but it's never addressed openly - it feels very swept under the rug, when her relationship with food is not healthy, nor does it automatically come with the territory of being fat. 2. Gay rep: Gabi's best friend Sebastian comes out at the beginning of the book, and we go through a bit of his struggles with his family coming to terms with his sexuality as he is actually kicked out of his home and moves in with Gabi for a little while, early in the book. I loved the rep for the first half of the book, but once it hit around the halfway mark, he became a background character who was almost never on screen unless it was to talk about sex or his boyfriend. I was just kind of bummed to see him reduced to what felt like a token character by the end.3. Slut-shaming & teen pregnancy: There is a lot of slut-shaming or sex negativity throughout this book, from the very first page to the end of the story. This was actually the aspect that I thought was handled most efficiently, as we watch Gabi comes to terms with herself as a sexual being, and from the beginning, she has no tolerance for the viewpoint that any sexually active teen girl is immediately "trash", as many of the side characters seem to believe. This was, hands down, my favorite aspect of the book. There's even an abortion at one point during the story, which the character is never shamed for, and I appreciated seeing that in a YA novel, because it's a real, honest part of life that people need to stop putting such a heavy taboo upon.4. Drug addiction: Gabi's father is a meth addict, and while we don't see a lot of his character, or what brought him to this point, we do get to view the whole dynamic from Gabi's point of view and watch her mourn the fact that she's basically watching her father waste away and become a stranger. It's totally heartbreaking.5. Suicide: Major trigger warnings, there is a suicide in this book, and it's a pretty big point of the second half or so of Gabi's story. It's never known if it is intentional or accidental, but it's hard to read and comes out of left field. I was listening to the audiobook while cleaning when it hit the point at which the person's body is found, and I literally had to stop and just absorb the blow for a few minutes because it is so sudden and heartbreaking. I think it's handled really well, though, especially when Gabi decides to write letters to the deceased character, telling them how much she misses and loves them, and that she will remember the good times. This, too, was one of the most gorgeous facets to Gabi.6. Race: I'm not a Latinx woman, so I can't speak to this rep, but I loved reading it. I enjoyed how casual the use of Spanish was, without the author feeling the need to translate or explain (and thereby "other" the characters speaking it). I loved the descriptions of the delicious foods, and the culture, even when the topics were a bit more painful in that aspect.7. Rape: There is a rape in this book that occurs off-screen. I had a feeling it was coming from the beginning of the book, but it still hurt my heart when it was revealed. I thought it was handled pretty well - Gabi actually attacks the rapist and outs the victim publicly, without consent, and it's addressed in a way that forces Gabi to recognize that it wasn't her story to tell, and she betrayed the trust of a loved one. I thought this was such an important detail to add, and really appreciated it.All in all, when it came to tough topics, this story was full of them, and it executed most of them well; however, the problem I faced was that there was so much happening in such a short span of pages that each issue felt glossed over very quickly, for the most part. I think the book would have benefited from either another 50 pages, or one less talking point, just so we could've fleshed each facet out a bit better. That said, it was definitely an enjoyable (and quick!) read, and if you do pick this up (which I totally recommend, if it interests you!), I strongly suggest the audio format, as the narrator is a delight.
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  • Eilonwy
    January 1, 1970
    Maybe 3-1/2 stars, rounded down. A detailed review will follow. I really enjoyed Gabi's voice -- she's fresh and funny and very much a real kid. And I really loved the author's eagerness to normalize what people feel and to encourage kids to seek to be authentic and honest with themselves. But at the same time, there was so much going on (body image! pregnancy and motherhood! abortion! gayness! drug addiction! lust! etc.) that none of it got explored very deeply. And by the end, it all felt just Maybe 3-1/2 stars, rounded down. A detailed review will follow. I really enjoyed Gabi's voice -- she's fresh and funny and very much a real kid. And I really loved the author's eagerness to normalize what people feel and to encourage kids to seek to be authentic and honest with themselves. But at the same time, there was so much going on (body image! pregnancy and motherhood! abortion! gayness! drug addiction! lust! etc.) that none of it got explored very deeply. And by the end, it all felt just a bit preachy. (Although I know I was at my own Apex of Preachiness as a teen, so that's pretty genuine! And it's also why I can hardly bear to look at my own diaries from then.)Overall, I really enjoyed this book, but it just hasn't quite got that extra something that would kick it up to four stars. I especially disliked the way the topic of rape was handled, so that knocks a star off my rating. But I definitely recommend this book if you enjoy YA contemporary.
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  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my gosh, outstanding, especially the second half. Wasn't there some sort of question about best YA boyfriend last year? Because Martin is the best YA boyfriend of all time. All the others can give up and go home.
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    This book is FANTASTIC. Written as a diary of a single year -- senior year -- of high school, Quintero's novel focuses on what Gabi goes through on a near-daily basis when it comes to family, friends, boys, her future, and more. Gabi's voice is fresh and funny, even amid the exceptionally tough things going on in her life. Her father's a drug addict, her best friend is pregnant, and her best guy friend just came out to her, causing his life to spin out of control because he was kicked out of his This book is FANTASTIC. Written as a diary of a single year -- senior year -- of high school, Quintero's novel focuses on what Gabi goes through on a near-daily basis when it comes to family, friends, boys, her future, and more. Gabi's voice is fresh and funny, even amid the exceptionally tough things going on in her life. Her father's a drug addict, her best friend is pregnant, and her best guy friend just came out to her, causing his life to spin out of control because he was kicked out of his home. In the midst of the chaos, Gabi is interested in finding the right boyfriend and she loves the new-found excitement in kissing boys. There are ups and downs with the relationships, but they're awkward and amusing, rendered in a way that's absolutely 17/18-year-old teen girl. In so many ways, this element of the story and the voice more broadly reminded me of Amy Spalding's KISSING TED CALLAHAN and boy would these two books make great read alikes.What I loved most about this is that the diary style worked. It worked because it was Gabi telling us what happened after the fact, and rather than have to react in the moment, she has to face how she DID react and reflect upon whether it was the right move or not. (view spoiler)[ There is a scene where, when Gabi finds out her best friend was raped and she confronts the rapist physically, her diary entry isn't entirely about why she did it, but rather, the oh-shit consequences of doing it, both for herself and for her best friend. (hide spoiler)]Gabi is a FAT GIRL in this book, and the way the fat girl story line is worked into the book is so honest and rewarding. Gabi does struggle with her weight and she's honest about her body and her perceptions of her body, as well as the things other people tell her about her body. But it's not all doom and gloom. Gabi loves to eat and she's not ashamed of being a person who loves to eat (she sneaks stuff because of other people's beliefs about her weight and body). More, though, Gabi isn't self-deprecating and doesn't believe a weight loss fundamentally changes her. In fact, there's no weight loss in here at all. Gabi comes to own who she is AS she is and says that nothing else matters in terms of other people's perspectives about it. It's wholly refreshing.Likewise, I thought the way Gabi's exploration of sexuality happened was true to her, true to the story, and true to teenagers, period. It's funny and awkward, and it's something she thinks about all the time. My favorite part, though, was how empowered Gabi was at the beginning and how much more empowered she became in the end because she recognized that power within her. I love how female-centric this novel is and how much Gabi prides herself on being there for her friends, even when things in her own life are upended. (view spoiler)[ That her worst enemy admitted to being pregnant and asked her to accompany her to an abortion is hugely telling of Gabi and how she handles herself and her relationships. (hide spoiler)]We so, so rarely see a Mexican American girl as the focal point of a story, let alone the person who has complete control over the telling of the story. It's even more rare to see a Mexican American girl get to tell a story about a year in her life in a diary. I love this book, I love this character, and I cannot wait to see what Quintero writes next.
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  • Licha
    January 1, 1970
    I lost my notes for this review. I really liked this book about a Mexican-American teen writing about her last year of high school. It's written diary-style. There's a lot going on in this book, and many people complained about this in their reviews, but isn't life full of issues and problems and we learn to handle it all? Gabi's dad is a meth addict, her mom doesn't trust her, her best friend Cindy is pregnant, her other best friend Sebastian has been kicked out of his house for coming out to h I lost my notes for this review. I really liked this book about a Mexican-American teen writing about her last year of high school. It's written diary-style. There's a lot going on in this book, and many people complained about this in their reviews, but isn't life full of issues and problems and we learn to handle it all? Gabi's dad is a meth addict, her mom doesn't trust her, her best friend Cindy is pregnant, her other best friend Sebastian has been kicked out of his house for coming out to his dad. Add to these problems, Gabi is facing her own insecurities about her body, dealing with boyfriends, and trying to get into college. It all felt very realistic and true to what a teenager would be going through. I'm not a big fan of poetry, mostly because it tries to be so obscure. There's quite a bit of poetry going on in this book, but I actually enjoyed it, even writing down one piece Gabi wrote about her grandfather that brought me to tears. It made me want to take a stab at writing some of my own.I've been reading quite a few books about Mexican-American girls and have loved that this group is being represented in such a wonderful light. I would have loved to have these type of books as I was growing up.
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  • lucy black
    January 1, 1970
    Not what I thought it would be like at all. I was expecting this to be grittier and more mature. Told in diary format 17/18 year old Gabi often sounds more 13/14 and at times her chatty tone really got on my nerves. I liked that topics explored- sexuality, class, drug use, queerdom, pregnancy.. but I felt like the author was ticking teen drama boxes and it would have been better to just pick one or two and go more in depth. Gabi talks about loving her city but I didn't get any real feel for the Not what I thought it would be like at all. I was expecting this to be grittier and more mature. Told in diary format 17/18 year old Gabi often sounds more 13/14 and at times her chatty tone really got on my nerves. I liked that topics explored- sexuality, class, drug use, queerdom, pregnancy.. but I felt like the author was ticking teen drama boxes and it would have been better to just pick one or two and go more in depth. Gabi talks about loving her city but I didn't get any real feel for the place, similarly she 'loves' her friends but there isn't much dialogue etc cos of the diary format so it is hard to feel her relationships are sincere. In saying all that, I did want to finish it and there were parts I really liked. I liked that it included a zine, I liked her courage and her belief in her right to be fat and her right to be a woman even though she had so many crappy messages from those around her. I would recommend 'Manstealing for Fat Girls' by Michelle Embree
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  • Abby Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, I just loved this book. I feel like my colleagues at work are probably sick of me going on about how good it is. And Thank Goodness for people like Kelly Jensen and awards like the Morris Award or else I probably would not have picked up this book and I would be missing out. Gabi's voice is SO REALISTIC. I truly felt like I could have been reading the actual diary of a 17-year-old girl. And even though I have nothing in common with Gabi culturally or even the experiences that she goes thro Okay, I just loved this book. I feel like my colleagues at work are probably sick of me going on about how good it is. And Thank Goodness for people like Kelly Jensen and awards like the Morris Award or else I probably would not have picked up this book and I would be missing out. Gabi's voice is SO REALISTIC. I truly felt like I could have been reading the actual diary of a 17-year-old girl. And even though I have nothing in common with Gabi culturally or even the experiences that she goes through, 17-year-old me would have strongly identified with her. I would hand this to teens who love diary stories and real characters that they can root for, and anyone who loves the honesty of Anne Frank's diary because even though this is a fictional story, the truths about life and love and hard times come through beautifully.
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  • E. Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    What's not to love about GABI, A GIRL IN PIECES? Not much that I can think of. This new book by Isabel Quintero is sassy, funny, heart-felt, heartbreaking, hearwarming, and unputdownable. I love Gabi Hernandez, the protagonist, not for her self-deprecating humor, but for her willingness to grow past it. I loved her honesty, as she struggles with some pretty tough stuff, from being the "fat girl" to her best friend's unwanted pregnancy to her dad being a meth addict. It's not that she takes it in What's not to love about GABI, A GIRL IN PIECES? Not much that I can think of. This new book by Isabel Quintero is sassy, funny, heart-felt, heartbreaking, hearwarming, and unputdownable. I love Gabi Hernandez, the protagonist, not for her self-deprecating humor, but for her willingness to grow past it. I loved her honesty, as she struggles with some pretty tough stuff, from being the "fat girl" to her best friend's unwanted pregnancy to her dad being a meth addict. It's not that she takes it in stride, but that she takes it, and survives it, and does it in style.Gabi Hernandez is starting her senior year with a lot on her plate. Aside from the aforementioned drama, one of her besties has just come out to his family is gay, and he's been kicked out of his house. She's trying to figure out how to find a guy to kiss, and as soon as she gets someone to like her, he turns out to be kind of a weirdo. And while she's kicking butt in her poetry class, that class is forcing her to confront her issues with her family. Her mom is never shy about telling Gabi to drop a few pounds, which means shopping for a prom dress sounds like the absolute worst. Plus, if she flunks Algebra II again, her chances of getting into her dream school -- Berkley -- are down the drain.With a voice that is reminiscent of A.S. King and Hannah Moskowitz, written in journal format and sprinkled with Gabi's poetry, this is definitely the kind of book that fans of fearless, "edgy" YA will devour.
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  • Caroline
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsWhen I read glowing reviews of a book, my expectations are super high. And I read a few reviews of Gabi, a Girl in Pieces from teenlibrariantoolbox.com and the interviews with the author on YALSA's The Hub. I was interested and really hoping that this book would deliver. And it did! While I didn't love Gabi, a Girl in Pieces to pieces (har har), I did really appreciate this book. Normally, me appreciating a book doesn't really warrant 5 stars, but this book feels like a 21st century mix 4.5 starsWhen I read glowing reviews of a book, my expectations are super high. And I read a few reviews of Gabi, a Girl in Pieces from teenlibrariantoolbox.com and the interviews with the author on YALSA's The Hub. I was interested and really hoping that this book would deliver. And it did! While I didn't love Gabi, a Girl in Pieces to pieces (har har), I did really appreciate this book. Normally, me appreciating a book doesn't really warrant 5 stars, but this book feels like a 21st century mix of Judy Blume's Are You There God, It's Me Margaret? and Forever. The issues Gabi faces (sex, drug addiction, coming out, puberty, unplanned pregnancy) are real and handled in a way that feels authentic. Gabi is no fallen woman or some teen horror story written to show teens what not to do. Gabi is just a girl who faces very real problems and discovers that she had the strength inside her to overcome it. And, my goodness, she faced so many problems. There's so much I really appreciated about this book. I liked that Gabi was a fat girl. I liked that she didn't abide slut shaming. I liked that she is able to balance family life, friendships, and romance. I liked that there was a romance but it most definitely was not the focus of the book. My only complaint is that the dialogue/Gabi's inner monologue sounds preachy. And while I agree with what the author/Gabi is preaching (example: the saying "boys will be boys" is really terrible and boys should be held accountable), I don't think teens enjoy being preached at.If I were a teen, I would've loved this book. The teen in me recognizes that Gabi is a female character that I could really look up to and I wish that there had been a character like Gabi when I was growing up.
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  • Yamna Rashid
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. Honestly, I didn't expect to love this book when I first started it. Somehow, Gabi irritated me in the start; she was whiny, she kept saying she needed to lose weight but she kept eating too much. It was kind of annoying. But then, Gabi started talking about her daily life and, finally, I felt a connection with her. This book is about a Mexican-American girl going through the daily notions of life while dealing with a gay best friend, a pregnant best friend, awful bullies in her school as w Wow. Honestly, I didn't expect to love this book when I first started it. Somehow, Gabi irritated me in the start; she was whiny, she kept saying she needed to lose weight but she kept eating too much. It was kind of annoying. But then, Gabi started talking about her daily life and, finally, I felt a connection with her. This book is about a Mexican-American girl going through the daily notions of life while dealing with a gay best friend, a pregnant best friend, awful bullies in her school as well as her mother's over controlling nature. It's an interesting story if you like to learn more about Mexican culture. One criticism I do have is the author's use of Spanish. For someone like me, who has never been near any Spanish speaking person in their entire life, it is quite irritating to read words in another language. Look, I am all about adding your mother-tongue here and there but the author should at least translate what her characters said in the next line or paragraph. It's like she expects every reader is fluent in Spanish. It's like if I started speaking Urdu in my reviews and expecting people to understand what I said. Anyway, generally, this book is really good. I loved the drawings included in the middle of the book as an added bonus. They were awesome. I will end with how Gabi ended her story: Seeing my beautiful crazy and colorful all-American family sit together at a slightly sticky table in one of the best hot wing restaurant in all the land, in a rundown shopping strip, made me feel like everything was at it should be, and that all the things that I am worried about are gonna be alright. And if anyone has trouble understanding that, well, they can kiss my ass
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  • Naz (Read Diverse Books)
    January 1, 1970
    I have lots of thoughts on this book. Most of them positive, but also had a few problems. Will try to write up a review in the next few days.
  • Bina
    January 1, 1970
    Review originally published on my bloghttps://ifyoucanreadthis.wordpress.com/Gabi has a lot on her plate. It’s her last year of high school but apart from classes and college applications, she also has to deal with a father who is fighting a losing battle with meth addiction, her friend Cindy getting pregnant (as a result of date rape, we learn later), her other best friend Sebastian coming out, as well as exploring her own sexuality and first relationships.Isabel Quintero’s first novel Gabi, A Review originally published on my bloghttps://ifyoucanreadthis.wordpress.com/Gabi has a lot on her plate. It’s her last year of high school but apart from classes and college applications, she also has to deal with a father who is fighting a losing battle with meth addiction, her friend Cindy getting pregnant (as a result of date rape, we learn later), her other best friend Sebastian coming out, as well as exploring her own sexuality and first relationships.Isabel Quintero’s first novel Gabi, A Girl in Pieces, published byCincoPuntoPress, is a tour-de-force. The good thing about being blissfully ignorant about new releases and a lot of hype before joining twitter is that I mostly missed all the excitement and picked up this book only now because I vaguely remembered someone saying it was good and it being LatinX Heritage Month. So I got to skirt the overblown expectations trap, yay, but am totally doing this to you now with this review. #sorrynotsorryIf you’re into intersectional feminism (you better be!), then this book will make you want to get out your highlighters. Let me quote this section, which everyone else is apparently also quoting (google told me, but still thanks for the easy c&p)):"My mother named me Gabriella, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn’t want to meet me when I was born because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her. BEAT HER! She was twenty-five. That story is the basis of my sexual education and has reiterated why it’s important to wait until you’re married to give it up. So now, every time I go out with a guy, my mom says, “Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas.” Eyes open, legs closed. That’s as far as the birds and the bees talk has gone. And I don’t mind it. I don’t necessarily agree with that whole wait until you’re married crap, though. I mean, this is America and the 21st century; not Mexico one hundred years ago. But, of course, I can’t tell my mom that because she will think I’m bad. Or worse: trying to be White."This excerpt really concisely introduces all the issues Quintero adresses in the novel and also drives home the point that Gabi lives at a very specific intersection of gender, race and ethnicity. So the novel explores one culture’s version of the double-standard, that of patriarchal machismo Mexican-American dichotomy of the virgen/puta. And Gabi has to realize that many women in her community have internalized this toxicity and police other women’s behavior and expression of sexuality (as they tend to, don’t get me started on this issue), her mother among them:“for my mother, a woman’s whole value is what’s between her legs. And once a man has access to that, she has no more value.”Part of this patriarchal view is also the refusal to accept homosexuality and Gabi’s friend Sebastian is thrown out by his parents when he comes out. On the other side of the coin we have the boys will be boys mentality, about which Gabi writes a scathing poem.Gabi is furthermore not marked Mexican-American by her skin color, instead she is so light-skinned she can pass as white but as a result has to deal with feeling alienated at times. Since I basically have the opposite problem, this was an interesting change in perspective.The book also shows Gabi’s acceptance when it comes to her body and she moves from regarding herself as a “fatgirl” to acceptance. There’s a terrible lack of “fativism” in books and hopefully this will change in coming years, but it’s another reason why I hope Gabi will be read and taught widely, so these young women will see themselves represented too.I also loved was watching Gabi coming into her own as a poet, apart from the diary style of the novel, we also get to read Gabi’s poetry and her attempts at spoken word. Poetry is how Gabi finds a way to express and empower herself. Her words are sharp and to the point and you’ll want to pick up a poetry collection immediately after finishing this book (I’ll be gushing about one particular, exciting collection later this week, stay tuned!).The language use is wonderfully done as well, I’m glad there’s no glossary and hardly any translations. Quintero makes me work for it and I gladly got out my rusty Spanish for beginners knowledge, and between knowing other romance language and guessing from context…no excuses people! I’m sure LatinX will love this book and the intermingling of English and Spanish…Spanglish? And us other readers do well to remember to work on our privilege.It’s amazing that this is a first novel. It’s a book that will be taught in high schools and colleges everywhere!
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    I loved reading Gabi's journal (even though I wished there had been more in-person conversations.) I also loved that she was unapologetic in her love of food:I am going to have a grilled cheese sandwich and think about this precarious situationI came back to my room to think. I sat munching on some Hot Cheetos with lemon and Tapatio and a bottle of Dr. Pepper (my favorite thinking foods)I am going to make another zine soon about one of my most favoritist of favorite foods: tacos. Tacos are like I loved reading Gabi's journal (even though I wished there had been more in-person conversations.) I also loved that she was unapologetic in her love of food:I am going to have a grilled cheese sandwich and think about this precarious situationI came back to my room to think. I sat munching on some Hot Cheetos with lemon and Tapatio and a bottle of Dr. Pepper (my favorite thinking foods)I am going to make another zine soon about one of my most favoritist of favorite foods: tacos. Tacos are like what the voices of a hundred angels singing Bob Dylan while sitting on rainbows and playing banjos would taste like if that sound were edible.I would definitely read Gabi: The Sequel (or anything else this author writes.)
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  • The Fangirling Booknerd
    January 1, 1970
    WARNING THIS BOOK CONTAINS RAPE AND DRUG USEThis has to be one of the best books that portrays what it is like to be a Mexican-American. The whole thing was so good that I couldn't put it down, and honestly we need more of those books with Mexican-American MC's in it.This book is the diary of Gabi, a chubby Mexican girl that has to struggle with the ins and outs of high school. It details the day to day life that she goes through and it's nice to see that this book captured the craziness of bein WARNING THIS BOOK CONTAINS RAPE AND DRUG USEThis has to be one of the best books that portrays what it is like to be a Mexican-American. The whole thing was so good that I couldn't put it down, and honestly we need more of those books with Mexican-American MC's in it.This book is the diary of Gabi, a chubby Mexican girl that has to struggle with the ins and outs of high school. It details the day to day life that she goes through and it's nice to see that this book captured the craziness of being of teenager without becoming a typical ya contemporary novel. And Gabi has to be one of the cutest MC's I have seen in a while. So relatable with the chubby thighs and good Mexican food. Now I'm craving it. Gabi also writes a lot of poetry in this book, which is a welcome touch as it breaks up the text with something else to read. One thing that I did find nice was that it gives the perspective of being a child of a parent who does drugs, without it being the main theme of the book.Honestly I loved that this book also touches on teen pregnancy and being gay, and I think a lot of kids may struggle with those issues and finding them in a book may help know they are not alone. One thing that did anyone me in this book was the romance in it. At times it became too dramatic and I wanted it to end because of how suffocating it was. But I guess that's close to real life.Overall, it was a fantastic read that felt really relatable for a Mexican-American. I definitely recommend picking it up.
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  • Inn Auni
    January 1, 1970
    This is so good. I wasn't expecting much from a jurnal. I've read a few and it did not meet my expectation. But, this is that good. I could not put it down once started. It was honest and funny. And I could feel Gabi's struggle.I like Gabi a lot. She was comfortable with her body. Yes, she had some issue with her weight but, it did not stop her from being awesome. She had family issue. Again, it did not stop her from being her. She never use excuses like weight and family to go and buy a gun and This is so good. I wasn't expecting much from a jurnal. I've read a few and it did not meet my expectation. But, this is that good. I could not put it down once started. It was honest and funny. And I could feel Gabi's struggle.I like Gabi a lot. She was comfortable with her body. Yes, she had some issue with her weight but, it did not stop her from being awesome. She had family issue. Again, it did not stop her from being her. She never use excuses like weight and family to go and buy a gun and started shooting at random kids. She was that cool.The book was not boring. Thank God for miracle. Like I mentioned, it was an honest account from a girl.This made me want to write poems again. I am not good but, I have a collection. It's freestyle of couse as I don't care much about rhyme and such. But, yeah, I may start writing again.
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  • Sharlene
    January 1, 1970
    Originally posted at https://reallifereading.com/2017/01/0...The first book I finished, though officially I started it on the last day of 2016, was quite a read. It was a book I didn’t quite know that I needed to read, until I read it. Don’t you just love when that happens?I like how it opens, and how in this first journal entry that we read, Quintero sets the scene for the book."July 24My mother named me Gabriela, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn’t want to meet me when I was born Originally posted at https://reallifereading.com/2017/01/0...The first book I finished, though officially I started it on the last day of 2016, was quite a read. It was a book I didn’t quite know that I needed to read, until I read it. Don’t you just love when that happens?I like how it opens, and how in this first journal entry that we read, Quintero sets the scene for the book."July 24My mother named me Gabriela, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn’t want to meet me when I was born because my mother was unmarried, and therefore living in sin. My mom has told me the story many, many, MANY, times of how, when she confessed to my grandmother that she was pregnant with me, her mother beat her. BEAT HER! She was twenty-five. That story is the basis of my sexual education and has reiterated why it’s important to wait until you’re married to give it up. So now, every time I go out with a guy, my mom says, “Ojos abiertos, piernas cerradas.” Eyes open, legs closed. That’s as far as the birds and the bees talk has gone. And I don’t mind it. I don’t necessarily agree with that whole wait until you’re married crap, though. I mean, this is America and the 21st century; not Mexico one hundred years ago. But, of course, I can’t tell my mom that because she will think I’m bad. Or worse: trying to be White."Quintero pretty much establishes what the issues that drives her novel, especially Gabi’s struggles to be a modern Mexican-American young woman, in what is more of a patriarchal culture.Among the very many things that happens in this book are:– date rape– teenaged pregnancy– a gay teen coming out– drug addictionand some other things that I probably shouldn’t point out because spoilers.But, I don’t know, it’s a lot. I don’t mean to say that this all couldn’t be happening to a group of friends and their families out there. I’m not an American teenager, maybe this is all more common than I imagine. When I was Gabi’s age, I was in school in Singapore, where uniforms are required, shoes had to be white, long hair on girls had to be tied up, boys’ hair couldn’t touch the collars etc. It just seems like it was far more innocent times then (obviously I feel like I am too old for this book….! Why couldn’t it have been written and published when I was an actual teenager?).I adored Gabi’s growing into her own creativity, learning to write poetry, expressing her emotions in what she writes, and her letters to her father made me tear up.But that cover. Can we talk about that cover? Having read the book now, I understand where the cover art is coming from but if I had randomly come across this book on the shelves of a bookstore or a library, I would never have picked it up.I loved Gabi. I wrote in my Litsy review that I just wished I could give her a hug! She’s fierce, independent, strong-willed, smart and funny. And I love her honesty, her vulnerability, her strong bonds with her friends and family. What a great read this was. Why didn’t I read it earlier when everyone was saying it, just read it!
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    "Living a lie is painful and doesn't do anyone any good." Gabi is a Mexican-American senior in high school who keeps a diary of her comings and goings and that is what this book is. At first I had a hard time adjusting to Gabi's voice. It presents itself in many ways: mean, feisty, bright, reflective, grieving, questioning, assertive, hilarious etc. which makes sense for the diary format. After I got acclimated to the rhythm of the book, I was amazed how the sparse writing still allowed me to fe "Living a lie is painful and doesn't do anyone any good." Gabi is a Mexican-American senior in high school who keeps a diary of her comings and goings and that is what this book is. At first I had a hard time adjusting to Gabi's voice. It presents itself in many ways: mean, feisty, bright, reflective, grieving, questioning, assertive, hilarious etc. which makes sense for the diary format. After I got acclimated to the rhythm of the book, I was amazed how the sparse writing still allowed me to feel I really understood Gabi and her struggles. Also, the characters surrounding her were fleshed out well. Gabi learns a lot from poetry and writing. A favorite part of the book, for me, was her zine about the female body which was included in the book and gave a welcome creative break from the diary format. I am glad I discovered this YA book. (I picked up this book because of the remarkable cover. Yes, I know better (!) but I do choose books by their cover art sometimes!)
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  • Ashley Owens
    January 1, 1970
    4/5 stars. I think I was considering giving this book 3 stars for a second because I for some reason had it in my mind that this book would be about rape culture. But it's not. But that's my fault for assuming that for no freaking reason, so I shouldn't take that out on the books rating!This was a very very VERY good book. The writing is impeccable; funny, emotional, relatable, intelligent, and sharp. The reason the writing stands out is being so on point is largely due to the main character, Ga 4/5 stars. I think I was considering giving this book 3 stars for a second because I for some reason had it in my mind that this book would be about rape culture. But it's not. But that's my fault for assuming that for no freaking reason, so I shouldn't take that out on the books rating!This was a very very VERY good book. The writing is impeccable; funny, emotional, relatable, intelligent, and sharp. The reason the writing stands out is being so on point is largely due to the main character, Gabi. Her voice is the perfect conduit for Isabel Quintero's writing. Gabi is blunt, fierce, hilarious, thoughtful, smart as all hell. She has her insecurities, but she also puts on a good front of confidence that is quite inspirational. She takes absolutely NO bullshit. I love her so much, and wish that I was more like her when I was in high school!It was definitely a smart idea for this story to be told in journal format - Gabi's voice is such a strong one that it needed to come directly from her and not be filtered through a "prose" sort of narrative format. This makes it as personal as possible, which is absolutely ideal because we get real deep in this book... deeper than I expected!I love the culture identity aspect of this book. Probably more than anything else. Gabi was proud of being Mexican for sure. But she did not allow herself to be defined by stereotypes, or by the expectations of her Mexican peers & family. She was constantly questioning the hypocrisy and misogyny of the attitudes of those expecting things of her; namely her mother, aunt, and teachers. She is unabashedly herself; nearly straight-a student who can't cook, but loves art and her friends.So much happens in this book, which I was definitely not expecting. But Gabi and her family and 2 best friends go through pretty much everything imaginable. It definitely was a shocker.All of the side characters are individual and wonderful. They all are dealing with their own demons, and have personalities and arcs of their own. And each one has a different relationship to Gabi and brings out something different in her. Also there is a lot of representation in this book!I blew through this book, read it in a matter of hours! It was perfect for a readathon because it's short, the lettering on the pages is very spread out, and it's journal style reads quickly. Also random side note: I think that Gabi and Dante from "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe" would be absolutely best friends. I need that crossover to happen. And I need someone to read both of those 2 books to confirm this for me.If you like "Ari and Dante," "Perks of Being A Wallflower," or "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" then you should give this book a go! I would highly recommend this book!
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  • Lucia Gonzalez
    January 1, 1970
    Honestly, it was so hard to rate this book. I hated it but I liked it at the same time, so I am giving it two stars: one for that amazing poem about the female body, my favourite part of this book without doubt! And the second star because of the diversity in terms of the characters; I can see why so many people liked it: lgbtq+ presence, the main character is a fat latina teenager, religion (and the discussion of it and its morals) is all over the place, teenage pregnancy... That was great, it Honestly, it was so hard to rate this book. I hated it but I liked it at the same time, so I am giving it two stars: one for that amazing poem about the female body, my favourite part of this book without doubt! And the second star because of the diversity in terms of the characters; I can see why so many people liked it: lgbtq+ presence, the main character is a fat latina teenager, religion (and the discussion of it and its morals) is all over the place, teenage pregnancy... That was great, it was real.But really, Gabi, do you have to believe all the sexist bullshit your mother tells you? At some point I got tired of reading the same freaking like: "that's what my mom says", in every page. Literally, she was so great at realising that some things were wrong, but I could see how this character had a lot of internalized misogyny. It drove me crazy. Another thing that left me speechless was when Gabi went to Tijuana and referred to the seamstress house as a pocilga. Too caught up in your privilege, pendeja malcriada? Talking like that about someone's house that could have been yours. Spoiled brat.A little too immature to be a senior, too.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    I went into this book thinking I was not going to like it (it was assigned for a class), boy was I surprised! I finished it in a day!!!
  • Terry
    January 1, 1970
    I had really high expectations for this book, based on several rapturous reviews, which unfortunately I think made me feel even more let down. Gabi is an important figure and voice in Young Adult literature. I have worked with young women Gabi's age and "background," and the familial and cultural expectations of women (high school is plenty, if even too much, education, and a young woman's job is to take care of her family until she marries and takes care of her husband and children, period) rin I had really high expectations for this book, based on several rapturous reviews, which unfortunately I think made me feel even more let down. Gabi is an important figure and voice in Young Adult literature. I have worked with young women Gabi's age and "background," and the familial and cultural expectations of women (high school is plenty, if even too much, education, and a young woman's job is to take care of her family until she marries and takes care of her husband and children, period) ring depressingly true. So I appreciate Gabi's focus on her education and art and her burgeoning understanding and embracing of her own sexual desires and impulses. Still... as some other reviewers have pointed out, the voice of the book sometimes feels like an adult trying to write like a teenager. I don't doubt that much of the book is autobiographical, and Quintero is not that far removed from being a teenager, and so I'm sure some would still call it authentic. I had a similar argument with a friend over the "voices" in The Fault in Our Stars--they were far more assured, quick-witted, and sophisticated than the sixteen-year-olds I knew, and so that had a distancing effect for with a book that is supposed to be emotionally devastating. The kindest thing to say about this trait is that authors who truly care about teenaged readers want to treat and portray them with as much dignity and respect as possible. But even the most supposedly sophisticated teenagers I knew were never so articulate and nuanced, at least verbally; and quite a few of the college freshmen I work with (as I mentioned above) write like nine-year-olds. Sooo, there are several reasons I find the voice here a bit forced.And I must have been the only teenager on the planet who did not spend the majority of her time thinking about sex. So that is another reason so much of contemporary YA literature just ends up being something I don't really engage with AND something I would actually have a difficult time talking about with students who are real, live teenagers. I can talk about YA Literature as a genre with students, as something to look at critically, but I just don't feel equipped to discuss the sexual content with actual teenagers. Probably yet another reason I'll end up teaching younger grades and be happy to do so! Ha.
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  • Samantha Tai
    January 1, 1970
    Told in diary format, Gabi chronicles the events that occur during her senior year of high school. During this year she must deal with her best friend's pregnancy and her father's meth addiction. She also experiences many crushes, her first kiss and her first boyfriends. At the same time, she's applying to colleges and making sure she passes all her classes so she can graduate. Her saving grace: her poetry class, where she discovers a love of poetry, and realizes that she enjoys writing and expr Told in diary format, Gabi chronicles the events that occur during her senior year of high school. During this year she must deal with her best friend's pregnancy and her father's meth addiction. She also experiences many crushes, her first kiss and her first boyfriends. At the same time, she's applying to colleges and making sure she passes all her classes so she can graduate. Her saving grace: her poetry class, where she discovers a love of poetry, and realizes that she enjoys writing and expressing herself through her poetry. She looks forward to college because it will allow her to get away from all of her bad luck. I really wanted to like this book, but at times I found Gabi annoying. In addition, I have two complaints about the book. Gabi goes through so much during her senior year. We're inundated with teen pregnancy, drug addiction, homosexuality, death, abortion and rape (these are what I can remember off the top of my head). These are important issues and teens need to read about them, but I feel that the author should have written about one or two of these issues. Everything that Gabi went through just seemed like too much. After a while I had had enough of all of her back luck.At times I also felt that the author was preachy at times. At one point, Gabi realizes she's been taught that boys are allowed to get away with certain behaviors because "boys will be boys," but if girls are seen doing the same things, they're labeled as whores or sluts. Her mother is always telling her to keep her "eyes opened, legs shut." She is so worried that Gabi is going to get herself into trouble and ruining her life by getting pregnant or doing drugs. Again, these are important issues, but I just didn't like how they were presented in the book.Despite my complaints, I do think teens will read and enjoy the story. While I may not have been able to fully appreciate Gabi, teens looking for real-life stories, may enjoy this book. This past year, there has been a huge push for more diverse books and Gabi, a Girl in Pieces definitely fits the bill.
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  • Hilary
    January 1, 1970
    Gabi is a senior in high school, with her fair share of problems. Her dad is addicted to meth, her best friend gets pregnant, she is caught up in college applications, and she can't stop thinking about food, all the glorious food. Oh yeah, and boys. In all of this mess, she finds an outlet, poetry. Through poetry, she is able to explore and release many emotions that she keeps bottled up. Gabi documents her final year of high school in her diary, and lucky for us, we get a first hand view!I like Gabi is a senior in high school, with her fair share of problems. Her dad is addicted to meth, her best friend gets pregnant, she is caught up in college applications, and she can't stop thinking about food, all the glorious food. Oh yeah, and boys. In all of this mess, she finds an outlet, poetry. Through poetry, she is able to explore and release many emotions that she keeps bottled up. Gabi documents her final year of high school in her diary, and lucky for us, we get a first hand view!I like this book more after some time apart. Generally I am not a fan of diary type books, because of the casual nature of the writing. I never liked my own diaries either...But Gabi seems to write with a certain sophistication that makes this book a little bit different. She is going through some really hard times, but she always manages to pull through. I like that she doesn't over dramatize the things that aren't the end of the world, but we also see that the important things affect her. I really just liked Gabi, in the way that I want to be her friend. She is a good person, she has empathy for others, and also importantly, she knows good food! She is comfortable with herself, as much as any teenage girl struggling with her self image can be. She knows who she is, even when she battles with herself. She works hard, at everything she does, and I can definitely respect that! I also really enjoyed the use of the Spanish language throughout Gabi's poetry and the rest of the book. It was not so much that I felt lost if I didn't understand it, I do know a tiny bit of Spanish. It added an authentic feeling to the story as a whole. The cover is a bit strange, but it grew on me throughout the book, and with a bit of explanation.
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  • Kristina Gomez
    January 1, 1970
    You know when a book just gets you? Like voice in your head, how-could-anyone-other-than-me-even-write-this, gets you? Well if you are (or were) a chubby light skinned Mexican girl trying to deal with family/school/friend drama, stop what you’re doing and read this book. And if you aren’t (or weren’t), still stop what you’re doing and read this book.Gabi is a girl; a gordita; a guera (not really, she’s just often confused as one since she looks white). These words are used to describe pieces of You know when a book just gets you? Like voice in your head, how-could-anyone-other-than-me-even-write-this, gets you? Well if you are (or were) a chubby light skinned Mexican girl trying to deal with family/school/friend drama, stop what you’re doing and read this book. And if you aren’t (or weren’t), still stop what you’re doing and read this book.Gabi is a girl; a gordita; a guera (not really, she’s just often confused as one since she looks white). These words are used to describe pieces of Gabi but can’t come close to capturing the whole. Gabi’s senior year is supposed to be a piece of cake (minus Algebra, yikes). Her two best friends, Cindy and Sebastian, share her dream of going to UC Berkley and it is so close; only 8 months away. But nothing is ever as easy as we hope, right? Not when your dad is an addict and your mom reminds you daily of how you should act and look and be. And definitely not when your closest friends are dealing with coming out to their unsupportive parents and single motherhood. It’s exhausting just writing this, can you imagine living it?Thank goodness Gabi is hilarious. She’s also smart and sassy and independent and we get to watch her deal with these issues and many, many more through her equally funny and sassy diary. Part of Gabi’s story is her discovery of poetry as a transformative and healing force. Seeing her work through body image issues, death, anger and love all by writing and performing her poetry is one of my favorite things about this book. My other favorite things are: everything else.
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  • Mily Cruz
    January 1, 1970
    This seems to be an unpopular opinion moment but I'm sorry, I hated it.Now, the premise sounded interesting, but this thing got worse than a freaking Mexican soap opera, and believe me, I know about those because I'm Mexican and I watched a bunch of them growing up.The story was over the top, and the main character was insufferable most of the time. So yeah, she's opinionated and her big mouth usually gets her in trouble. So, what did she learn by the end of the novel? Absolutely nothing!And her This seems to be an unpopular opinion moment but I'm sorry, I hated it.Now, the premise sounded interesting, but this thing got worse than a freaking Mexican soap opera, and believe me, I know about those because I'm Mexican and I watched a bunch of them growing up.The story was over the top, and the main character was insufferable most of the time. So yeah, she's opinionated and her big mouth usually gets her in trouble. So, what did she learn by the end of the novel? Absolutely nothing!And her constant code switching between Spanish and English, was simply annoying and only serves to make Mexican-Americans into a silly cartoonish version of themselves, thus consolidating stupid stereotypes. I probably should not be giving my opinion here, as I was born and raised in Mexico, but my husband was raised in the States, and I can tell you that none of his friends actually sound like that. And yeah, they live in Southern Cali too. Yep, some of them switch between both languages, but not in such a ridiculous fashion.So, given that Ms. Quintero seems so fond of mexican expressions I'll give her another one:'El que mucho abarca, poco aprieta'. Teen-pregnancy, coming out of the closet, rape, addictions, abortion, a death in the family, a first sexual encounter, a somewhat oppressing family.. was there anything the author did not try to tackle in 284 pages?
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