Title: Gabi, A Girl In Pieces
Author: Isabel Quintero
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Gabi 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.
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.
Impactful, heartbreaking, yet all relatable to a time in our lives. This is how I myself feel about this book. I have never read a book to which I have taken a deeper understanding of the storyline after I had finished reading it.
This book introduces Gabriela Hernandez, known as Gabi throughout the book. Entering high school for her final year, which her life ends up being filled with trauma and hard choices that may impact not only her own, but everyone’s lives in the long run. Told through the diary of Gabi, readers get an up close and personal connection to the stories told and the lives impacted. Many teenagers go through the same tough decisions that Gabi is faced with, and the author describes them with such impact, it will have you in tears. Present throughout most of the novel is the use of poetry to help express herself when there is no one there to listen.
Gabi’s mixed religions combined with her equally mixed-up family is the perfect plot for an amazing YA novel.
Named to Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal Best Books of 2014. I highly recommend that everyone reads this book. It shows that you are not alone in what you are doing in your life. All you need is a couple close friends to help get you through the tough times.
Read On Darlings!