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Gabi, a Girl in Pieces
Cover of Gabi, a Girl in Pieces
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces
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Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2014 July 24 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 ...
Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2014 July 24 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 ...
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  • Named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2014

    July 24

    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.

    Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: 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.
 

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About the Author-

  • Isabel Quintero was born and raised in Southern California. Her love of reading and writing comes from her mother reading to her before she went to bed, and from the teachers and professors who encouraged her to keep writing. Her love of chorizo and carne asada tacos comes from her dad grilling on Sundays during summertime. She is an elementary school library technician and loves sharing her passion for the written word with students. She also teaches community college part time and works as a freelance writer for the Arts Connection of San Bernardino. Quintero works as events coordinator for Orange Monkey Publishing and assistant editor for Tin Cannon, a literary journal. She still lives in SoCal and enjoys going on adventures with her wonderful husband, Fernando.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Kyla Garcia moves easily between English and Spanish, establishing the cultural confusion of a 17-year-old Mexican-American high school senior. Gabi's diary entries are a lyrical mix of courage and frustration, confusing sex and honest friendship, shame and pride. Garcia's wide range of tones authentically expresses the thoughtful teenager's rapidly shifting feelings, which move from self-deprecation at being overweight to tearfulness as she writes a letter to her meth-addicted father and giddiness when she's asked out on a date. Gabi is eloquent and messy, smart in school but not wise enough to restrain her emotions amid conflict. Garcia's versatility and Quintero's vivid writing unite to show the strength and beauty of a complex young woman. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from September 29, 2014
    Quintero’s first novel quickly establishes a strong voice and Mexican-American cultural perspective through the journal of intelligent, self-deprecating, and funny Gabi. The 17-year-old is navigating considerable conflict both at home and in her social life: her father is addicted to meth, while Gabi’s strict mother pressures her to conform to her own views of their heritage and values. Gabi, who seeks comfort through binge eating, wants to grow up on her own terms, and she explores her awakening romantic and sexual feelings by writing poetry. Quintero unsentimentally confronts a gay teenager’s coming out, teen pregnancy, date rape, abortion, addiction, and other topics while sketching the contradictory pressures facing Gabi, who feels caught between two worlds (“Being Mexican-American is tough sometimes. Your allegiance is always questioned”). Gabi’s letters to her father are particularly moving, and her narration is fresh, self-aware, and reflective. The intimate journal structure of the novel is especially revealing as Gabi gains confidence in her own integrity and complexity: “I guess there is more to this fat girl than even this fat girl ever knew.” Ages 14–up.

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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