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 25. 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 100 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.
©2014 Isabel Quintero (P)2014 Listening Library
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"A rich, thoughtful book"
Gabi, A Girl in Pieces is a stunning book, full of humor, personality, and tenderness. Framed as a journal kept by Gabi, a young Mexican-American woman with a passion for poetry, the story follows her life during her senior year of high school. Gabi struggles with her identity, her sense of self, her feelings about her body, about boys, about sex and about the complex relationships she has with her family and friends—and she explores them all through poetry. Many difficult things happen during the school year (some of which warrant trigger warnings, which I’ll place under a spoiler at the bottom of this review), and at times this lovely book is wrenchingly sad, full of Gabi’s grief and anger, but it’s balanced by her hopefulness, her wry humor, and unbridled enthusiasm for the things she loves—poetry, and mouthwatering descriptions of food.
I listened to the audiobook of Gabi, A Girl in Pieces, and I thought that the narration by Kyla Garcia was fantastic, emotional and engaging.
Trigger warnings (which include spoilers): multiple pregnancies, and one abortion; a gay character is disowned by his family (but is supported by the narrator); multiple references to domestic violence; non-graphic references to drug use; a drug overdose/possible suicide; non-graphic consensual sexual content; references to sexual assault
"Coming of Age Latina"
Triste pero la verdad. The sadness of growing up with the superstitions of elders and the hard roles girls are thrust into this book was part heartache and part joyful giggling friendship. Worth a read especially si hablas Español.
Genuine and authentic teen tale! Gabi tells her story through daily diary entries throughout her senior year. The audio delivery adds even more to an already wonderful tale!
My SO heard about this book on NPR and recommended it to me. As a Mexican-American woman who remembers my parents strict cultural expectations all too well, I felt that this book really captured what it is like to grow up with a foot in two worlds.
I didn't really like the narrator, I felt her performance at times was too stiff.
"Well worth it!"
This audio book was well worth the time to listen to, as the reader was credible, the story engaging, and the pace quick and methodical. A real-life sharing of a teen's emotional ride on a roller coaster.
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