Gabi, a Girl in Pieces

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces

by Isabel Quintero


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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.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935955955
Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
Publication date: 10/14/2014
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 70,127
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

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.

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Gabi, a Girl in Pieces 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
WhatANerdGirlSays More than 1 year ago
I can’t even begin to describe how happy I am, the more that I discover Latina writers out there, especially ones that write about the difficulties of being different when you’re a teenager and part of a fairly traditional Mexican family. I was in love with Lilliam Rivera’s book and then I freaking adored Erika Sanchez’s book and I was excited to read this one, especially with Isabel being a guest at Ontario Teen Book Fest. I loved that this was in journal format. It reminded me of The Princess Diaries, which was the first YA book I read when I was 12. I wrote in a journal from the time I was 14 until the time I was about 22 (I’m sort of doing one again) and I remember it being such a relief and I remember scribbling about the many, many boys that I was so crazy about it and writing out intense poems that I sort of laugh at now. It was the forefront to my writing career. There’s something very personal about reading a journal and we really get a look into Gabi’s mind as she navigates her way through her last year of school, with her friends and family and boys and reachers, and there are moments that make me laugh and moments that make me so heartbroken and moments that felt so insanely familiar. There’s something about being different, individual, independent, when you’re the daughter and granddaughter and niece in a Mexican family and it’s sometimes hard to put into words…its hard enough to be a teen but its even harder when you’re one that is even more trouble than a normal teen. You want to go away to college?! You want to date and wear make up?! Why are you always reading?! What is feminism and jeans?! Of course its fine if your brother does that, but you totally cannot! Isabel does such a great job of capturing what its like to be a Mexican teen girl for sure. I love that Isabel touches up on so many different things: the difficulties of being a teenager, having friends that are coming out or having a baby, a troublesome brother, a drug addicted father, an overbearing mother (and aunt…and well, the rest of the Mexican family that seems to always be around…) and I connected it in so many ways, even in the ways that weren’t actually personal to me. She writes a compelling story and gives Gabi such a strong voice, especially through her love and talent with poetry. I’m not one for poetry but the poetry in this novel was so raw and genuine and I loved that it really captured everything that Gabi was feeling. I’m so excited to meet Isabel next month and I can’t wait to see what more she creates.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JimRGill2012 More than 1 year ago
Narrated in diary/journal form by the titular self-described “fat girl,” this charming YA novel chronicles almost every trial and tribulation you might imagine an insecure yet smart, young yet precocious, virginal yet curious high school senior could endure. The characters and events themselves sound like stock fodder for generic YA: the gay friend, the pregnant best friend, the drug-addicted father, the inspirational English teacher, the frenemy who needs an abortion, the conservative, overbearing mother, an unexpected death, the rollercoaster that is dating, the birth control dilemma, prom night… In Quintero’s adept hands, however, these events—and Gabi’s heartfelt concern for her family and friends—ring through with authenticity. Also resonating with truth is Gabi’s emerging sense of empowerment as she negotiates not only her maturation from adolescent girl to independent young woman but also her embrace of her bicultural identity as a Latina American. Highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Apparently I am not too old for a diary novel! This is an honest, feminist, and emotional high school coming of age story that I wish I'd actually read in high school. Gabi has all the up and down emotions and stressors of high school but there is such a clarity to her way of thinking as she is forced to make tough decisions and grow up in a world of contradictions. She has pithy observations and all the questions most adults are afraid to ask or discuss. Loved this book so much!
sdanielw More than 1 year ago
4.5/5 I have a really hard time articulating why I like this book so much. This may be because its realistic fiction. With genre books it's often easier, just "x part of the plot is great," "I never saw y coming" or "the world-building is so rich." But GAGiP is a coming of age story, a plot so common it has basically an entire genre to itself. So what is it then, that made me want to hug this book so badly after I read it. The characters? Yeah, that's definitely part of it. Gabi is an amazing narrator: eloquent, thoughtful and yet relatably flawed. She doesn't get everything right on the first try, but she thinks about where she went wrong and readjusts. Nor are the secondary characters left to languish undeveloped. I particularly loved Gabi's two best friends, whose struggles were very much their own and given as much weight as Gabi's. The language probably deserves some credit too. I mean this in two senses of the word. First, Gabi's poetry is lovely and her diary entries often read like the entries of a poet. Secondly, the (relatively extensive) use of code-switching was wonderful. For clarity, I should note that I am not a speaker of Spanish at all, but I am a linguistics major who's easily entranced by other languages. I particularly loved the fact that (unlike in most YA books I've read), the Spanish is not italicized or otherwise marked; it's just part of how Gabi thinks, so it's how she writes her story. tl;dr I love this book (if somewhat inarticulately), because it's beautiful in a number of different ways.
Kam More than 1 year ago
A candid and funny book written in diary form from the point of view of a Mexican American teenager girl who has a talent for writing poetry and has a complicated life. In case you're wondering no, the book is not written in verse, even though the few poetries that are in it are so good that kinda make me wish it was and I'm saying this as someone who usually doesn't really get or likes poetries. Gabi lives with her little brother, who is sometimes inclined to rebel acts, her strict mother and a father who is addicted to meth, in top of that she has two best friends, one is a pregnant girl and the other a gay guy and the book focuses on Gabi's daily life, on how she deals with all the normal teenagers problems but also on how she deals with all the baggage that the people who are part of her life have and that she's in some cases affected by. If it was written by anyone else I think this mix could have easily resulted to be redundant and very unrealistic but this is not the case, the story is fluid, it's not hard to believe that what Gabi is living through could easily be reality for some people, and it never made me think 'Oh come on this is ridicolous'. I also love how the main character is a fat girl who doesn't hate herself for being fat. I would recomend this book mostly to teenagers because I feel like they probably could identify with Gabi more than an adult, but I'm sure a lot of adults would appreciate it too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Gabi Hernandez chronicles all the important pieces of her senior year of high school in her diary. Through her diary she tries to make sense of her best friends Cindy's pregnancy and Sebastian's coming out. Gabi also has to deal with college applications and the confusing world of boys. Add to that her father's meth addiction and her complicated relationship with food (thanks to her mom always harassing Gabi about what she eats) and Gabi's plate is already more than full for the year. In the midst of a difficult year Gabi finds solace in an unlikely place. Gabi always knew she liked writing and poetry. She just didn't realize discovering the poetry within herself (and around her) would have the power to change everything in Gabi, a Girl in Pieces (2014) by Isabel Quintero. Gabi, a Girl in Pieces is Quintero's first novel and the winner of the 2015 William C. Morris YA Debut Award. Gabi, a Girl in Pieces is told entirely through Gabi's diary entries as she navigates an especially complicated year in her life as many long-standing problems come to a head including her father's addiction and Gabi's mother's disapproval of Gabi's plans to go away to college. Quintero brings Gabi to life with a vivid voice and authentic storytelling that mark this novel as a standout in the diary novel sub-genre. While Gabi sometimes comes across as younger than her seventeen years, she is always honest and raw. Gabi's story is effervescent and overall sweet even with real moments of sadness and other serious situations in the story. Given the nature of a diary format, Gabi, a Girl in pieces is not always a cohesive story as Gabi's thoughts and her life jump from point to point. What does remain consistent throughout is Gabi's love of words. The enthusiasm Gabi feels as she begins to find her voice as a writer and discover new poets is infectious. Gabi, a Girl in Pieces is an empowering, thoughtful novel brimming with creative energy. Possible Pairings: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley, And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard, Alice, I Think by Susan Juby, Undercover by Beth Kephart, The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart, Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison, How to Save a Life by Sarah Zarr
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was wonderful! The voice was absolutely amazing, one of the most realistic teen voice I’ve read lately. The book also managed to deal with some really serious topics (parental drug abuse, teen pregnancy, homophobia, sexual violence) in a sensitive and respectful manner without letting them overwhelm the rest of the story. Gabi is a marvelous character, with all her flaws and strengths and her passion for life and her dreams. I especially loved her poetry, and her growth as a poet, how she used it to make sense of her life.