Gabi: A Girl in Pieces

Isabel Quintero. Cinco Puntos (Consortium, dist.), $11.95 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-935955-95-5
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. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/29/2014
Release date: 10/01/2014
Hardcover - 284 pages - 978-1-935955-94-8
Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-935955-96-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-101-91703-9
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