GABI, A GIRL IN PIECES by Isabel Quintero Audiobook Review
Publication Date: October 14th 2014 by Cinco Puntos Press
Rating: – Exceeds Expectations
Book Summary: 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.
Book Review Overview:
- Laugh-out-loud audiobook
- Enjoyed reading Gabi’s take on Mexican culture
- Loved reading about Mexican food but it made me hungry
Gabi, A Girl in Pieces is one of those books that I just decided to take a chance on at the library. I was in the middle of a reading slump, and I wasn’t sure what to read (in this case, listen to on audio). Since this book was available to download straight away, I decided to give it a chance.
Much to my surprise, I instantly fell in love with the audiobook. Narrated by Kyla Garcia, I was hooked within the first fifteen minutes. Garcia’s narration brings Gabi’s diary to life. Gabi, A Girl in Pieces chronicles Gabi’s last year in high school: from her best friend’s pregnancy to her dad’s meth addiction.
Gabi is laugh-out-loud funny and easy to relate to. She has insecurities that most girls and women feel, mainly about weight. I also love her growing interest in poetry. I’m not a fan of most of the poems she wrote (that’s okay, since she’s a newbie, after all!), but I like how they are inspired by the different poets that she learns about in class.
As a reader, I’m trying to get myself to read more diverse books from a variety of authors (hello, We Need Diverse Books). This is why I also decided to read Gabi. It’s been a while since I read a book with a PoC! Bonus: not only is the protagonist a PoC, but the majority of the cast is a minority.
And despite the fact that I am not Mexican or Latina, I was able to relate to Gabi completely. I loved learning more about Mexican culture and I enjoyed hearing about how her culture affected her family dynamics. I love how there was lots of Spanish dialogue (so I really had to practice my Spanish comprehension skills) because it added to the overall authenticity of the story. I enjoyed Gabi’s social commentary of what it means to be “Hispanic”. Because she is a light-skinned Mexican, she often feels criticized that she isn’t Hispanic enough. She also feels pressure from her mother to act like a good Mexican girl and not like the “bad” American white girls. Throughout the book, Gabi strives for the perfect balance between her Mexican and American cultures.
But my favorite part of this book had to be all the references to food. I could relate to Gabi’s fondness of food, and there were lots of Mexican dishes I had never heard of before and I really wanted to try them all.
I also enjoyed how this book was written in a diary/epistolary format. With Gabi’s wit and humor, Gabi, A Girl in Pieces reminded me of a Mexican version of The Princess Diaries.
Overall, I really enjoyed Gabi, A Girl in Pieces. I’m so glad I took a chance on it, and I would definitely recommend it to others!