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GABI, A GIRL IN PIECES

by Isabel Quintero
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Winner of the William C. Morris Award for YA Debut Novel
2015 Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens
2015 Tomás Rivera Book Award, Works for Older Children
2015 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
2015 YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, Top 10 Selection
Amelia Bloomer List, part of the American Library Association, Social Responsibilities Round Table’s Feminist Task Force
Booklist Best Books of 2014
School Library Journal Best Books of 2014
2015 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, Grades 7-12
2014 California Book Award Gold Medal Winner, Young Adult Fiction
Gabi's a girl in pieces. She wants a lot of things. Will she find the thing she needs most?

Product Details

10-digit ISBN1-935955-94-2
13-digit ISBN978-1-935955-94-8
FormatHardback
LanguageEnglish
Also Available InPaperback
Page Count208
Product Dimensions6x9
Publication DateAugust 18, 2014
Starred Review2 Stars2 Stars - see reviews
RightsAll Rights Available
July 24
My mother named me Gabriela, 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 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.

"In writing Gabi, A Girl in Pieces, I felt that music was important to the narrator because she is a poet, and poetry and music go hand in hand." From Lupe Fiasco to Bob Dylan to Cornelio Reyna, Isabel gives Laregehearted Boy's Book Notes her ultimate Gabi playlist here and offers readers an inside look into her personal connection to her main character: "I wrote this book because some of it is my story. In a lot of ways Gabi and I share the same issues; we both had (have) body image problems, a bicultural experience, a natural distaste for imposed gender roles, and confusion about sex and its role in our life. As I grew older, I realized I wasn't alone, and that the women who had had similar experiences, also felt alone throughout their teenage years."
Kirkus Review 1 Stars
"Readers won't soon forget Gabi, a young woman coming into her own in the face of intense pressure from her family, culture and society to fit someone else's idea of what it means to be a "good" girl. A fresh, authentic and honest exploration of contemporary Latina identity."
- July 16, 2014  Visit Website
full review >>
Booklist 1 Stars
"Reading Quintero’s debut is like attending a large family fiesta: it’s overpopulated with people, noise, and emotion, but the overall effect is joyous."
- Daniel Kraus, September 15, 2014 
full review >>
Publishers Weekly 1 Stars
"Quintero’s first novel quickly establishes a strong voice and Mexican-American cultural perspective through the journal of intelligent, self-deprecating, and funny Gabi."
- September 29, 2014  Visit Website
full review >>
NPR Weekend Reads
"Gabi's voice is a completely bicultural and bilingual voice, so throughout the novel, you will have Spanish and English the way it's really spoken in our families — it's this crazy sort of Spanglish mix. And she's bold. She will say the quote-unquote unthinkable things about her body, about sexuality, about the crazy, dual sets of rules for Latino boys and girls.”
- Meg Medina , December 14, 2014  Visit Website
full review >>
The Guardian
"Told through Gabi’s diary, the book is tragic, hilarious, and always whip-smart. It’s also, I’m sure, one of the most diverse and all-encompassing YA novels out there."
- John Hansen, August 12, 2015  Visit Website
full review >>
VOYA Magazine 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
"While reflecting the specific experiences of one overweight, Mexican-American teenager, Quintero’s debut novel addresses a number of universal themes, from family relationships to sexual exploration. Gabi’s voice, as expressed in her diary through poetry, prose, lists, and overheard conversations, is funny, smart, full of wonder, and brutally honest."
- Heather Christensen, 
full review >>
School Library Journal 1 Stars
"Believing she's not Mexican enough for her family and not white enough for Berkeley, Gabi still meets every challenge head-on with vulgar humor and raw honesty… A refreshing take on slut- and fat-shaming, Quintero's work ranks with Meg Medina's Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass (Candlewick, 2013) and Junot Diaz's Drown (Riverhead, 1996) as a coming-of-age novel with Latino protagonists."
- Shelley Diaz, August 1, 2014 
full review >>
Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of California
"Meet Quintero’s “fat girl” Gabi, eating and starving and fighting and writing her way through the crushing pressures of high school boy desire, religious approval and Mexican cultural taboos. I cannot think of any book today for young adults as voracious, bold, truthful and timely."
Largehearted Boy
"One of the year's finest young adult novels."
- October 17, 2014  Visit Website
The Pirate Tree
“Quintero’s novel shows that some of the most interesting, innovative, and honest titles come from the small press world. … Award committees take note—this is an amazing novel from a bright new star.”
- Lyn Miller-Lachmann, November 17, 2014  Visit Website
full review >>
The Harold Sun
“The author creates a strong sense of character and realistically portrays Gabi’s challenging settings. The way [Isabel] Quintero portrays the heroine’s moment-to-moment moods feels completely authentic.”
- Susie Wild, February 14, 2015  Visit Website
full review >>
Literacy Daily
California high school senior Gabriela (Gabi Hernanadez) is caught between not being Mexican enough and gravitating toward the things white girls do — at least according to her mother. To make sense of her world, she keeps a journal about her own struggles with self-esteem and related weight issues, also writing about her best friend Cindy’s pregnancy and her other best friend Sebastian’s coming out to his family. —Karen Hildebrand, Literacy Daily
- Karen Hildebrand, February 16, 2015  Visit Website
full review >>
R.R.A.P. Magazine
“Gabi, A Girl in Pieces is a wonderful young adult piece that properly shows how to handle intersectional identities while still keeping the writing level superb. … I think this novel left me better than when I began it.”—Brent Lambert, R.R.A.P. Magazine
- Brent Lambert, February 27, 2015  Visit Website
full review >>
City Lights Publishers
Wish this book had been around during my angst youth, but at least you can pick it up now and revel in the author’s grace and humor in dealing with very heavy subject matter. Isabel Quintero reminds us of the transformative power of journal writing, as well.
- Stacey Lewis , June 1, 2015  Visit Website
full review >>
The Guardian
Isabel Quintero’s young adult novel “Gabi: A Girl in Pieces” centers around a young, light-skinned Mexican-American girl. … Like Gabi, I feel I need to prove my identity all the time.
- Melissa Lozada-Oliva, August 8, 2015  Visit Website
full review >>
Click here to view all the reviews

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