Friday, May 22, 2015
Friday Fandom! Gabi, A Girl In Pieces
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.
I would give this book ten stars if I could. I stayed away from contemporary fiction as a teenager because I felt I had enough problems to deal with at the time, and I didn't want to add more problems via a fictional character. So I submerged myself in speculative fiction, reading Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Nothing quite like horror to put things in perspective.
But then I read this book.
All the memories of my youth came flooding back. Growing up Latina, whatever that means. I really had no clue. I wasn't Latina enough or American enough. The obsession with the hymen. Yeah...'nuff said about that. Addiction, death, guilt, and accepting who you are and learning to be okay with that, are all themes in this book that tugged at my heartstrings. I laughed. I cried. But most importantly, I found a kindred spirit in Gabi, though we're a few decades apart. And I'm Puerto Rican, not Mexican and my mom equated fat with being healthy. Yeah...couldn't pass on that arroz con gandules. She makes the best...but anyways...
Quintero does an amazing job writing about these themes with humor, wit, and so much heart it's hard not to feel it. I wish I'd read this book when I was a teen. I would've realized I wasn't alone.