Printer Friendly

Gabi: A Girl in Pieces.

Gabi: A Girl in Pieces

Isabel Quintero

Cinco Puntos Press

701 Texas, El Paso, Texas 79901

9781935955948, $17.95, www.cincopuntos.com

At age sixteen, Gabi is a senior in high school who faces too many adult problems, from a girlfriend's pregnancy and a classmate's coming out as gay to her father's meth habit. It's not as if any of these forces of angst haven't existed before: just that being on the cusp of adulthood makes her life feel more intense, unpredictable, and out of control.

With a home that offers no more stability than the uncertain outside world, friendships that prove mercurial, and Gabi's own choices proving elusive and challenging, the crux of Gabi: A Girl in Pieces lies in a saga that takes a typical American girl and adds a dimension of ethnic understanding into the mix: "I don't necessarily agree with that whole wait-until-you're-married crap though. I mean, this is America and the twenty-first century, not Mexico one hundred years ago. But, of course, I can't tell my mom that because she'll think I'm bad. Or worse: trying to be White."

Gabi's changing world requires her to shift as well; something her parents don't always understand or support: "When I used to be friends with Sandra, my mom was (and sometimes even now) always comparing me to her. She can't seem to understand why I'm not friends with her anymore.

I try to explain, but she just doesn't get it. There are things I can't tell my mom either. I can't tell her how Sandra used to make me feel like shit. Especially around boys. Boys like her skinny hips, big butt, long hair, white teeth, big smile and stylish name-brand clothes. Because price is no object when you're a Sandra."

From sexual awakening and exploration to self-assessment, Gabi's journey is anything but 'vanilla'; and while its tone may offend some (it's not recommended for collections that are stricter about sexual mention and teen pregnancy, for example), it is a powerful account for those seeking realistic urban characters.

Gabi's eyes are wide open to the world and this includes a healthy dose of frank assessments, swearing, and a gritty, observational style. Gabi is anything but demure, and her world is anything but WASP--thus the nuances of Mexican-American culture aren't just captured, here: they're embedded, making Gabi: A Girl in Pieces a highly recommended pick for any collection looking for a story told in letters, vignettes, diary entries, and candid color.

COPYRIGHT 2015 Midwest Book Review
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2015 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:California Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Apr 1, 2015
Words:413
Previous Article:The City on the Edge of Forever: The Original Teleplay.
Next Article:High on Low: Harnessing the Power of Unhappiness.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters