Reviewed for this blog by Sara, Simsbury Library
Told in diary style, Gabi, A Girl in Pieces, is a story you won’t forget. Gabi’s dad is a meth addict, her best friend Cindy is going to be a teenage mom, and her other best friend, Sebastian, is coming out to his family. Gabi is fat and finds emotional comfort in foods. Filled with realistic teenage drama (but not the cheesy kind), Gabi’s story tells one of hope and how she discovers her inner self through creative writing and poetry.
Gabi wants to go to college. Not just any college but Berkeley. She wants to get out of her town and live someplace where she can leave this all behind. Filled with even more drama than described above, including death of a loved one, her mother getting pregnant, falling in love for the first time, and her aunt telling her she will go to hell if she does anything “bad”… Gabi’s story is one to take to heart and one that will lift you up!
I LOVED this book and just finished nominating it for the Morris Award. This story really drew me into Gabi’s life. She tells the story so personally. Since it is told in diary format, we really get to know what she is thinking. It reminded me of how I wrote in a diary when I was a teenager – no holding back! Gabi is also hilarious and there were many times I was laughing out loud.
Could it win the Printz? I think it hits many of the criteria. The story is solid and the themes are real. This is a teenage girl’s life living in Southern California. These are her family members and friends. Yes, teens get pregnant by not being careful (or other reasons, not spoiling). Yes, parents can be addicted to drugs. All believable stuff. Gabi’s voice is honest, full of life, and doesn’t stray from her personality. Supporting characters were also fully developed and I would love to see how they all end up (a sequel?) I truly enjoy the diary format, I always have.
I cannot wait to see what else Quintero writes!