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Gabi, a Girl in Pieces

(Junior Library Guild Selection )

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  8,852 ratings  ·  1,311 reviews
Named to Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014

Named to School Library Journal Best Books of 2014

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.

July 24

My mother named me
Hardcover, Junior Library Guild Selection, 284 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Cinco Puntos Press (first published August 18th 2014)
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A. Castle I don't mean to come off as defensive or attempting to anger you, so I am apologizing in case I offend you. yes, the cover is different and it is a…moreI don't mean to come off as defensive or attempting to anger you, so I am apologizing in case I offend you. yes, the cover is different and it is a little (maybe a lot) gross, but I also think it symbolizes Gabi. It shows aspects of her that make her the person that she is. She's made up of poetry, food, smiles and laughter, eyes that see truths, a heart that loves people that are different and that can be hard to love, fashion. These are bits of Gabi just as the title says and the cover does a good job of symbolizing that.(less)
Andrea It's a great coming of age novel!
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,852 ratings  ·  1,311 reviews

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I booktalked this to a teen who came to my Hot Cocoa and Book Chat program last week, and she said, "Wow. That's, like, my life."

BINGO. We have a winner.

Gabi, A Girl in Pieces isn't going to make the Goodreads Fangirl Cover Squeal List. Or is it Cover Lust? I don't know, except that it usually involves a lot of frantic gifs that make my eyes want to die. It's kind of a messy cover, because (dude, watch out, metaphor coming!!!) life is messy. Gabriella Hernandez's life is super messy. Her dad's a
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub, 5-stars
I read this book for a high school aged girls book club. In the beginning I wondered if I would even finish it. As shown by my rating, I absolutely loved this book! By around page 80 I was completely hooked and couldn't put it down. It seemed overly dramatic from what I remember my teenage years to be. But maybe I have forgotten? Maybe the world isn't that different? The blunt honesty was very refreshing, especially from a Mexican-American girl, and makes a great conversation starter for a wide ...more
Charlie Radin
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is absolutely true diary of a part time Indian, for Mexican American girls. It's more than a little over the top: pregnant best friend, pregnant mom, meth head dad, etc, but it's timely, important, and has so much girl power! Gabi is hard not to love and the book calls out stuff that needs calling out: that girls are slutty and boys can't help it, girls need husbands, slut shaming, violence against women, etc. I'm not ready to call it one of the best of the year, but it's one of the most im ...more
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Assigned reading for MLIS 7421: Multicultural Youth Literature.

Gabi is the kind of story that really took me by surprise; I don't know what I was expecting, but it was not this incredibly body-positive, sex-positive, feminist, heartwarming, gut-punch of a coming-of-age story. There is so much important content packed into such a quick read, which I couldn't help but appreciate, even if I didn't love all of the executions:

1. Fat rep: I have no idea if this rep is own-voice, but it felt authentic
Feb 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 4, 2015, starred-2014
2.5 stars

I see why it received some critical acclaim and awards. The novel gets points for many things - diversity (the MC is Mexican, "fat," with a meth head father, pregnant girlfriend and a gay guy friend and is a poet, of course), it takes a feminist (teen feminist that is) stance on every issue under the sun - weight, sexuality, pregnancy, rape, religion, dating, education, etc., etc.

But as a novel it's just not that great. Definitely not subtle in any way.
Book Riot Community
I read 20 books this month–including Between the World and Me, The Book of Unknown Americans, Everything I Never Told You–so rather than driving myself insane trying to pick the best/favorite I went with the one I wanted to hug immediately after I finished reading it. Super scientific, I know. But after watching Gabi navigate through her senior year of high school, her dad’s drug addiction, a friend’s coming out, a friend’s pregnancy, dating… I’m left wanting not only to befriend this smart, wit ...more
Maybe 3-1/2 stars, rounded down.

A detailed review will follow.

I really enjoyed Gabi's voice -- she's fresh and funny and very much a real kid. And I really loved the author's eagerness to normalize what people feel and to encourage kids to seek to be authentic and honest with themselves. But at the same time, there was so much going on (body image! pregnancy and motherhood! abortion! gayness! drug addiction! lust! etc.) that none of it got explored very deeply. And by the end, it all felt just
Oh my gosh, outstanding, especially the second half.

Wasn't there some sort of question about best YA boyfriend last year? Because Martin is the best YA boyfriend of all time. All the others can give up and go home.
This book is FANTASTIC.

Written as a diary of a single year -- senior year -- of high school, Quintero's novel focuses on what Gabi goes through on a near-daily basis when it comes to family, friends, boys, her future, and more. Gabi's voice is fresh and funny, even amid the exceptionally tough things going on in her life. Her father's a drug addict, her best friend is pregnant, and her best guy friend just came out to her, causing his life to spin out of control because he was kicked out of his
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I lost my notes for this review. I really liked this book about a Mexican-American teen writing about her last year of high school. It's written diary-style. There's a lot going on in this book, and many people complained about this in their reviews, but isn't life full of issues and problems and we learn to handle it all? Gabi's dad is a meth addict, her mom doesn't trust her, her best friend Cindy is pregnant, her other best friend Sebastian has been kicked out of his house for coming out to h ...more
lucy  black
Not what I thought it would be like at all. I was expecting this to be grittier and more mature. Told in diary format 17/18 year old Gabi often sounds more 13/14 and at times her chatty tone really got on my nerves. I liked that topics explored- sexuality, class, drug use, queerdom, pregnancy.. but I felt like the author was ticking teen drama boxes and it would have been better to just pick one or two and go more in depth. Gabi talks about loving her city but I didn't get any real feel for the ...more
Abby Johnson
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen, diverse, favorites
Okay, I just loved this book. I feel like my colleagues at work are probably sick of me going on about how good it is. And Thank Goodness for people like Kelly Jensen and awards like the Morris Award or else I probably would not have picked up this book and I would be missing out.

Gabi's voice is SO REALISTIC. I truly felt like I could have been reading the actual diary of a 17-year-old girl. And even though I have nothing in common with Gabi culturally or even the experiences that she goes thro
E. Anderson
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What's not to love about GABI, A GIRL IN PIECES? Not much that I can think of. This new book by Isabel Quintero is sassy, funny, heart-felt, heartbreaking, hearwarming, and unputdownable. I love Gabi Hernandez, the protagonist, not for her self-deprecating humor, but for her willingness to grow past it. I loved her honesty, as she struggles with some pretty tough stuff, from being the "fat girl" to her best friend's unwanted pregnancy to her dad being a meth addict. It's not that she takes it in ...more
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventures-in-ya
4.5 stars

When I read glowing reviews of a book, my expectations are super high. And I read a few reviews of Gabi, a Girl in Pieces from and the interviews with the author on YALSA's The Hub. I was interested and really hoping that this book would deliver. And it did!

While I didn't love Gabi, a Girl in Pieces to pieces (har har), I did really appreciate this book. Normally, me appreciating a book doesn't really warrant 5 stars, but this book feels like a 21st century mix
Yamna Rashid
Wow. Honestly, I didn't expect to love this book when I first started it. Somehow, Gabi irritated me in the start; she was whiny, she kept saying she needed to lose weight but she kept eating too much. It was kind of annoying. But then, Gabi started talking about her daily life and, finally, I felt a connection with her.
This book is about a Mexican-American girl going through the daily notions of life while dealing with a gay best friend, a pregnant best friend, awful bullies in her school as w
Naz (Read Diverse Books)
I have lots of thoughts on this book. Most of them positive, but also had a few problems. Will try to write up a review in the next few days.
Gabi, a Girl in Pieces reminded me a lot of Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian--they're told in a very conversational, somewhat rambly diary format. Both books give readers an intensely honest look at a (very charismatic) teenager and their highs and lows with cultural identity, fathers who struggle with addiction, sexuality, etc. But while I definitely liked and appreciated The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Gabi, a Girl in Pieces had an immediate lo ...more
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: woc, woc-ftw
Review originally published on my blog

Gabi has a lot on her plate. It’s her last year of high school but apart from classes and college applications, she also has to deal with a father who is fighting a losing battle with meth addiction, her friend Cindy getting pregnant (as a result of date rape, we learn later), her other best friend Sebastian coming out, as well as exploring her own sexuality and first relationships.

Isabel Quintero’s first novel Gabi, A
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, quotes
I loved reading Gabi's journal (even though I wished there had been more in-person conversations.) I also loved that she was unapologetic in her love of food:

I am going to have a grilled cheese sandwich and think about this precarious situation

I came back to my room to think. I sat munching on some Hot Cheetos with lemon and Tapatio and a bottle of Dr. Pepper (my favorite thinking foods)

I am going to make another zine soon about one of my most favoritist of favorite foods: tacos. Tacos are like
Roxanne (The Novel Sanctuary)
DNF at 17 min into audio book. Uses R word. Could be to make a point but way too many books for me to care and keep going when I know I abhor the word so much.
The Dyslexic Bookworm

This has to be one of the best books that portrays what it is like to be a Mexican-American. The whole thing was so good that I couldn't put it down, and honestly we need more of those books with Mexican-American MC's in it.

This book is the diary of Gabi, a chubby Mexican girl that has to struggle with the ins and outs of high school. It details the day to day life that she goes through and it's nice to see that this book captured the craziness of bein
Inn Auni
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, young-adult
This is so good. I wasn't expecting much from a jurnal. I've read a few and it did not meet my expectation. But, this is that good. I could not put it down once started. It was honest and funny. And I could feel Gabi's struggle.

I like Gabi a lot. She was comfortable with her body. Yes, she had some issue with her weight but, it did not stop her from being awesome. She had family issue. Again, it did not stop her from being her. She never use excuses like weight and family to go and buy a gun and
Originally posted at

The first book I finished, though officially I started it on the last day of 2016, was quite a read. It was a book I didn’t quite know that I needed to read, until I read it. Don’t you just love when that happens?

I like how it opens, and how in this first journal entry that we read, Quintero sets the scene for the book.

"July 24
My mother named me Gabriela, after my grandmother who, coincidentally, didn’t want to meet me when I was born
Kristina Gomez
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know when a book just gets you? Like voice in your head, how-could-anyone-other-than-me-even-write-this, gets you? Well if you are (or were) a chubby light skinned Mexican girl trying to deal with family/school/friend drama, stop what you’re doing and read this book. And if you aren’t (or weren’t), still stop what you’re doing and read this book.

Gabi is a girl; a gordita; a guera (not really, she’s just often confused as one since she looks white). These words are used to describe pieces of
"Living a lie is painful and doesn't do anyone any good." Gabi is a Mexican-American senior in high school who keeps a diary of her comings and goings and that is what this book is. At first I had a hard time adjusting to Gabi's voice. It presents itself in many ways: mean, feisty, bright, reflective, grieving, questioning, assertive, hilarious etc. which makes sense for the diary format. After I got acclimated to the rhythm of the book, I was amazed how the sparse writing still allowed me to fe ...more
Ashley Owens
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4/5 stars. I think I was considering giving this book 3 stars for a second because I for some reason had it in my mind that this book would be about rape culture. But it's not. But that's my fault for assuming that for no freaking reason, so I shouldn't take that out on the books rating!

This was a very very VERY good book. The writing is impeccable; funny, emotional, relatable, intelligent, and sharp. The reason the writing stands out is being so on point is largely due to the main character, Ga
Lucia Gonzalez
Honestly, it was so hard to rate this book. I hated it but I liked it at the same time, so I am giving it two stars: one for that amazing poem about the female body, my favourite part of this book without doubt! And the second star because of the diversity in terms of the characters; I can see why so many people liked it: lgbtq+ presence, the main character is a fat latina teenager, religion (and the discussion of it and its morals) is all over the place, teenage pregnancy... That was great, it ...more
Alyssa Chrisman
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alicia (A Kernel of Nonsense)
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beloved-books
I am mentally kicking myself for not picking up Isabel Quintero’s Gabi, a Girl in Pieces sooner. This contemporary features one of the most genuine voices I’ve come across, handling difficult issues with honesty and care, with representation that spoke directly to this Latina reader. Gabi Hernandez is many things. Best friend. Daughter. Sister. Fat girl. Mexican-American. In her senior year of high school, Gabi is trying to juggle all her different identities while simultaneously not disappointi ...more
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 I really like the diary format. Gabby was a hoot. I think I definitely would’ve been friends with her. I didn’t expect the book so many hot topics. Well done.
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Isabel Quintero is a writer, poet, teacher, wife, friend, sister, daughter, granddaughter, aunt niece, and a bunch of other things. She lives in the Inland Empire, where she was born and raised by Mexican immigrant parents and Mexican immigrant granddparents; the hospital where she was born in was converted to a Lowe's hardware store. That's how long ago she was born.

She learned to love reading a

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“Poetry helps heal wounds.
Makes them tangible.

At the poetry reading I read
a poem.
A prophecy I wrote down.
Almost couldn't go through with it.

But it came out
hurried and hot
and by the end
my tongue was on fire.”
“And if anyone has trouble understanding that, well, they can kiss my ass.” 11 likes
More quotes…