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Try to Remember

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  228 ratings  ·  36 reviews
If she tries, Gabriela can almost remember when her father went off to work . . . when her mother wasn't struggling to undo the damage he caused . . . when a short temper didn't lead to physical violence. But Gabi cannot live in the past, not when one more outburst could jeopardize her family's future. So she trades the life of a normal Miami teenager for a career of caref ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 5th 2010 by Grand Central Publishing (first published April 16th 2010)
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3.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  228 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Tasheena Christensen
Jun 15, 2010 rated it it was ok
I had a hard time really being engaged in this story, it was a frustrating read for me. I felt annoyed that none of the characters really seemed to deal with what was going on, it was all internal, and even the internal stuff wasn't as extreme as the situation was. Maybe that's a cultural thing, I don't know, but I just found it to be sad. I didn't connect with the characters enough to really care about what was happening, they weren't developed well. Overall I was pretty disappointed with this ...more
Cassie May
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Happy that Gabri is a successful immigrant lawyer. Book was toooooooo long.
Feb 13, 2011 rated it liked it
I heard the author speak in the fall, and I'm pretty sure someone said this coming-of-age novel is based on her childhood. It's a window into the family insularity of some Colombian immigrants in Miami in the mid-20th century. I think the family members' maddening refusal to ask for help from close friends or institutions would be more understandable if bad things actually happened when they finally went to the police or the hospital--I am sure many immigrants do have bad experiences with author ...more
Jun 25, 2010 rated it liked it
A friend bought me this book, which was written by her friend. I was really excited to read it because it's about an immigrant family and was written by an immigration lawyer. But I was kind of disappointed. The first half is really the same thing over and over and over. While it's great for character development, it's really a lot of chapters dedicated to repeating the same simple theme. In fact, not much happens in the book overall, which made it a bit tedious to read. Yet, at the end, I found ...more
Mar 17, 2011 rated it liked it
This story had a way of capturing you to keep reading. The book could of been about 100 pages shorter due to the monotony of the storyline in the beginning. I think after the few couple of incidents the reader can grasp the concept that something isn't right in the family structure.

I was rooting for Gabrieleta to break out of the family tradition and become her own person. Her mother i could've strangled. I can understand the situation but there just comes a point where a mother and a human bei
May 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
I found this book to be really sad and frustrating. Whie it was enlightening to read about how Gabriele, a 14-year-old immigrant , was adjusting to life in America, I was mostly aggravated by her family's refusal to acknowledge her father's deteriorating mind. I had a hard time accepting that her family relocated to the United States for a better life, but was then willing to ignore their father's illness/violent oubursts at the risk of deportation. Maybe this is a difference in our cultures, no ...more
Apr 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. I would like to thank Goodreads & Iris Gomez for giving me the chance to read this book. I believe anyone reading this will be doing a lot of thinking & possibly trying to put themselves in Gabi's shoes. At least that seemed to be what I kept doing...and it was impossible for me to even imagine living the life that they were living. But I kept trying anyway. Very thought provoking.
Mary Ann
May 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book about a young immigrant woman/teenager and how she navigates the divide between her Columbian birthplace and Miami, where she now lives with her family. The book totally captured me. It is written so vividly and opened a door for me into her life and famly struggles. Gabriela is the star of this novel but the other characters are just as compelling. It's a page turner and you will want to stay up all night reading.

Jun 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Great story centering around Gabriela, 14, immigrant from Columbia and her conlict with the Latino ways and her hope for a modern American future. Her father is losing his mind, her mom is hiding the situation from everyone while clinging to her version of the traditional ways, her brother is sniffing glue. Gabi is trying to hold the family together. Some interesting insight into the immigrant (legal) experience where they are afraid to trust anyone for fear of deportation
Priscilla Perez
Jul 02, 2014 rated it liked it
I could relate to the main character because of the language she spoke and the ways of Hispanic families. It was sad to read how broken the family was. The book was long and repetitive. I did enjoy how strong the main character was although the environment she was living in was unhealthy. This book shared a bit of the struggles families of immigrants endure in starting a life in America and also the physical abuse of domestic violence.
Aug 13, 2012 rated it liked it
I liked this book. I agree with other reviewers that it was repititious.

The book gave me an insight into growing up bright in a latino/old world environment. One of the reviewers on Goodreads said that the book is semi-autobiographical. Wow, I can't imagine succeeding from this background but Ms Gomez has.

The teachers are almost too good to be true. The helpful neighbor is a bit phony.

I liked the book with reservations.
May 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
I received this book in a giveaway. When I first started it I thought it was too depressing with too much Spanish in it. However, by the end I was "with" the heroine, empathizing with her and came away with good impressions of the book. Gabriela had to go through a lot but in the end things are looking up for her!
May 02, 2010 rated it liked it
I won this book on Goodreads First Reads. I enjoy stories about teenage girls and their struggles. This girl was very likeable and sympathetic. Her family on the other hand, was not. There was too much emphasis on the father's illness and violent temper, in my opinion. And I thought the ending left too much unresolved.
This story is about a young immigrant teen and her family living in Miami. I found myself totally wrapped up in Gabriela's life as she struggles to keep her family together. The weight of the world is on her shoulders as she tries to remember good things in her past. Interesting and well-written story.
Jun 04, 2011 rated it liked it
I found this book when I was browsing a bookstore in an airport. I liked the topics of immigration, mental health, and loyalty to family that the author covers, although I didn't find that the writing was particularly outstanding.
Jul 10, 2010 rated it liked it
This was not as good as I expected it to be. I read some reviews and I thought more of the book would follow the father's mental illness but that wasn't the case. It was a good enough read for me to make it to the end!
Sep 07, 2010 rated it it was ok
Really wanted to like this book but such a struggle to finish it. There were a couple of points in the book that I thought "yes, it's getting better" only to be disappointed to end up back where it started from. The story line had potential but seemed never to get off the ground.
Jun 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
I understand the issues that Iris Gomez is addressing and for that I give the book two stars. I just simply did not find it well written. The narrative was jumpy. Except for the narrator, the other characters were not fleshed out well enough to be engaging.
Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
A surprising pleasant read. This is written from a teenage girls viewpoint. Her family is from Columbia and currently living in Miami. She struggles with family problems as well as differences in culture. It is an easy light summer read.
Oct 06, 2014 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
It took me three days to get through 60 pages of this book. Hardly any dialogue, so it was hard to be engaged with the characters. It was also hard to know where the story was going.
Sep 28, 2010 rated it liked it
This was sort of like Next to Normal meets immigration meets the 1970's. I liked it but it was a real downer.
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Fantastic look into a young Columbian teenagers life in Miami. Internal struggle and family struggle take you to emotional places that test the view of what life must be like as a poor immigrant.
Dec 28, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is so dysfunctional it's hard to imagine one family have so many problems but I read it because I wanted to know how it turned out
Dec 28, 2011 rated it liked it
This novel was good but exhausting with the father's slow decline with mental illness. You also get a good sense of life for new immigrants and their fear of being deported.
Megan Mullins
Sep 27, 2010 rated it liked it
It is definitely scarier to me when the dad has the crazy. (...instead of the mom) No idea why.
May 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Had the pleasure of meeting Iris Gomez, and she is delightful!
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this coming of age novel of a Columbian girl living in Florida in the late 60s/early 70s. Insightful, sharp, and just a little bit painful. Recommended.
Jun 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Excelent story of a Columbian girl in Miami, and how she adjusts to different customs, her family struggles, and growing up.
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IRIS GÓMEZ is an award-winning writer and nationally-recognized expert on the rights of immigrants in the United States. She is the author of two poetry collections, Housicwhissick Blue (Edwin Mellen Press, 2003) and When Comets Rained (CustomWords, 2004), which earned a prestigious national poetry prize from the University of California. Her work is widely published in a variety of literary and o ...more