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Be still, my heart. Gabi, A Girl in Pieces had everything a young adult novel should have – love, tragedy, humor, and a nice dose of humility. Gabi is as strong and realistic a heronie as you’ll ever see, and I dare you not to cheer for as she fights to overcome her surroundings – pregnant classmates, meth addicted father, mother warning her again and again that she better not be a “bad girl”. Gabi refuses to take anything for face value and is determined to find the best in her taco-loving, poetry-writing, less-than-perfect self. Gabi reminded me of Meg Medina’s brilliant novel Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass – one of my all time favorites. The two are similar in their strong female characters questioning the world around them, fighting back against stereotypes and gender expectations. Another similarity is the chance that both novels give to the reader to step into the shoes of a Latina teen, experiencing the unique pressures and difficulties that come with the culture. Gabi is very YA – teen sex, drug use, abortion, drinking, swearing – but highly recommended.