Gabi is Mexican-American, a poetry nerd, and has a meth addicted father. She has two best friends: Cindy, who suspects she’s pregnant, and Sebastian, who is about to come out to his homophobic parents.
The way Gabi writes reminds me of a more eloquent and thoughtful version of my teenage self — although my life didn’t have nearly as much drama. (I just thought it did.) Gabi is both insecure (her mom hassles her about her weight) and confident (she performs spoken word poetry in front of several audiences and stands up for what she believes in).
I’m always a bit wary of fat main characters because so often by the end of the book they’ve come to “accept themselves for who they are” by losing lots of weight. Gabi loses some weight, and gains some weight. Like a normal person! And this isn’t a book about how fat girls can be attractive (all about that bass, ’bout that bass), it’s about unfair expectations and beauty standards and patriarchy and rape culture and growing up into an adult body when no one really explains how adult bodies work. Especially if you’re a lady. There are some parts in the book where Gabi is writing down questions she wishes she could ask her mom, and they made me laugh because they’re exactly the kinds of things I wished I could ask when I hit puberty. Things like:
How long does sex last for? A few minutes? An hour?
If you think I am so smart, why do you think I will make stupid choices?
And Gabi’s relationships with boys! Super adorable.
I wore the Edgar Allen Poe T-shirt today in the hopes that [spoiler] would say something like, “You got my gift! I’m glad you liked it. Do you want to be my girlfriend? Maybe we could get some tortas?” And I would say, “I loved the gift! Yes, I’ll be your girlfriend! And I know of a really good torta place!” I didn’t run that scenario by anyone.
But when I wore it, all he said was, “Nice T-shirt” and whether I was still up for going to the coffee shop. I said yes and he said, “Cool, you wanna go Friday with Lindsay and me?”
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
Why would he send me this stupid T-shirt if he and Lindsay are making all sorts of poetry sex plans?
I haven’t even mentioned how caring and complicated her relationships with both her friends and family are. It’s on my list of books for hypothetical future offspring to read.