Sal and Gabi Break The Universe by Carlos Hernandez


A few years ago I went to Florida in October to go to Harry Potter World.  It’s sort of irrelevant to this review except I wanted to make it clear that visiting Harry Potter World was one of the greatest moments of my life and Florida is a sticky humid swamp I would rather avoid.  It was October and my curly hair was a frizzed out poof (think Monica in Barbados), walking down the block caused me to sweat, and (weirdly, considering we were right by the ocean) there was an interesting LACK of sea breeze.  So I connected with Sal, a Connecticut through and through who is starting off the new school year in Miami. I got the distress the Florida heat caused….I liked Sal. I actually liked a lot about this book, which was a shock because I have hated every Rick Riordan Presents so far.  Rick Riordan Presents seemed like it was trying to market cultural myths and legends in a formula that brought the success of The Lightning Thief. It didn’t work. But this one steps away from that formula. It’s not about trying to retell all the myths of a culture; it’s about bringing to life a metaphysical theory about multi universes.  I loved how Carlos Hernandez was able to share culture and language with his characters, while presenting this super trippy concept of “breaking Universes”. I loved that the characters felt unique and ideal in a way that made them fun to read, but also held elements of relatable truth. I loved that the story was fun and ok honestly I just loved that a character like Gabi exists to give every girl the okay to be bossy AND like-able!!!  It was entertaining, magical, and pretty funny too!! AND no tears with this one…
For Ages: 9 years old and up
For Those That Liked: A Wrinkle in Time, Merci Suarez Changes Gears, Hello, Universe