Duration: 10 hours
Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents a brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence that poses this question: What would you do if you had the power to reach through time and space and retrieve anything you want, including your mother, who is no longer living (in this universe, anyway)?
How did a raw chicken get inside Yasmany's locker?
When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn't under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal's office for the third time in three days, and it's still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany's locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared.
Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess . . . except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he's capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken--including his dead mother--and she takes it all in stride, Sal knows that she is someone he can work with. There's only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk.
A sassy entropy sweeper, a documentary about wedgies, a principal who wears a Venetian bauta mask, and heaping platefuls of Cuban food are just some of the delights that await in his mind-blowing novel gift-wrapped in love and laughter.
My thoughts: Yea! I'm so happy that more Latino authors are coming out with books as well as books demonstrating the Latino culture. When I heard about Sal & Gabi, I knew I had to immediately read it. Luckily, my library had the audiobook available through Overdrive. It was not perfect, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Pros: There were so many positives from this book. First, the characters were very well written. Sal was kind, funny, and absolutely enjoyable to read. He loved magic and despite losing his mother, he appeared to be a happy child. Then there was Gabby, the smart one. She too was kind and funny but with a little bit of OCD. I enjoyed how strong she was despite having a family drama. Next, I really like the fact that this book introduced a person with a disability. Sal had type 1 diabetes. You don't really see that in books so it was neat to listen to a main character who struggled with a day-to-day challenge. Last, I really enjoyed how serious issues were dealt with in this book. It was heartbreaking to listen to Sal trying to bring his dead mami alive again or the parts about Gabby's little brother being in the NICU.
Cons: There were not that many bad things about this book but there are some things that did not make me wanna give it 5 stars. First of all, it was hard to understand the plot of the story. I knew Sal was trying to bring back his mom but it didn't fully explain how he was able to open the curtain to the next universe. Next, the book did not fully explain the type of setting the story took place. Is it set in an alternate universe? Are we in the future? Where are we? I had a lot of questions. Last, well that was it. There was nothing else that was wrong with this book.
Now let me talk about the reader of this audiobook production. Anthony Rey Perez did a fantastic job narrating all of the characters. I highly enjoyed his accent, which helped make the characters feel real and also brought the Cuban culture to life. He really nailed Sal's personality too. I was chuckling many times throughout the book. I hope he also does the narration for the sequel.
As a whole, this audiobook production was well done. I highly enjoyed the characters, the Latino aspect of it, and how the serious issues were portrayed. Yes, it was not perfect but it did not deter me from enjoying it. I am looking for to reading the next book in the series. I rate it: