I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role. Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter Details

TitleI Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 17th, 2017
PublisherKnopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139781524700485
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter Review

  • Book Riot Community
    January 1, 1970
    When Olga is hit and killed by a semi, Julia mourns the loss of not just her sister, but what it might mean for what her life will look like down the road. Olga was quiet, stayed at home, and played the role of “good Mexican daughter.” Julia wants out — she wants more to her life than her Chicago neighborhood or living at home forever like her sister did. She’s a poet and an art lover and wants to make a life out of writing.Through the process of learning to live without Olga, Julia slowly begin When Olga is hit and killed by a semi, Julia mourns the loss of not just her sister, but what it might mean for what her life will look like down the road. Olga was quiet, stayed at home, and played the role of “good Mexican daughter.” Julia wants out — she wants more to her life than her Chicago neighborhood or living at home forever like her sister did. She’s a poet and an art lover and wants to make a life out of writing.Through the process of learning to live without Olga, Julia slowly begins to better understand why her parents, both immigrants, are the way that they are. More, Julia begins to unravel the deep secrets that her sister kept. And it’s during a trip to Mexico to visit family that Julia begins to learn how much her parents sacrificed for her and Olga, as well as how much she has to step up and take control of her own life and future. That it’s OKAY for her not to be someone she isn’t.This well-drawn debut YA novel from Sanchez should delight readers who loved Gabi, A Girl in Pieces. Also, a moment to drool over that cover!— Kelly Jensenfrom The Best Books We Read In May 2017: https://bookriot.com/2017/06/02/riot-...
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  • Liv (Stories For Coffee)
    January 1, 1970
    REVIEW TO COME
  • Joss (tealreader)
    January 1, 1970
    Everyone needs to read his book. I've never felt so connected to a character in my entire life.
  • Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
    January 1, 1970
    See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an eARC I got from the publisher via NetGalley as a staff reviewer for YA Books Central.Diversity Rating: 4 – This Is Our WorldRacial-Ethnic: 5 (almost everyone is Latinx, specifically Mexican/Mexican-American)QUILTBAG: 1 (A gay character named Juanga is a minor character)Disability: 4 (Julia attempts suicide, but it is only vaguely described and her recovery from depression is very therapy/medication-positive)Intersectionality: 5 (Julia is ov See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an eARC I got from the publisher via NetGalley as a staff reviewer for YA Books Central.Diversity Rating: 4 – This Is Our WorldRacial-Ethnic: 5 (almost everyone is Latinx, specifically Mexican/Mexican-American)QUILTBAG: 1 (A gay character named Juanga is a minor character)Disability: 4 (Julia attempts suicide, but it is only vaguely described and her recovery from depression is very therapy/medication-positive)Intersectionality: 5 (Julia is overweight and her family is pretty darn poor)Warning: book has a suicide attempt in it, but it goes without description until the final chapter. Even then, it’s only vaguely described.First off, go read Latinx reviewers’ opinions and reviews of this book, especially if they’re Mexican/Mexican-American like Julia and her family. Boost their voices instead of white voices like mine. I’m reviewing I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter mostly because it’s something that’s right as a reviewer who requested the book, but I also want to say this book is good. There’s a reason it’s made the longlist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature!White people like me are unlikely to get this book or get much from it either. It’s just a fact because this book is for and about all the Latinx kids chafing in their households and family traditions but still in love their heritage and culture because identity is cimplicated. Some of what Julia lives with because it’s a Mexican thing or just something her mom Amá just does are downright abusive. Even after learning about what Amá went through and why she is the way she is, it’s hard to forgive her for the way she treated Julia. Insulting Julia to her face so many times! Good God!Julia is an abrasive girl narrating a very character-driven book, so her personality will either make it or break it for readers. She’s also diagnosed with depression later in the book, adding dimension to portrayals of the disease. The mere word makes you think “sadness all the time,” but that isn’t always how you see it. Some people, like Julia, are constantly angry instead. There is no single way depression expresses itself and we can’t forget that. What’s undeniable above all is how well-written Julia is in her fury and familial claustrophobia.I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is very pro-medication/therapy for dealing with mental illness too. I swear, I’m going to start a definitive list of books like these for teens because THERAPY AND MEDICATION THAT FIGHTS BACK AGAINST MENTAL ILLNESS IS GOOD. DON’T LET THE STEREOTYPES ABOUT THE TWO STOP YOU.My one true sticking point comes when Julia insults someone’s hair by saying the woman has an “asexual mom haircut.” I don’t appreciate my sexuality or anyone else’s used as an insult! (Well, except for heteros because it doesn’t hurt anyone, participate in systemic discrimination, or happen all that often, which therefore makes it hilarious. See: white people jokes.)My best friend is Latina with roots stretching from Mexico to Peru. Her first language was Spanish and she was downgraded from advanced classes in junior high to regular-level classes for the first half of high school because her eighth-grade English teacher didn’t think she spoke well enough to remain in advanced classes despite having excellent grades. Her relationship with her family as of late has also been very complicated.If she were a fan of prose novels, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is THE book I’d hand to her. Something tells me she’d find a kindred spirit in Julia. I hope its place on the NBA longlist will help get it into the hands of more Latinx teens who need it! If you’re a white person like me, I hope you do your part to get this book to the readers it’s for. If you’re not, I doubt you needed me to tell you this book is worthwhile. You’re smart like that.
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  • AleJandra
    January 1, 1970
    El título es completamente atrayente. En cuanto vi la portada corrí (figurativamente) a Amazon a comprarlo solo para darme cuenta que aún no lo publican. Pero sin duda tengo muchísimas ganas de leerlo. Yo nunca he sido una Mexicana Perfecta tampoco y muero por ver como desarrollara la historia la autora.Espero que no caiga en los clichés del genero YA, y tampoco en los estereotipos de nuestra cultura. Erika L. Sánchez confío en ti, no la vayas a regar.
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  • Rachel León
    January 1, 1970
    This book is smart and funny and has so much heart. I loved it.
  • Mel González
    January 1, 1970
    "She thrives in her truth and travels the world like a nomad, stealing the beauty of violet skies, finishing for pearls, pretty arabesques, paper swans, pressing them to her face and keeping them between her palms. Forever." *ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*TW: suicide attempt, self-injurious behaviour, discussions of -isms This was absolutely beautiful. An unique experience. It's not a perfect book, I actually found a lot of things I'm not happy "She thrives in her truth and travels the world like a nomad, stealing the beauty of violet skies, finishing for pearls, pretty arabesques, paper swans, pressing them to her face and keeping them between her palms. Forever." *ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*TW: suicide attempt, self-injurious behaviour, discussions of -isms This was absolutely beautiful. An unique experience. It's not a perfect book, I actually found a lot of things I'm not happy with. But it's a book that prompt me to write this review as soon as I finished it because I needed to discuss all the different nuances and aspects that Erika Sánchez pours in this book. First, I have to say I'm not Mexican, I'm from Argentina. It's Latin America, which means that there are a lot of things about our culture that are similar (a LOT that are different). Sometimes Julia's mom would say something that came out exactly like my mom would say it. There are a lot of good things about our identities, but there are also a lot a lot of flaws. And those two extremes and all the things in between are described in this book. The thing is that sometimes they were discussed thoroughly, and sometimes the main character (and I believe the author as well) was part of those good and bad things and showed a bit of that sometimes "traditional" mind that a lot of latinamerican people have. I don't know how I'm going to talk about everything I want to talk about but I'll try. The writing was beautiful. It was dark, gruesome and sometimes cruel. It had no filter and I believe it showed perfectly all the different things teenagers go through. It had an honest teenager voice that had so much development in the two years this book takes place. Especially since we follow Julia since she was 15 until she was leaving for university, which are very crucial years. It was a hard, bumpy journey. Julia was super unlikeable most of the time but the more you got to know her, the happier you were at seeing her grow. I must admit I was a bit biased because I saw a lot of my flawed, awful teenager self in her. All judgy living in a traditional small neighbourhood and closed minded culture and suddenly believing you're better than everyone and at the same time hating yourself (because of your fucked up brain). And those things were part of the complex relationships we saw in this book. Her friendship with Lorena, her relationship with her dead sister Olga and all the things she wanted to know about her, her relationship with her mom all up and down and unstable, the one with her dad all calm and impersonal, the one with Connor and Esteban, even the one that she had with Juanga. All of those were so different in so many ways and her mental health was such an important factor in the way she communicated with them. Also, talking about her mental health. This book showed such a raw portrayal of what is like to deal with grief, ptsd but also depression and anxiety. How they creep up on you and they take you down without you even realising. How important it is to ask for help, how it affects your relationship with the people around you but most importantly the relationship that you have with yourself. It showed how her parents viewed her mental illnesses and how they didn't understand her but they tried to anyway. And I loved how nothing was romanticised, everything was showed in an accurate and truthful way. It's important that she continued with her treatment and that she always talked about how important it is to take medication.Even though this book talked about Mexican culture and heritage in detail and showed the big picture, you could also see little things interwoven with the narrative that was just gorgeous to see. One of the moments when I cried the most is when she talked about the song "Todo Cambia" by Mercedes Sosa (an argentinian singer) because it's a beautiful and heartbreaking song at the same time. But also I laughed a lot when she said she hated Maná because same. The descriptions of food were absolutely everything I wanted. It made me hungry like 99% of the time. The depiction of the differences between living in the United States as a daughter of Mexicans and actually living in Mexico were so important to me. Both of those things come with good and bad things but they are completely different experiences (not that I know about any of them from actual experience but I'm talking about the differences between latinxs in the US and latinxs living in Latin America). I want to talk for a bit about the things I didn't like. Firstly, I understand that growing up with latinamerican parents can give you phobic thoughts and internalise them and most of the things people or Julia herself say in this book were called out, by her or by other people. But there were a few things that went without calling out like Julia saying slurs like queer (this might defer because some queer people don't think is a slur) and g*psy. Also, there was a lot of body shaming. I get that there were a few redeemable moments, especially in her relationship with her own body, but in general she said things like "I've seen her eat three tortas in one sitting. Thyroid my ass" (talking about a woman who said she was fat because of her thyroid). or "even if they're fat, they move as if they think they're fabulous" (this one is not that bad but the wording really annoys me). Apart from that, another time she said that someone has a "asexual mom haircut" (what?). And there were more moments that were kind of sexist or homophobic that made me uncomfortable. In general, this book was really important for me to read. To recognise the things in latinamerican culture that are good and bad, the realisation that even though you grew up in a certain type of household doesn't mean that you can't be better than the people and the generations that came before you, all of those things meant a lot to me. How you can keep the good things and try and change the bad ones (especially regarding bigoted thoughts). Even though I read a review that said the suicide attempt made everything better, I don't think that. Everything got better because she got therapy, medications and she grew as a person but all of that was a process, it didn't change as soon as she did that and you could see from the start of the book that she was spiralling. I don't know for other people because experiences with mental health are so different but for me it was a very accurate portrayal.
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  • Rachel Smalter Hall
    January 1, 1970
    In the midst of some huge life changes, this is the story that finally grabbed my focus and gave me that I’m-in-love-with-this-book feeling again. It has such a great hook: after Julia’s "perfect" older sister dies, she discovers Olga was leading a secret double life. But what I loved most is how it presents a day in the life of a very relatable, fully realized teenage girl. Julia fights with her parents, adores her English teacher, navigates social dramas, and is very opinionated about books an In the midst of some huge life changes, this is the story that finally grabbed my focus and gave me that I’m-in-love-with-this-book feeling again. It has such a great hook: after Julia’s "perfect" older sister dies, she discovers Olga was leading a secret double life. But what I loved most is how it presents a day in the life of a very relatable, fully realized teenage girl. Julia fights with her parents, adores her English teacher, navigates social dramas, and is very opinionated about books and music. And the narrator is amazing — she uses the PERFECT inflections for a cynical teenage girl, as well as an impressive roster of supporting characters.
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  • Ms.Kim
    January 1, 1970
    I read the last few pages of this book while listening to "Todo Cambia" by Mercedes Sosa, when Julia mentioned it. The song is the perfect soundtrack to this book, and the tears just started flowing her voice sang about how everything changes...Julia's story is sad, frustrating, hopeful, beautiful, full of hurt, secrets, and dreams. Just like life. I loved learning about each of Julia's family members' lives...it took me back to when I had the shocking realizations that my parents had lives befo I read the last few pages of this book while listening to "Todo Cambia" by Mercedes Sosa, when Julia mentioned it. The song is the perfect soundtrack to this book, and the tears just started flowing her voice sang about how everything changes...Julia's story is sad, frustrating, hopeful, beautiful, full of hurt, secrets, and dreams. Just like life. I loved learning about each of Julia's family members' lives...it took me back to when I had the shocking realizations that my parents had lives before I knew them, and they sacrificed dreams in order to embrace realities. Anyway, this book was modern yet nostalgic, and I think anyone can relate...you don't have to be a teenager, Mexican, child of immigrants, or the black sheep of your family.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    It's a great character study of a teenage girl. I wish some parts were examined in more depth, but overall it was emotionally fascinating.
  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    When Olga -- the perfect Mexican daughter -- dies after getting hit by a semi, everything in Julia's life is upended. Julia always felt resentment toward her sister, especially since what Julia wanted from her life was the opposite of what Olga was: quiet, dutiful, hardworking, and happy to live that life at home with her parents. Julia itched to get out of her home in Chicago and go on to college. To experience a bigger, wider, more adventurous life. She believes that because of her attitude, h When Olga -- the perfect Mexican daughter -- dies after getting hit by a semi, everything in Julia's life is upended. Julia always felt resentment toward her sister, especially since what Julia wanted from her life was the opposite of what Olga was: quiet, dutiful, hardworking, and happy to live that life at home with her parents. Julia itched to get out of her home in Chicago and go on to college. To experience a bigger, wider, more adventurous life. She believes that because of her attitude, her willingness/ability to get into trouble, is why her sister died that day. While Julia doesn't actively blame herself for the accident, it certainly rumbles through her mind and it's something her mother uses against her. Julia has been struggling with depression, and it's not until months after her sister's death that a suicide attempt lands her in the hospital. Immediately after, she's sent to her family's home town in Mexico to spend time with extended family. It's here she learns far more about her parents than she'd ever known before and better begins to understand where she came from, as well as where she so eagerly yearns to be. This is a story about family, cultural expectations, growing up, and about mental illness and the ways all of those things can and do intersect with one another. It's also a story about the secrets people keep, as Julia begins to unravel a huge life secret her sister had, and it's on her mind whether to tell her parents or keep it to herself. And more, Julia struggles with how to continue to stand up for herself and her dreams when they're not the same wishes and hopes her parents have for her; she works to continually distance herself from what they believed her sister was. The perfect Mexican daughter.Julia loves music and poetry and journaling and has some wonderful support throughout the book, from those who are outside her family and those within it. What makes her outstanding is how she continually stands up for herself, even in the face of what it might mean for her family. She can't live the life they want her to live because it goes against what it is she wants...and what it is she believes that her parents do, deep down, want for her, even though it scares them to say or accept it.This book will resonate for many readers, but it'll resonate especially for readers who have grown up in a household like Julia's, where there are odds between cultural expectations and the dreams of a teen nearing their freedom. Readers who loved GABI, A GIRL IN PIECES will absolutely love this one.
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  • Tabitha
    January 1, 1970
    I've been looking for a book like this for a few years now, and am happy to have found it. While there were a few times when I struggled to stay connected with the narrator, I was also deeply moved by the way she tries to figure out who she is when living in two vastly different cultures. I also appreciate the inclusion of depression. Both of these issues are ones that so many teenagers I know face on a daily basis, and it was good reading a book that directly addressed both. I do wish that ther I've been looking for a book like this for a few years now, and am happy to have found it. While there were a few times when I struggled to stay connected with the narrator, I was also deeply moved by the way she tries to figure out who she is when living in two vastly different cultures. I also appreciate the inclusion of depression. Both of these issues are ones that so many teenagers I know face on a daily basis, and it was good reading a book that directly addressed both. I do wish that there were some more explicit moments of understanding; it all felt a little rushed at the end, and I was a bit disappointed because I liked what was there, but didn't feel like I was given enough. It needed to be given more time and space, the way everything else in the book had.
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  • Phyllis Krall
    January 1, 1970
    Growing up in a Mexican-American home was difficult for Julia, especially when her sister Olga dies in an accident. Julia feels that she can never meet her parent's expectations and be the perfect daughter that her sister seemed to be. When she discovers that Olga had shocking secrets and was not who she appeared to be, everything changes. Julia knows that she has to make her own choices with or without her parents' approval. She is able to understand them better after she visits the town where Growing up in a Mexican-American home was difficult for Julia, especially when her sister Olga dies in an accident. Julia feels that she can never meet her parent's expectations and be the perfect daughter that her sister seemed to be. When she discovers that Olga had shocking secrets and was not who she appeared to be, everything changes. Julia knows that she has to make her own choices with or without her parents' approval. She is able to understand them better after she visits the town where they grew up in Mexico and sees the sacrifices they have made for her.I really enjoyed this young adult book that I received from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. Highly recommend !
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  • Tadashi Hamada
    January 1, 1970
    This title just gave me goosebumps.
  • Daniela Amaya
    January 1, 1970
    Look, I am not a perfect Mexican daughter, but neither was my mother nor her mother before her. That means that while I've always been aware of the ideal girl many mexicans would like me to be, I've never felt that pressure directly myself. Not like Julia. This book was really incredible in that way. It was a whole portrayal of Mexican culture, the good and bad. There was a beautiful mix of English and Spanish that felt right for the story. The characters were well written and well developed. I Look, I am not a perfect Mexican daughter, but neither was my mother nor her mother before her. That means that while I've always been aware of the ideal girl many mexicans would like me to be, I've never felt that pressure directly myself. Not like Julia. This book was really incredible in that way. It was a whole portrayal of Mexican culture, the good and bad. There was a beautiful mix of English and Spanish that felt right for the story. The characters were well written and well developed. I'm really grateful to read a book about Mexicans, not just vaguely hispanic or have hispanic side characters, but actually be about Mexicans.This is the first book I've ever read about a purely Mexican girl and I wasn't disappointed. I loved that this book touches on topics of mental health and lgbt, it's a well rounded book that made Julia's story feel real and whole. I liked the way the book went from Julia at 15 to her going to college. Grief and Finding Yourself is a long process and I'm glad the author showed a large period of that time. Erika Sánchez contributes real representation and a new exciting perspective on a genre that really needed it. Her debut is an absolute smash, she wrote a really strong and important book, I'm so happy to have read it.
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    Erika Sánchez has given us a treasure in this debut novel.IANYPMD tells the story of Julia Reyes, a Chicana teenager living in Chicago, who is struggling to come to terms with her sister Olga's unexpected death. Following the funeral, Julia finds some baffling items (scandalous underwear and a hotel key) tucked away in her sister's room, and because the items suggest a puzzling private narrative that does not align with her sister's public narrative, Julia decides to set out on her own quest bec Erika Sánchez has given us a treasure in this debut novel.IANYPMD tells the story of Julia Reyes, a Chicana teenager living in Chicago, who is struggling to come to terms with her sister Olga's unexpected death. Following the funeral, Julia finds some baffling items (scandalous underwear and a hotel key) tucked away in her sister's room, and because the items suggest a puzzling private narrative that does not align with her sister's public narrative, Julia decides to set out on her own quest because she wants to know what her sister was doing. Yet, as the back jacket explains, it's a work about "losing a sister and finding yourself" because in the process of this search, Julia comes to better understand herself and who she'd like to become. Sánchez has done an exceptional job of creating a character whose voice is relatable and believable. If anything, I felt like the writer comes from a place of knowing or, if not, she has listened to enough young people to know how they think and speak. It's incredibly hard for adult writers to get that right, but she does. In the space of just 340 pages, the writer manages to tackle some of the issues below without ever being preachy, patronizing, or trite...and I'm being vague and leaving some issues out because I don't want to give away any spoilers: -depression and anxiety-grief-sexuality-adolescence & cultural identity: what happens when your personal aspirations threaten to complicate or undermine your relationship with your family/community-immigration-class and cultural differences in relationships-gender expectations and performance It's likely that readers will see parallels between this work and Sandra Cisneros' oeuvre, and it's true that both writers are poetically inclined Chicana women from Chicago. However, I think Sánchez steps out and creates her own new space for the 21st century adolescent reader. This work is unapologetically feminist, and it explores that conflict of feeling torn - wanting to honor where you come from with an acknowledgement that there are sometimes some cultural traditions that are worth questioning - if not entirely, then perhaps on a personal level - if it doesn't work for you. Cisneros did that with Esperanza in The House on Mango Street, but Esperanza leaves in search of her dream in a way that feels quieter and less assertive. Julia - and the rest of the material in IANYPMD - is grittier than Mango Street. In terms of the issue of finding one's cultural identity, IANYPMD also reminds me of Arnold Spirit's plight in Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian because Junior is castigated when he steps out of the reservation in search of a better education, just as Julia's mother guilts her for 1) not wanting to be a housewife 2) not wanting to have children 3) wanting to leave Chicago to study at a university. Sánchez leverages the moments of pain and loss with humor as well, making this work one to keep on your shelf, and if you are a librarian or teacher, it's one to share with your students.
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  • Ellie
    January 1, 1970
    What a strange feeling of emotions, one right after the other following the read of this book. It was very interesting to read about another Mexican family that’s not my own, and see all the similarities, and differences. We meet Julia, a high school student who loves to read, loves to write, loves to learn.Julia’s parents are from Mexico, and moved to the United States in 1991, shortly after they had her older sister Olga, then they had her. They grow up in the dangerous streets of Chicago, in What a strange feeling of emotions, one right after the other following the read of this book. It was very interesting to read about another Mexican family that’s not my own, and see all the similarities, and differences. We meet Julia, a high school student who loves to read, loves to write, loves to learn.Julia’s parents are from Mexico, and moved to the United States in 1991, shortly after they had her older sister Olga, then they had her. They grow up in the dangerous streets of Chicago, in a ‘Low-Income’ household. I feel that there are many labels that are put upon Mexican-American families. There are many situations that these types of families go through, whether that’s immigration situations, deaths in the family, strict parents, abusive uncles, quinceañeras, but not every Mexican American family goes through all the same situations, especially not all of the extreme ones.. Julia’s sister’s death happens right from the start, and it’s caused by a semi that ran her over because she crossed the street while she was looking at her phone. Even though Julia was not close to her sister Olga, it hits her hard, and she is unable to function properly, and she realizes that she never really knew her sister. She sets on a mission of figuring out the answers she needs to move forward and be at peace with her sisters passing. Nothings prepares her for what she is about to find out. We embark on this quest with her. A journey that breaks her, and she comes out stronger from it in the end. I highly recommend this read, to anyone that has ever felt out of place, or misunderstood from their own family.We can all identify with Julia in more ways then one, even if you are not Mexican American. You’ll find that you have more in common then you would have ever imagined.. ♥️EllieRG
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  • Alisha Marie
    January 1, 1970
    I so wanted to love I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. As a Latina, I love that there are more YA books coming out featuring Latinx characters and written by Latinx authors. That's not something that I really had when I was a young adult. However, there were just a couple of things about this novel that kinda rubbed me the wrong way, so I can't give it a higher rating.The Good: The mental illness aspect in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter seemed, for the most part, really well-done. I I so wanted to love I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. As a Latina, I love that there are more YA books coming out featuring Latinx characters and written by Latinx authors. That's not something that I really had when I was a young adult. However, there were just a couple of things about this novel that kinda rubbed me the wrong way, so I can't give it a higher rating.The Good: The mental illness aspect in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter seemed, for the most part, really well-done. I really liked how Julia's depression was sort of slow to start. For the most part, you weren't really sure if she was really depressed until it was sort of extremely obvious. That seemed true to form, at least in my experience. The cultural aspect of this book also seemed very true to form. I loved that it delved into the Mexican culture and what it means to be the perfect Mexican daughter and how Julia wasn't that.The Eh: I found Julia to be incredibly judgmental and somewhat unlikable. There's being sarcastic and funny and then there's being a jerk. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Julia was the latter. She also made a joke about someone having an "asexual mom haircut" and that really left a bad taste in my mouth. I also wasn't a big fan of the resolution. It was very much "that's it?". I just expected more from it.In the end, I liked I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, but I didn't love it. While it was a quick and engaging read, there were a few things that kept me from truly enjoying it.
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  • Ama
    January 1, 1970
    National Book Award for Young People's Literature NomineeIn this coming of age novel, Julia longs to leave Chicago for New York City. To go away for college and to be a writer. But, when her older sister, Olga, dies unexpectedly, Julia’s undocumented parents (especially her mother) expect her to take over Olga’s role of a perfect Mexican daughter. The daughter who stays at home after graduating high school, goes to the community college, and outside of work and school, spends her free time with National Book Award for Young People's Literature NomineeIn this coming of age novel, Julia longs to leave Chicago for New York City. To go away for college and to be a writer. But, when her older sister, Olga, dies unexpectedly, Julia’s undocumented parents (especially her mother) expect her to take over Olga’s role of a perfect Mexican daughter. The daughter who stays at home after graduating high school, goes to the community college, and outside of work and school, spends her free time with her family. But this ideal has always chaffed Julia. As she struggles with her sister’s death and the repercussions on her family, Julia also struggles with the depression and anxiety already present within herself. She begins to uncover some troublesome secrets about her older sister, which further upsets her already fragile mental state. Interesting story, but so much could have been edited out to make a stronger tale. A little too neatly wrapped up in the end.
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  • A.R. Hellbender
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsI identified with this book so much, because Julia is a lot like me in her interests and personality and everything. (And I also come from a Family-oriented culture, though my mom wasn't as relentless in her insisting that I stay somewhere nearby). This book is an important family story, with a female friendship, and tells the story of someone who is at a different income level. It's such an important book, and Julia's hilarious first-person narration helped the story even more.The part 4.5 starsI identified with this book so much, because Julia is a lot like me in her interests and personality and everything. (And I also come from a Family-oriented culture, though my mom wasn't as relentless in her insisting that I stay somewhere nearby). This book is an important family story, with a female friendship, and tells the story of someone who is at a different income level. It's such an important book, and Julia's hilarious first-person narration helped the story even more.The part that felt weak, however, was the love subplot. I felt like it came out of nowhere over 100 pages in, built up too quickly, and then we get a good chunk of the book without it. A lot of underdeveloped love subplots are fine that way in my opinion, but seeing how important of a part of Julia's story this love subplot is, it shouldn't have just gone by so quickly with little development after that much buildup.
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  • Cynthia Anne McLeod
    January 1, 1970
    Julia is far from perfect. She's rebellious, irritable. A teenage misanthrope. But she and her parents are still reeling from the death of her supposedly perfect older sister, Olga, who walked in front of a truck while texting. Devastated by this loss, her mother pressures Julia to conform to her own conservative values, and Julia complies as best she can. Her best isn't very good, and their relationship frays. Julia has also discovered evidence that Olga may not have been the perfect Mexican da Julia is far from perfect. She's rebellious, irritable. A teenage misanthrope. But she and her parents are still reeling from the death of her supposedly perfect older sister, Olga, who walked in front of a truck while texting. Devastated by this loss, her mother pressures Julia to conform to her own conservative values, and Julia complies as best she can. Her best isn't very good, and their relationship frays. Julia has also discovered evidence that Olga may not have been the perfect Mexican daughter they believed her to be. I became caught up in this story very quickly, so much so that I put it down only when I had to go to sleep or to work. Is it a perfect book? No. I felt Julia's willingness to open up with a counselor came a bit too easily. She didn't keep her guard up at a moment when she would have felt most vulnerable. But the author, Erika L. Sánchez, kept the story moving along so well, that this wasn't a deal breaker for me. When Julia is sent to visit her grandmother in Mexico, we see a different side of her. It is there she discovers that her sister was not the only one with a secret, that her parents suffered terrible trauma on the journey to the US. No one is quite who Julia believed them to be, but they are deeper, more complex characters, capable of more strength than she had ever suspected. Other reviews have referred to Julia's lack of likability. Call me a misanthrope too, if you must, but I didn't have a problem with her, especially since at about the time her personality reaches its crescendo, the reader realizes that this is a girl who is deeply, clinically depressed and in real trouble. I tend to be sensitive to unsympathetic protagonists and will bail if I dislike a narrator. It never occurred to me to bail on this one. I AM NOT YOUR PERFECT MEXICAN DAUGHTER is a welcome addition to contemporary YA literature about the Latina experience in the US. I enjoyed the setting in Chicago. There are plenty of books about Latinos in the Southwest or in New York, so I appreciated this change from the familiar. (Latinos in the contemporary South, anyone? I'm trying to convince my students to tell that story because it's theirs.)
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  • Krista K.
    January 1, 1970
    I received this arc from Netgalley for an honest review.Julia's older sister, Olga, was the perfect Mexican daughter until she died in a tragic traffic accident. Julia's mom uses her grief to point out how imperfect of daughter Julia is in comparison to Olga. Julia doesn't want to stay at home like Olga did; she wants to go to college in New York and become a famous writer. In an effort to better know her sister, Julia starts to follow clues and realizes Olga may not have been so perfect either. I received this arc from Netgalley for an honest review.Julia's older sister, Olga, was the perfect Mexican daughter until she died in a tragic traffic accident. Julia's mom uses her grief to point out how imperfect of daughter Julia is in comparison to Olga. Julia doesn't want to stay at home like Olga did; she wants to go to college in New York and become a famous writer. In an effort to better know her sister, Julia starts to follow clues and realizes Olga may not have been so perfect either. A thoughtful and funny book about family expectations and growing up in a Mexican-American home.
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    Again, I got so excited about the cover and title that I didn't read the description. Definitely young adult, from content and language to writing style. Don't understand starting off books with descriptions of funerals, especially descriptions of the bodies of the deceased. A bit much for middle school, but I can see this being a purchase for high schools.
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  • Zoe Bishop
    January 1, 1970
    This book had complex and interesting characters and touched on a lot of problems that can be hard to talk about. Overall, I thought the book was good but the pace that it moved at was too slow for my liking. It doesn't really get into how Olga died but focuses a lot more on Julia's life. This was interesting but made the book a lot slower.
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  • Stephanie Tournas
    January 1, 1970
    The main character is the daugher of undocumented Mexicans in Chicago. Her sister has died and she is depressed and feels her parents don't begin to understand her. Great treatment of cultural and economic differences, immigrants and depression.
  • Mina
    January 1, 1970
    I'd give this 2.5 if i could.
  • Mariana Calderon
    January 1, 1970
    Edit: This book was longlisted by the New Yorker for the 2017 National Book Awards. This had me going back through and thinking back on my reaction to the book. I can't get past the awful (in my eyes) trope mentioned below, but I do think, looking back on it and on certain scenes, that the depiction of a young person struggling against the conservative Mexican-American culture is true to life and valuable. So I went back and bumped it another star. I'm still the 2-star outlier in dozens of 3-5 s Edit: This book was longlisted by the New Yorker for the 2017 National Book Awards. This had me going back through and thinking back on my reaction to the book. I can't get past the awful (in my eyes) trope mentioned below, but I do think, looking back on it and on certain scenes, that the depiction of a young person struggling against the conservative Mexican-American culture is true to life and valuable. So I went back and bumped it another star. I'm still the 2-star outlier in dozens of 3-5 star reviews, but *shrug.* I had high hopes for this book, but unfortunately, it just didn't live up to my expectations. Pro: It was chock full of references to Mexican-American conservative culture - which I can recognize and appreciate, if not relate to. Luckily, I didn't grow up being told that being a "good daughter" meant learning to cook and never moving out, but it is super common. I know many latinx readers will appreciate and sympathize with the feelings of being out of place and trapped in their own homes.BIG Con: I absolutely hated the "resolution" of the book. It ruined the whole experience for me. I always look for and read YA books that portray mental illness; I think it is an incredibly important perspective to write and read. However, this book fell into the trap of trying to tie up the themes of depression and parental emotional abuse too neatly. (view spoiler)[The "main character attempts suicide and suddenly everyone is more understanding and supportive" trope is dangerous and trite and I reject it. Authors can and must do better. (hide spoiler)]
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