I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Featured
 
4.8 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
1005   0
Write Review
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
Age Range
13+
Release Date
October 17, 2017
ISBN
978-1524700485
Buy This Book
      

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian meets Jane the Virgin in this poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American home. 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?

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.8
Plot 
 
5.0  (2)
Characters 
 
5.0  (2)
Writing Style 
 
4.5  (2)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0

THE book I'd hand my Latina best friend

WHAT I LOVED:
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.

WHAT LEFT ME WANTING:
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.)

FINAL VERDICT:
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.

Was this review helpful to you? 
(Updated: September 10, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

I was excited to be asked to read and review I AM NOT YOUR PERFECT MEXICAN DAUGHTER. I love stories with strong Latina protagonists. Julia is not only strong, but funny and also so realistic. Her struggles to deal with not only the tragic death of her 'perfect' older sister Olga are shown in realistic and authentic passages. Julia is smart, funny, and also someone readers will love.

What worked: Right off the bat I totally loved this story. Think Jane The Virgin meets Real Women Have Curves. Julia isn't the stereotypical Latina protagonist. Yes, she is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and lives in the poorer part of Chicago. But the author shows her parents in a more realistic light. Julia's mother at times is overbearing, but readers sees glimpses of her vulnerabilities too. I also loved how Julia's father, though mostly silent, is a father who loves his daughters.

Kuddos for also breaking down the trite stereotypes of Latinos. Julia is smart, loves to read, and wants to go to college. Spanish is sprinkled throughout and shown in a realistic light. As someone who shares Mexican heritage, I loved being able to see a character that mirrors part of my own culture.

There's so many more themes going on in this novel. After her sister's tragic death, Julia searches to find out the 'truth' behind her almost saintly sister. She finds it hard to measure up to Olga. There's so many secrets her family hides from her. The scenes when she's with her grandmother in Mexico, sheds light on Julia's mother and family. There's also a romance between Julia and Connor, a white boy from Evanston. These scenes aren't rushed and also help Julia on her own path to discovery.

Humorous and poignant look at a sister dealing with the loss of her sister and coming to terms with the expectations of not only her Mexican immigrant parents but breaking down the stereotypes around her. A must read for those who love diverse contemporary stories with strong characters.

Good Points
1. Humorous and poignant look at a sister dealing with the loss of her sister and expectations of her Mexican immigrant parents
2. Think Jane The Virgin meets Real Women Have Curves
Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Denis Ever After
Written by award-winning author Tony Abbott and perfect for fans...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
From Twinkle, Wtih Love
Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Freshmen
A laugh-out-loud, realistic portrayal of a freshman year in college...
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi
In 1945, at the end of World War II, Adolf...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
You May Now Kill the Bride
Two sisters, divided by time. Each with a terrible resentment...
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ruby Redfort: Blink and You Die (Ruby Redfort #6)
Ruby Redfort: you can count on her when the ice...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
I Wish I Was a Gorilla
What if you wished you were a gorilla and then...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
The New Kid
Middle school can be tough! Especially when Alex's best friend...
 
3.0
 
5.0 (1)
Margot and Mateo Save the World
When Margot Blumenthal removes a bright blue slug alien attached...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Acceptance The Jewel Trilogy Book one
When destiny and desire collide... In a community full...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Escape The Future
"AS POWERFUL AS CORMAC MCCARTHY... A TIMELY, TROUBLING, AND MEMORABLE...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Challenge Accepted
Emma Dawson and Logan Reynolds have been neighbors and...
 
4.2 (3)
 
0.0 (0)
The Planetsider
A story of self-discovery, belonging and hope. ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Where the Sea Takes Me
Two years later might as well be two lifetimes....
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From You to Me
Amelia Peabody lives in a small town where nothing changes....
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
"According to legend, when the world was young, two gods...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam
 
5.0
"The conflict in Vietnam was horrible, contentious, and defined the 1960s in many ways. In order to give an all-inclusive..."
The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found
 
4.0
"Sandler brings history to life through the myths and legends of the Whydah, an 18th century pirate ship which sank..."
The Girl Guide: 50 Ways to Learn to Love Your Changing Body
 
5.0
"Where was this book when I was a girl? Ibrahim talks about every embarrassing subject tween girls face each..."
This is our Constitution: Discover America with a Gold Star Father
 
5.0
"This is our Constitution is an entertaining and educational text every student—and some adults—should read. The passion and profound respect..."
The Kidult Handbook: From Blanket Forts to Capture the Flag, a Grownup's Guide to Playing Like a Kid
 
5.0
"THE KIDULT HANDBOOK is the perfect book to pull out on a boring day. It is packed with fun activities..."
Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries
 
4.0
"'Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries' by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson is a fun read, chock..."
Things to Do Before You're 30: The Try-It Out, Get-It-Done, Live-It-Up List!
 
4.0
"When I heard about the book THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU’RE 30 by Jessica Misener, I knew I had to..."
Boots on the Ground: America's War in Vietnam
 
5.0
"The conflict in Vietnam was horrible, contentious, and defined the 1960s in many ways. In order to give an all-inclusive..."
No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
 
5.0
"As an adult woman, I don’t really remember a time when women couldn’t do the things they wanted to do..."
Votes for Women!: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot
 
4.0
"A candid, comprehensive, and thoroughly researched look at the long fight for women’s rights—spanning nearly a century of history while..."
Fly Girls: The Forgotten Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII
 
5.0
"While WWI used planes, the technology and use really took off during WWII. It's hard for people today to understand..."
Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card
 
4.0
"What worked: This memoir is the account of an undocumented teen living in the US during the 90s. She gives..."
Journeys: Young Readers’ Letters to Authors Who Changed Their Lives
 
5.0
"Journeys is a collection of letters from the “Letters About Literature” program sponsored by the Library of Congress Center for..."
Sweet Revenge: Passive-Aggressive Desserts for Your Exes & Enemies
 
5.0
"This cookbook hits the perfect balance of being as entertaining to read as it is delicious to cook out of!..."
Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn't Over
 
3.5
""Stay Strong. Love endlessly. Change lives." --Amy Bleuel This suicide and mental illness awareness collection is made..."
Story Sparks:  Finding Your Best Story Ideas & Turning Them into Compelling Fiction
 
4.0
"This is an easy to read reference book on how to take creative ideas and thoughts and turn them into..."
Sweet Revenge: Passive-Aggressive Desserts for Your Exes & Enemies
 
5.0
"SWEET REVENGE is sweet and deliciously vengeful that I wanted to gobble up all of the recipes. It's full of..."
The Infographic Guide to College: A Visual Reference for Everything You Need to Know
 
3.5
"As approachable as it is pragmatic, this college primer could largely double as a bite-sized approach to post high school..."
The Book That Made Me
 
4.0
"The Book That Made Me' is an anthology by several authors that tells about a book that influenced their life...."
It's Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!
 
4.0
"'It's Your World' by Chelsea Clinton does a nice job of anticipating questions teens (or adults) may have about a..."