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I Am Not your Perfect Mexican Daughter

I Am Not your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Book - 2017
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When her sister, considered the perfect Mexican daughter by her parents, dies, Julia tries to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family despite her own grief and her mother's penchant for pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781524700485
Branch Call Number: Y Fiction
Characteristics: 344 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

September's Pick: This realistic young adult fiction has an authentic and sympathetic main character searching for answers to her sister's mysterious life after her sudden death while dealing with her parents' expectations versus her own desires and demons.

"This book slayed me – it’s such a gritty, realistic look at what it is like to navigate grief, identity, and community as a strong-willed teenager trying to find one’s place. Julia is raw, vulnerable, lonely, but also intelligent, and fiercely independent – she’s a brilliant character to fo... Read More »

#9 When the sister who delighted their parents by her faithful embrace of Mexican culture dies in a tragic accident, Julia, who longs to go to college and move into a home of her own, discovers from mutual friends that her sister may not have been as perfect as believed. National Book Award final... Read More »

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May 08, 2021

Erika Sánchez’s young adult novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, is a very interesting, and surprisingly deep novel. It has a gripping storyline and different characters; I liked how I could relate to Julia and see everything from her perspective. Also, I enjoyed the pacing of the book; the book kept a steady pace and slowed down when it needed to. Something else I really loved was the character development; Julia, the main character, has a horrible relationship with her mother, but they both undergo a great deal of improvement, which strengthens their mother-daughter bond. Although this book was a good read for me, there were some unexpected twists in the plot, and the book sometimes had a dark and depressing tone to it, which affected my mood. The simple book cover misled me because I was not ready for the serious and sensitive topics addressed. Overall, this book is quite powerful and meaningful, so I would recommend people fifteen and older to read it.

Gina_Vee Mar 27, 2021

This book is so deeply frank and honest! The book talks about those family dynamics that make you question the "but it's your family" argument. It also talks about depression openly and about how sometimes, you learn more about your family in death than in life. The book is being turned into a Netflix movie, so it's even more reason to read it.

Oct 14, 2020

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, written by Erika Sanchez, follows the story of a first-generation Mexican daughter, Julia, growing up in Chicago. Julia is facing Americanization through her upbringing as a first American generation. Her Mexican heritage and her American Upbringing causes a big clash between her and her family. The divide between Julia and her mother is pulled further apart by Olga, Julia’s older sisters, unexpected death. Julia is trying to find out more about her sister and who she was when she was alive, and in the process, she’s also finding little pieces of herself. I really liked this book and seeing how she dealt with the problems that she faces. I recommend this book to an age group of 12 and up because it does deal with adult content.

Sep 06, 2020

This book was super great! I loved the whole plot. It was very different from other books that I have read, and it provided a very realistic look into a different culture. The author did a great job of showing Julia's (the main character) and the rest of her family's feelings. You could really tell how deeply everyone was impacted by Olga's (the sister) death. There were a lot of plot twists in the story, which I especially liked because it kept the story from becoming boring. There was one in particular that really shocked me because it was so unexpected. I would honestly encourage people to read that book just for that plot twist because it really was surprising. This book does have quite a few curse words in it, though, which I could do without. I think the emotions could have been expressed without them. Overall, while this book did have some sensitive topics such as suicide and parental disregard, it was a super great book!

JCLJENNYT Feb 20, 2020

This book was decent. Julia wasn't my favorite protagonist personally and I am not entirely certain that it has aged exceptionally well with political correctness. Overall the story tugged at my heartstrings to begin with but petered off so a solid enough read but one that I think will fade at least to me over time.

Groszerita May 26, 2019

I love this book. Love it. I want to own it. I want to reread it again and again and again. So many different topics - mother and daughter relationship, sister relationship, death, expectations from family, suicide, tragedy, immigration, border crossing, what else? Love.

Dec 05, 2018

There is a reason this book has won so many awards. "I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter" had been shook from beginning to end. It has an amazing portrayal of a family's grief and the kind of emotional monster it be. Julia is a protagonist I really connected with, especially in her times of anger and contempt. This is a very powerful story about family, connection and the twists and turns in this book WRECKED ME. This book is powerful, intelligent, and should not be missed.

LPL_EricaS Nov 05, 2018

Olga was a perfect daughter until an accident took her life. Julia, wrapped in grief that often comes out as disrespect and spite, focuses on how she was different than her older sister and how she will never follow in the footsteps of an obedient daughter. She will graduate high school, move out of their cockroach infested apartment in Chicago, go to college in another state, become a writer, and never look back. When she stumbles upon some scandalous belongings in her late sisters room, her focus shifts to finding out just what was going on in Olga's perhaps not so saintly life. Outings with a boy named Connor or her best friend Lorena and plans for a quinceañera she never wanted sometimes help lighten her demeanor and let her shed some of her hard exterior. You will root for her to be more accepting of life and to let go of her pain.

Oct 29, 2018

Many of the themes treated in the book are serious and "unpleasant" but the author has managed to build a good plot to talk about them. When I go back overseas, I will probably read this with my students.

CedarMill_MarkR Aug 24, 2018

Julia's sister died and it has thrown her family into a tailspin. Julia struggles against her Mexican parent's expectations, her grief, and what society expects her to be as she searches for answers about a sister she may not have known so well. This is a searing look at a teenage girl struggling with so many expectations as she carves out a unique identity for herself. She is not always likable but she is definitely real. A good read.

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Add Age Suitability
May 08, 2021

ciyer24 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jan 29, 2021

onewhitewolf thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Sep 27, 2020

violet_fox_1550 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Feb 04, 2020

black_manatee_29 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Mar 21, 2019

I read the book I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. Julia has a very typical mexican family. A lot of aunts,uncles, cousins and of course you can’t forget people she has never even met that are somehow related to her. Julia and Olga are sisters. They have a typical sister bond, but they use to be so close when they were smaller. Now Olga has always been the favorite of everyone and Julia hasn’t. Julia always thinks about that when they go to family gatherings or important events. A very shocking thing happened to Julia’s family and now everything seems like is going downhill.


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