I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
by Erika Sanchez
Genre: Contemporary/Mexican Immigrants/First Generation American Teens
Publication Date: October 17, 2017
Julia’s older sister has just died leaving her family, especially her mother, heartbroken. While Julia’s sister was perfect and obviously the favorite, Julia is constantly criticized by her mother which creates lots of tension in their small Chicagoland apartment. While sitting in her sister’s room, Julia discovers that her sister had secrets and while she goes on a journey to discover who her sister really was, Julia falls in love; makes mistakes; and finds her roots.
YA fiction books about Mexican culture are in short supply considering that Mexicans are one of the fastest growing groups in America. Sanchez’s book showcases the expectations of Mexican girls, their relationships with men, and their connection to Mexico. In this respect, this book was pretty good but that was about it.
Julia is a very difficult character to like and that’s intentional but DAMN! This girl was a biotch and to make matters worse, she would complain about other people’s bitchiness yet never seemed to see the irony. I get it; she’s a teen girl with mommy issues and moodiness but her shitty attitude flooded the pages making it difficult to get through.
You know there is something SERIOUSLY mental going on and I’m not Mexican so I don’t know their attitudes about mental health but as a black person, (black people often don’t seek help) I can surmise that positive attitudes about mental health are probably not common. If I’m wrong, please correct me. Anyway, Julia’s journey with her mental health issues seemed like an afterthought and either should have been a focus or eliminated all together. I vote for the latter; it would have been better if Julia was just a moody girl with mommy issues.
Julia’s relationship with her mother was a big focus and although it was kinda interesting it was painfully repetitive. Julia asks her mom for permission to go somewhere; her mom says no and criticizes her; Julia yells back and leaves the room. This happened like seven times with not much progress along the way. These ladies had some major issues that could have been explored further but this was a missed opportunity.
Once again, this book was just okay. I don’t understand how it made the NBA short list as I have read far better books in 2017 including two of the books on the long list.