I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
by Erika L. Sanchez
* * * Stars (Pretty good)
When Julia’s (pronounced the Mexican/Spanish way – Who-lee-uh) older sister Olga is killed in a terrible accident, her whole family falls apart, becoming more dysfunctional (is that even possible?) than it was before. Julia, already suffering from depression and anxiety, and her mother deal with their individual pain by lashing out at one another. Although Julia can see that her parents only want to protect her from the world by insulating her from it and making family a priority, that is not what Julia wants. She wants to go to college, become a writer, and see the world. But first she has to survive high school, and…uncover the secrets her good, perfect Mexican, older sister was keeping from everyone.
Julia can come off as super abrasive. MUCH of her strife is self-generated? self-inflicted? Let’s go with exacerbated! by the things that she says and does. She really knows how to press people’s buttons and get the absolute worst reaction. She also lies to her folks about practically everything so that she can have SOME kind of a social life, as her efforts to make them understand who she is and what her needs are come to naught. There’s a lot of good in Julia – she’s smart and funny and loving – and at the same time she’s hurtful, and awful, and in so much pain. Her struggle and her efforts to claw her way out of the misery she feels and into the life that she wants are worth the journey.
Reviewed by YA Librarian