Book Review: I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sanchez

Miriam Barba, Staff Reporter

I found I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter while wandering around a Barnes and Noble a few years ago. I was like “Woah, an accurate portal of how I actually feel about being young and hispanic. I gotta read this!” It ended up sitting in my room for years until recently. I typically read more romantic novels and YA fiction and this book wasn’t my usual read. That being said, I was very interested in a book title that had described my whole life in 6 words. 

Living in Chicago with immigrant parents, Julia felt like she had to be the “perfect Mexican daughter” since her older sister Olga had just passed away. Olga didn’t go to college full time to help her parents out and never dated anyone. This pissed off Julia that she was nowhere near perfect compared to her sister. Trying to find a flaw in Olga, Julia finds scandalous items in Olga’s room, which is off limits. As Julia finds more out about her sister, she starts to understand herself and her family better.

While this book is first a coming of age book, it also talks about important topics like mental health, specifically with regards to death. Everyone takes death differently so everyone is in a unique situation. Julia is not shy about her mental health and shows how different generations talk about it. At the end of the book there are resources to help and inform readers about mental.

The type of writing that this book has makes it easy to understand. While I read it, it felt like I was in Julia’s subconscious and could understand why she was saying what she said. I had so much in common with Julia and that made me fall in love with the book even more. She is raw and honest with everything she says but at the end of the day she just wants to feel loved. The character development in Julia makes me think that there is light at the end of my tunnel to change. This book was portraying the lives of young hispanic women in a beautiful and freeing light. 

I would rate this book five out of five stars. The character Julia was so relatable in wanting to escape the perfection and pressure of the Mexican daughter perspective. I would read this and think back to memories of my life. She was flawed and inappropriate and made me feel comforted that I don’t have to live up to these high expectations. Readers who enjoy a book about growth and reliability of the hispanic point of view would really enjoy this book. There is a movie in production for this book that I am really excited about. America Ferrera is supposed to be the director and I love America’s project and am excited to see how the movie looks.

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