I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L Sanchez
YA Contemporary, 2017 by Knopf, 344 Pages
What I Didn’t Like:
- This MC is obnoxious. Since it’s 1st person you have to be in her head and that is NOT fun. She’s so flippant about her sister’s cause of death that it almost feels vulgar. I will have to mention this again in what I did like because I think I found the purpose of it … but it does still make it a bit uncomfortable to read.
- Time jumps make it hard to follow. This sort of reads like a diary and nothing is dated. At one point the narrator said how much time had passed and I was completely shocked.
- CW: fat phobia, suicide, death, sexual assault.
What I Did Like:
- The MC is unlikeable but I honestly think it was done on purpose. Go with me on this … the MC is a teenager and it’s written in first person. That means you’re supposed to connect with the MC and feel like you are them. She hates herself. This is something she does confront in the story and it is an important point of the story. This is why I think it was intentional to have her be someone the reader isn’t going to immediately like. It’s daring and risky, but I like risks!
- Portrayal of Mexican culture. This feels authentic in a way a lot of novels aren’t. It isn’t the movie version of a Mexican family, it’s more realistic. I loved that!
- The mental health struggles were well written. I appreciated the way the book moved into a new level when Julia was confronting her mental health and talking about it. That was a brilliant way to normalize treatment and work on mental health.
Who Should Read This One:
- Teenagers (or up) who want books with realistic depictions of mental health, feeling like you don’t fit in your family, or struggles that come with being a teenager.