Julia has a lot to offer teens when it comes to choices, consequences, and next steps.

Summary:

After her older sister, Olga, dies in a bus accident, Julia Reyes (15) launches her own investigation into Olga’s personal life. Julia’s parents considered Olga a “perfect child” who often went to church and faithfully attended community college classes, but kept Julia at home for lengths of time she considered too restrictive. When she searches Olga's room, Julia finds a hotel key, several love notes, and other items.

When Julia isn't home or reconstructing her sister's life, she is usually partying with her best friend Lorena. While partying, Julia meets a rich boy  named Connor. The two spend more and more time together until Julia tells him about her problems. She takes his lack of support as a breakup, self-harms, and ends up in the hospital. Her parents send her to Mexico, and while recovering there, she finds Olga's Internet password and continues to learn more about her sister. It opens her eyes to not only her life and her mother's experiences, but her own choices as well.


BTSYA / Teen Reader (17):
I liked that this book touched upon many societal issues of immigration, homosexuality, and sexual assault. This book is great for teenagers going through times where they feel confined or are questioning those around them. It will help them realize that everyone has a story that defines them and affects their actions.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Readers who like to immerse themselves in topical, personal stories will enjoy I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter.

Content Awareness Factors:

There is violence and references to sex, and alcohol and drug use. Julia (main character) suffers from depression and anxiety and attempts to deal with it by self harm. She learns that her mother was raped, 


Type of Book:
This is a realistic coming-of-age story about a young girl's journey through grief and depression to acceptance, understanding, and a bright future.
Educational Themes:

There are layers to this story, and while most of them center around Julia, some are bigger than her. Although subtly or tangentially described, immigration, crime (sexual assault, bribery), prejudice, and sibling rivalry can be discussed with great detail. Julia's relationship with Olga, and more particularly how her parents viewed her sister, is also a driver in the story. It would be interesting to ask readers what they thought Julia's motives were in reconstructing her sister's life: because she wanted to prove her parents wrong? Is it because she missed her sister? 

Reading Level:
4.7
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
14 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
14 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 17
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. It's a good book, but probably not one you'd keep on your shelf or read more than once.

Title I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
Author Erika Sanchez
Publisher Ember, Imprint Penguin Random House Canada © 2019 (Reprint Edition)
ISBN 9781524700515
Material Paperback
Cost $11.99
Genres Family, Death and Loss, Latin America | Hispanic People
be the star you are Cybils
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