This National Book Award finalist explores the life of Julia, a teenage girl whose family is reeling from the death of her older sister Olga, the "perfect" daughter to their traditional Mexican-immigrant parents—or was she? Sensing that there was more to Olga than met the eye, Julia investigates while struggling under the weight of her grieving family's expectations.
This gripping debut about a Mexican-American misfit is alive and crackling—a gritty tale wrapped in a page-turner ... The story spirals into dark territory when Julia begins to suffer from clinical depression. But she’s so blunt, funny and brave that she never becomes an object of our pity. And her moments of joy...are transcendent.
... [a] stunning novel that grapples with such complex subjects as grief, depression, mental health, suicide, and biculturalism. The content, voice, and tone of the book demonstrate Sánchez’s skillful writing while at the same time keeping the story authentic ... Sánchez is very shrewd about the way grief sets in, particularly for an unexpected death, as she deftly crafts Julia’s innermost thoughts ... a nuanced story ... don’t tend to read young adult books very often; however, what I appreciate about this one is the universal message it sends about Latina mental health and also in experiencing grief. Sánchez’s protagonist possesses deep intellect and sharp wit even in the face of her struggles with mental health. At a moment when white authors continue to culturally appropriate the stories of Mexican immigrants, if you are looking for an authentic story don’t hesitate to pick up this astonishing debut novel [first] published in 2017.
... the author does a great job pulling the reader’s heartstrings ... the expert use of foreshadowing builds tension as the plot progresses ... Not long into the book, I found myself really rooting for Julia. She’s by far my favorite character; her relatable qualities and desires make her likeable even with all her downsides. It made me feel deeply for the characters ... It encompasses Julia’s journey very well and concludes the theme of change. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter was a realistic yet enlightening break from day-to-day life for me, and I think that’s something we can all use once in a while.