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I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
Cover of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
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National Book Award Finalist!Instant New York Times Bestseller!The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian meets Jane the Virgin in this poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA...
National Book Award Finalist!Instant New York Times Bestseller!The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian meets Jane the Virgin in this poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA...
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Description-

  • National Book Award Finalist!
    Instant New York Times Bestseller!
    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
    meets Jane the Virgin in this poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary YA about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American home.


    Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents' house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.

    But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga's role.

    Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.

    But it's not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister's story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?
    "Alive and crackling—a gritty tale wrapped in a page-turner. "—The New York Times

    "Unique and fresh." —Entertainment Weekly
    "A standout." —NPR
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the cover

    One

    What's surprised me most about seeing my sister dead is the lingering smirk on her face. Her pale lips are turned up ever so slightly, and someone has filled in her patchy eyebrows with a black pencil. The top half of her face is angry—like she's ready to stab someone—and the bottom half is almost smug. This is not the Olga I knew. Olga was as meek and fragile as a baby bird.

    I wanted her to wear the pretty purple dress that didn't hide her body like all of her other outfits, but Amá chose the bright yellow one with the pink flowers I've always hated. It was so unstylish, so classically Olga. It made her either four or eighty years old. I could never decide which. Her hair is just as bad as the dress—tight, crunchy curls that remind me of a rich lady's poodle. How cruel to let her look like that. The bruises and gashes on her cheeks are masked with thick coats of cheap foundation, making her face haggard, even though she is (was) only twenty-two. Don't they pump your body full of strange chemicals to prevent your skin from stretching and puckering, to keep your face from resembling a rubber mask? Where did they find this mortician, the flea market?

    My poor older sister had a special talent for making herself less attractive. She was skinny and had an okay body, but she always managed to make it look like a sack of potatoes. Her face was pale and plain, never a single drop of makeup. What a waste. I'm no fashion icon—far from it—but I do feel strongly against dressing like the elderly. Now she's doing it from beyond the grave, but this time it's not even her fault.

    Olga never looked or acted like a normal twenty-two-year-old. It made me mad sometimes. Here she was, a grown-ass woman, and all she did was go to work, sit at home with our parents, and take one class each semester at the local community college. Every once and a while, she'd go shopping with Amá or to the movies with her best friend, Angie, to watch terrible romantic comedies about clumsy but adorable blond women who fall in love with architects in the streets of New York City. What kind of life is that? Didn't she want more? Didn't she ever want to go out and grab the world by the balls? Ever since I could pick up a pen, I've wanted to be a famous writer. I want to be so successful that people stop me on the street and ask, "Oh my God, are you Julia Reyes, the best writer who has ever graced this earth?" All I know is that I'm going to pack my bags when I graduate and say, "Peace out, mothafuckas."

    But not Olga. Saint Olga, the perfect Mexican daughter. Sometimes I wanted to scream at her until something switched on in her brain. But the only time I ever asked her why she didn't move out or go to a real college, she told me to leave her alone in a voice so weak and brittle, I never wanted to ask her again. Now I'll never know what Olga would have become. Maybe she would have surprised us all.

    Here I am, thinking all of these horrible thoughts about my dead sister. It's easier to be pissed, though. If I stop being angry, I'm afraid I'll fall apart until I'm just a warm mound of flesh on the floor.

    While I stare at my chewed-up nails and sink deeper into this floppy green couch, I hear Amá wailing. She really throws her body into it, too. "Mija, mija!" she screams as she practically climbs inside the casket. Apá doesn't even try to pull her off. I can't blame him, because when he tried to calm her down a few hours ago, Amá kicked and flailed her arms until she gave him a black eye. I guess he's going to leave her alone for now. She'll tire...

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Kyla Garcia's portrayal of Julia, a first-generation Mexican-American daughter of undocumented immigrants, brings the frustrated, angst-ridden teenager to life. After her sister's accidental death, Julia struggles with the expectation that she will step into her sister's role, giving up her own ambitions. Julia's depression and anxiety, as well as her grief over her sister's death and the distress of discovering her sister's secrets, are deftly voiced through inflections and other vocal cues. Garcia gives each of the secondary characters a unique voice, including an appropriate accent. Despite some slightly distracting mouth sounds and an often slow-paced narration, this coming-of-age story's timely topics make it a worthy listen. A.L.S.M. � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 5, 2018
    For the audio edition of Sánchez’s YA novel, actor Garcia plays up the resentment, guilt, and disbelief of a tough-as-nails protagonist grieving the death of her older sister. Fifteen-year-old Julia Reyes always saw herself as the rebel of the family, while her older sister, Olga, was the perfect one, whom their parents favored. After Olga is killed in a traffic accident, Julia starts to lash out at everyone around her. Actor Garcia perfects Julia’s hardened exterior and presents her gritty attitude not as an act of defiance, but rather in terms of her determination to leave her Chicago home and lead a full life, in part because her sister will never have that opportunity. Though Sánchez packs multiple plot lines into the book, including Julia’s suicide attempt and her fling with a rich boy from the suburbs, Garcia’s reading helps situate them into the larger emotional journey of coming-of-age while grieving the tragic death of a family member. The result is a powerful audiobook. Ages 14–up. A Knopf hardcover.

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
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Erika L. Sánchez
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