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Ximena Orozco. Photo taken by Pedro Adame.

Ximena Orozco. Photo taken by Pedro Adame.

Ximena Orozco. Photo taken by Pedro Adame.

Ximena Orozco, Staff Writer

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It’s almost impossible to be the perfect child that your parents want you to be. No one knows that better than Julia, the protagonist in the novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez. Julia’s morals severely contradict those of her parents, so they can never come to an understanding. The sudden death of Julia’s older sister, Olga, only makes things worse. Julia is full of ambitions and can’t wait to leave behind the dreary city of Chicago, while Olga is the perfect daughter who spends her time either working a boring secretary job or at home helping out her parents. However, Julia soon realizes that Olga might not have been the perfect, innocent daughter everyone thought she was.

What first attracted me to this novel was the title. Being a Mexican daughter myself, I figured I could relate to this story; I was half right. Half of the time, I could sympathize with Julia and relate to the relationship she has with her parents. On the other hand, sometimes she just seemed like a typical brooding teenager who complains about her parents, but never lifts a finger to help them out.  Even so, what the protagonist lacked in likability in the beginning was made up for by the end of the story through her development. Not to mention, there were a few plot holes. Certain situations were introduced with prospect of significance, but they were later ignored. I found this very frustrating. In spite of that, I still thoroughly enjoyed the story and was happy with the development of the characters I feel like through just reading the story, I was able to learn a lesson and begin to truly appreciate everything that my parents have done for me. I feel like it was a real eye-opener that made me realize that, even though parents want to you to live a specific kind of life, they ultimately want what is best for you.

I also enjoyed how it touched on a lot of issues that need more attention, like grief, rape, depression, suicide, and immigration. In spite of such serious issues, the novel still managed to have a bit comedic relief here and there. I would definitely recommend it to people who feel like the world is suffocating them and want to escape from everything. I would also recommend it to female adolescents who are still trying to deal with the changes happening in their life. A lot of high schoolers can’t wait to get away from their parents and go some place far away; I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter addresses this in a way that almost anyone can relate to the protagonist and really enjoy the story.

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