Have you ever wanted to read a book that deals with real-life issues? A book that talks about depression and anxiety in a Hispanic household. A book that leaves you wanting more, leaves you heartbroken, and lets you relate to the character. I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter By Erika Sánchez is the book right for you.
The main character Julia has been living in the shadows of her perfect older sister. The sister is her parent’s favorite daughter because she works, attends community college to stay at home, helps her mom with chores, and is quiet. Julia on the other hand is a rebellious child who doesn’t want to do the same things as her sister. She wants to explore the world and leave her house for college. But one tragic event left the family in shambles and Julia had to take the mantle of being the perfect daughter in the family.
She did not enjoy this new role that has been given to her. She wanted to enjoy her life but having to live up to her sister’s standards especially when dealing with grief and mourning is not something easy. Her parents never bothered to check on her or even ask her how she was feeling.
The story not only follows Julia and her discovery of herself but also discovers the true colors of her sister. Her sister had a life behind the picture of perfection and Julia is the one to figure it out. She finds out her sister is not the perfect daughter everyone has been flaunting but rather she had the habit of sleeping with married older men. Of course, no one knew only her best friend but Julia discovered this while she was in her sister’s room wanting to feel close to her after losing her.
As Julia is discovering more of her family’s secrets is also dealing with depression and anxiety and the feeling of never being perfect for her family. She cannot find ways to tell her parents as she is afraid of their judgment and the way they are going to react. But slowly she finds herself and finds the courage to tell her parents and apply to a college out of state.
As she is juggling this situation, her parents are slowly accepting her being on medication and going to therapy. They may not understand, but they know it is important to Julia. They even accept her decision of wanting to go to an out-of-state college and drop her off at the airport. This book deals with depression and anxiety, a topic rarely talked about in the Hispanic community. It sheds light on the issues which teens face and gives them a safe place to talk about what they are going through. I really recommend checking this book out. I truly was able to relate to Julia and her struggle with mental health. This book left me wanting to read more books with similar topics and struggles.
One of my favorite quotes from the book: “I honestly don’t even know how I was able to pick myself back up, and sometimes I’m not sure how long it will last. I hope it’s forever, but how can I know for certain? Nothing is ever guaranteed. What if my brain fails me once again? I suppose the only thing I can do is keep going.”