I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

by Erika L Sanchez

 

 

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 kiss, 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?

This story started off with me not liking Julia at all. I can get her attitude after everything that has happened except she was this abrasive before the accident. She had the biggest chip on her shoulder and was going to make sure to make everyone around her as miserable as she is.  Then the book started to develop a little more and I was starting to understand Julia, her family and the heartache they are going through. Personally I don’t like to read and usually don’t finish books where a child dies. They are just to hard and a mom’s worse nightmare. While this wasn’t a favorite book of mine I think I just might not have been the best reader for this one.  I just got done reading a book where the family unravels after the older sister dies unexpectedly so very similar in plots. So maybe it was just a little to familiar, even though they were very different in characters and writing styles. I liked that it had a very diverse cast of characters. I liked how the author depicted mental illness and how people grieve differently when a loved one passes away. I’m glad I read I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. I will say this is a pretty dark contemporary YA novel and not one I would like my middle grade reader read. So many YA’s are ok for middle grade readers as well, this is not one. It has some pretty tough  to understand issues that the younger reader would not understand .  I say give it a chance start reading this, it might just capture you and keep you reading.

Thank you Knopf  Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

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Wild Bird

by Wendelin Van Draanen

This book jumped right into it never stopped till the last page. This book is about a 14-year-old addict that her family has no other choice but to place their daughter in a desert rehab where it is sink or swim. I can’t even imagine what that family had to go to that made them feel like this was their only choice. I also was so sad to see Wren’s age was 14.  I like that she had her being young because it happens and even young teen middle school aged kids can get hooked on drugs and alcohol. Wren was the main focus of the book and while Wild was about finding ones self after the death of a loved one. Wild Bird wasn’t much different in the fact that Wren had to find herself again. She was lost and in a way her old self was no longer. She had to rediscover what made her happy and the old Wren. The program was a tough love military like program but for many this is just what they need to get clean. You will laugh, cry, cheer and shake your head at times throughout this book. The author really lets your inside Wren’s head and her thinking process. In all honesty I think Wren really handled being thrown into this very well. Many of the day to day staples in the old life she took for granted threw away were things she had to fight for to gain back. This book shows what it is like to bottom out and having to realize that sometimes the hardest thing is asking for help, rediscovering yourself and being brutally honest with yourself. Wild Bird should be a book all parents read. I know it’s geared towards teens but I really think parents need to read this as well. I was totally 100% invested in Wren and her story, I’m so happy I got to read this book and know it will be a re-read as well as one I recommend to all looking for a heartwarming and heartbreaking book.

About the Book: 3:47 a.m. That’s when they come for Wren Clemmens. She’s hustled out of her house and into a waiting car, then a plane, and then taken on a forced march into the desert. This is what happens to kids who’ve gone so far off the rails, their parents don’t know what to do with them anymore. This is wilderness therapy camp. Eight weeks of survivalist camping in the desert. Eight weeks to turn your life around. Yeah, right.

The Wren who arrives in the Utah desert is angry and bitter, and blaming everyone but herself. But angry can’t put up a tent. And bitter won’t start a fire. Wren’s going to have to admit she needs help if she’s going to survive.

Thank you Knopf Books for Young Readers for allowing me to read Wild Bird. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.