The Student News Site of Illinois Wesleyan University

The Argus

The Argus

The Student News Site of Illinois Wesleyan University

The Argus

The Student News Site of Illinois Wesleyan University

The Argus

A harvest festival weekend is a great way to celebrate the season
Alexandria Green, Staff Writer • October 29, 2023

Halloween is fast approaching on its broom, but what does this mean to students? Some might party until...

Horror movies are the best they've been in a long time
Jules Weick, Staff Writer • October 29, 2023

When many think of horror, they go straight to the goliaths of the genre such as “Halloween”, “Friday...

Universities charge sky-high prices past anything justified
Alexandria Green, Staff Writer • October 23, 2023

One of the main reasons students struggle in university is because they have loans that require them...

Review: “I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” is phenomenal

Over the past month I have been reading Erika Sánchez’s New York Times bestseller “I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter”. The NYT’s single sentence review reads “alive and crackling—a gritty tale wrapped in a page-turner. ”

The book follows Julia, a junior in high school, as she tries to balance getting through her last two years of high school while dealing with her older sister Olga’s death. While snooping through Olga’s room to feel closer to her, she discovers items that Olga, the perfect daughter, would have never had. Throughout the book Julia tries to contact Olga’s friends, coworkers, work and school to figure out what Olga was involved in, all the while trying to handle college applications, tests, an overbearing mother, sex, boys, and her own battle with depression.

The book hooked me instantly because of Sánchez’s ability to get in the mind of a teenage girl. There are thoughts and feelings that feel genuine for a teenager who is overwhelmed and crippled by day-to-day life. No holds are barred when getting into Julia’s head, allowing you to see the depth of her mind and soul.Sanchez, however, pulls it off perfectly. 

Julia questions everything and everyone around her, never letting her age stop her from speaking her mind. She is the outcast wallflower trying to live the life she wants instead of the one that her family tries to push on her. She is also extremely soulful; she loves poetry, reading, and struggles to be understood. Everyone, myself included, has felt at some point that they are not understood, and Julia’s story helped me feel a little less alone. She is a character who connects to readers at the most intrinsic, intense level.

What I found mildly surprising, in a good way, was Sánchez’s ability to grapple with the dark, gritty aspects of life in the story. Many books involving teenage characters try to hold off on the darkness of the world. Sánchez’s doesn’t. She manages to seamlessly weave darkness into Julia’s life. It made it all the more realistic because a person’s age doesn’t exclude them from having to deal with hard parts of life.

Another aspect of Sanchez’s novel was the diverse cast of characters. There’s the heavily critical Julia, the outlandish best friend Lorena, the gay ‘fr-enemy’ turned friend Juango, and the perfect Olga,who despite being dead is brought up frequently. In addition, there’s the supportive and down-to-earth English teacher Mr. Ingman, Julia’s overprotective criticizing mother, and her quiet and tired father. Each character has their place in the book, and Sánchez makes sure that they each make their own explosive entrances and exits throughout the chapters.

Overall, I give this book a five star rating. It’s realistic, funny to read, and full of intense emotions with a wonderful and sad plot. Erika Sánchez has managed to win my heart as a reader and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

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