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Publisher's Summary

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 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?

©2017 Erika L. Sánchez (P)2017 Listening Library

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not for Chigonas who audible.

If you’re able to read it instead of listening... do that. Narrator no bueno. I should’ve known early on just by the Narrator’s voice that this book wasn’t gonna be for me. I wonder that if Julia’s voice was done by a different narrator, if I would have liked her and this book. I’m 1/2 way through and I don’t think I will be able to finish but I will try.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I am not the perfect Mexican daughter I'm #3.

The book was great, it reminded me of how many very Mexican cultural traits are in me both good and bad. I think this book is significant in light of our DREAMER (DACA) situation in the US. As a first generation American from parents that immigrated I recognized the themes in my upbringing, in the difficulties my parents experienced. I was reminded of my own coming of age and the conflicts of my Mexican culture and growing into an American woman. I also have a perspective of a mental health professional and the book hit relevant mental health issues some may or may not be typical in a Mexican household. I would give more details to but I don't want to give the story away. It was a good listen and it touched my heart.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Poor choice of narrator, good story though

I had high hopes for this book, and while I enjoyed the story, the false Mexican accent by the narrator was almost unbearable. Her pronunciation of Spanish words were painful to listen to, and I am sure there are many other narrators who would have captured the accent better. I don't know if the intent was to anglicize the Spanish words or if the narrator is not a native Spanish speaker, but I don't think I could listen to this book a second time.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Vital for any latinx or daughter of immigrants

Wow. I do wish this book had some trigger warnings for sexual assault, suicide, self harm, eating disorders and gun violence. But this book is just amazing as this 15 year old girl navigated these things both with such innocence and so much wisdom. Its very much "stream of consciousness", but beautifully put together. It has helped me look back into my own teenage traumas as a young woman, a young latinx, and a young immigrant, with new understanding and compassion for myself and my family. Thank you Erika Sanchez.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Liked the story, HATED the protagonist.

As a Mexican-American myself, I was really looking forward to this book, but once I started listening, had to force myself to finish. The depiction of our culture and families is beautiful and really touching at times, but the main character, Julia Reyes, is beyond grating and judgmental. I actually found myself listening to the book on 2x for chunks so that I could get through her dialogue faster. I honestly wouldn't recommend this book to anyone else, but YMMV.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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The Not-So-Perfect Girl Next Door

In the midst of some huge life changes, this is the story that finally grabbed my focus and gave me that I’m-in-love-with-this-book feeling again. It has such a great hook: after Julia’s "perfect" older sister dies, she discovers Olga was leading a secret double life. But what I loved most is how it presents a day in the life of a very relatable, fully realized teenage girl. Julia fights with her parents, adores her English teacher, navigates social dramas, and is very opinionated about books and music. And the narrator is amazing — she uses the PERFECT inflections for a cynical teenage girl, as well as an impressive roster of supporting characters.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Not what I expected

When I first started listening to this book I was excited because I myself am Mexican-american however the narration of the book does not necessarily depict the way I thought it would. The accent of the narrator is not an authentic Mexican, she has a hard time saying the Spanish words which makes it sound weird because this is supposed to be the narrative of a Mexican -american. Also, it makes no sense that her family in Mexico knows English as she narrates. I was honestly disappointed with the narration. They could have picked another voice for a book that should resonate with most first generation girls. If you know and talk Spanish I do not recommend the audio, but instead read it.

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Entertaining and dear to my Heart

As a Latina myself, I loved all the references, and how life in Mexico still vibrates in the states. And how wonderful it can be to be bi-cultural. It's a great way of feeling connected to both cultures, and being proud of my background. This book is beautifully written, and easy to follow. It's a bit harsh for young teenagers, but I might pass this on to my daughter when she's 15. It was read very well, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

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dead ass cried

If there was ever a book that I wish I could give to my younger self it would be this one. The story is one that I would recomend to any young Xicana who struggles between the old world custums and new world identities.I was moved to tears in certain scenes. However I wish there could have been a differnt choice for narrator, becasue the Spanish sections were pronounced not in the best way but that did not take away from me loving the book.

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Good Read . Shared Reading opportunity

This will be a hit with YA readers. I hope educators will talk with their students about the topics within the book. Suicide, death, abortion, abuse can all be triggers for trauma.