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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

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great story and cultural references

I loved the story and the references to growing up Latino/Mexican. Could of had a better read, especially when pronouncing the Spanish word.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leslie
  • Petaluma, CA, United States
  • 03-28-18

Excellent!

Kyla Garcia is now my favorite narrator. This was a terrific story. Not a false emotion in the whole book. And Kyla brought all of the characters to life so believably.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent perspective on youth experience

This book was an excellent perspective on a Mexican youth with immigrant parents. It does an excellent job of representing the clashing of cultures, the common misunderstandings, and the struggle with identity.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • K
  • 03-20-18

Amazing story and performance

Great story! Erika Sanchez has created such a fierce and vulnerable character who Kyla García brings to life in an amazing voice performance. Highest recommendation.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

More appropriate for teenagers and young adults

What about Kyla Garcia’s performance did you like?

Contrary to others, I think the narrator did a good job. She narrated for all of the characters in the story.

Any additional comments?

This is a story about a first generation Mexican teenager who finds herself after her older sister dies. Although it is about the Mexican-American experience, anyone who came from a low-income household can likely relate to the themes in the book. She comes to understand the life and death of her sister as well as the experiences of her mother and has a deeper connection with her family towards the end of the book before she heads off to college.

I think it is more appropriate for a younger reader between the ages of 15 and 20. With that said, sex is a topic that is discussed in the book.

I was hoping that it would give me a better understanding of Dreamers and the Mexican American experience, but was disappointed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

On point

Loved it. On point with the struggle of our culture. It was done very well.