I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, by Erika L. Sánchez

I am not your perfect mexican daughterJulia and her family are grieving the death of her older sister, Olga. Olga was a perfect Mexican daughter to her immigrant parents. She didn’t go away to college. She didn’t move out after graduation. She happily cleaned and cooked with her mother and brought her father water to soak his feet in when he got home from his factory job. With her gone, Julia knows she can’t fill Olga’s role. She dreams of moving to New York City and becoming a writer, and has never been the obedient child her parents wanted. But when Julia discovers a pair of sexy underwear and a hotel key in Olga’s room, she learns that her big sister might not have been the perfect daughter everyone thought she was. In her grief, she focuses on finding out the truth about her sister’s life. At the same time, she struggles through growing pains with friends, the odds against her in applying for college, first romance, and her own mental illness.

I’m thrilled to be participating in the I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter blog tour and about all the positive buzz this book is getting. I’m so excited that the book is now in stores and everyone gets to read it! This book is beautiful and important and so, so intersectional. It touches on issues of race, mental illness, grief, poverty, immigration, sexuality, slut-shaming, body image … and probably more that I’m not thinking of right now. But somehow these issues and themes all work together. It doesn’t feel like there is too much going on. It just feels like a very real and complete story. Sad and hopeful at the same time.

*I’m so thankful to Random House for providing me a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest thoughts. As always, the opinions I write here are always my own.

Top Ten Yummy Foods Mentioned In Books

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Okay, I’ll admit that I didn’t always go with the yummiest foods described in books. Sometimes I went for funny or interesting over delicious. Because in real life Potato Peel Pie sounds dubious and Turkish Delight is always a let down. But both pop of the page when described in their respective books!  I also limited myself to one food per book, otherwise the whole list would have been Harry Potter and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Continue reading

I Got to See John & Hank Green (aka the oddest book event I’ve ever been to)

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I’ve written a little bit (okay a lot) about John Green and how the vlogbrothers Youtube series is an important part of my life. I love John’s books, but more I love listening to him and his brother talk about writing, about mental illness, about family and life and everything from llamas to angler fish (more on angler fish in a moment). I don’t want to be too mushy gushy, but I think watching their conversation has helped me tremendously in the weird process of figuring out how to adult and how to deal with hard things instead of avoiding them. It’s not as big a part of my life right now as it always has been, but this is all to say I was VERY EXCITED about John’s new book and the fact I’d get to see John and Hank live at Town Hall in Manhattan last week.  Continue reading

Friends with Books!

The Forest QueenThrough blogging and grad school, I’ve collected a few friends who are now published authors (some are even a few books deep). While I’m still waiting … waiting … waiting for my writing career to advance, I’ve been delighted by a lot of good news in the last few months for my friends and their books. Two pieces of good – no great – news are still unannounced, so I’ll keep those to myself for now. But in the meantime, here’s some book news that’s keeping me extra happy!

My friend from Smith/the Internet, Betsy Cornwell’s cover for her feminist Robin Hood retelling was revealed on Book Riot revealed on Book Riot today! Tides, Mechanica, and Venturess have all been instant favorites for me, but I’ve never read a Robin Hood retelling and The Forest Queen one sounds like it might be the best one yet. Also with a cover this beautiful, how could it not be amazing? I particularly love the owl at the top!  Continue reading

Top Ten Book Boyfriends (from the last year)

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I write a lot about book boyfriends. I mean for *years* I wrote a marry, date or dump post about potential book boyfriends (and girlfriends!). Since I’ve covered the topic so extensively, I decided to limit this list to my literary crushes from the last year. Don’t judge me for how many YA boys there are on this list – they are way dreamier than the men in adult literary fiction. Continue reading

Ten Books Featuring Characters with Mental Illness

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Happy Tuesday Friends! There are so many negative tropes about mental illness floating around books and other media, that I thought I’d share some of the ones that have felt most true, nuanced, respectful to me. A lot of these have been hard to read (I’m looking at you Wintergirls) while others show characters who are already diagnosed and managing their mental illness (now I’m looking at you The Upside of Unrequited). Anyways, would love to know your thoughts on these books or others I should add to my TBR list! Continue reading