finished reading

This coming-of-age novel is timely. Dealing with issues and themes of identity, grief, femininity, tradition, family, culture, education and more. Until about a third of the way through, I disliked the main character, Julia because I got tired of her constantly whining about how awful her life is and how unfair her parents are. I got it. Then there is a plot twist that engaged me in Julia. The book includes a lot of information for mental health helplines.

From the publisher:
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?

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