I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez Book Review
Multiple factors have a forceful influence on the lives of young adults, both in literature and in real life. The factors that have the largest influence on the lives of young adults in literature and in real life are poverty, stereotypes, and secrets. In the book, I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, the protagonist, Julia had a plethora of factors that influenced her life. All of those aspects are strongly portrayed in the book and in other ways.
Adding on, poverty, stereotypes, and secrets are multiple important factors that have the greatest influence on the lives of young adults in literature and in real life in numerous ways. Poverty affected Julia’s life tremendously. Julia lived in an apartment that was roach infested. Julia felt insecure when she went to Connor’s house, and she saw that “Connor’s house [had] a giant wraparound porch and enormous windows. It [was] as big as [their] entire apartment building.” Julia had to conceal her poverty situation from Connor and this affected her greatly. Connor had never known what it was like to open a fridge and find nothing but condiments or stomp out roaches when they scatter at the flick of a light switch. Julia had to experience roaches every day of her life in her apartment and hide all of them from her friends and family, which wasn’t suitable for her. Julia’s suicide attempt was greatly influenced by the hiding of her poverty situation.
Stereotypes and secrets also affect young adults' lives tremendously. Stereotypes start manifesting in young children for instance “When D. (Black, age four) met a Native American man dressed in jeans and shirt, he refused to believe the man’s ethnicity, because he wasn't wearing feathers and "Indian clothes," as the Native Americans on TV did.” (Sparks Article page 11) Whenever a young child starts to stereotype another human they start to think differently of them. The change in perspectives of the child can result in the child that is being stereotyped to feel uncomfortable and eventually feel unhappy with themselves. Children that are unhappy with themselves start to feel like they aren't enough, similarly to Julia when she attempted to commit suicide due to her feelings. Secrets had also affected Julia in many awful ways. Julia had been compared to her sister Olga. Olga was considered a perfect Mexican daughter by her mother and Julia. Olga had many secrets. She had a secret boyfriend that was older than her by many years. Olga was also pregnant and kept the secret from her family and her boyfriend, the day Olga died she was on her way to tell her boyfriend she was pregnant but tragically she was hit by a semi-truck. Julia couldn't wrap around her head how “Olga kept this sealed up and buried like an ancient tomb. [Her] whole life [she’s] been considered the bad daughter, while [her] sister was secretly living another life, the kind of life that would shatter Amá into tiny pieces.” These lies that were concealed from Julia affected her tremendously. When Julia found out about the lies, she wasn't expecting it from her perfect sister. The unexpected news made Julia rethink every single thing in and about her life, which made her very confused which is not suitable for people. All of these aspects made Julia eventually attempted to commit suicide. Julia did regret her decision of attempting to commit suicide.
As it said in the beginning, the several important factors that have the greatest influence on the lives of young adults in literature and in real life are poverty, stereotypes, and secrets. They are always a presence in the lives of Julia and her family; Julia’s situation with poverty made her feel insecure about herself. Stereotypes are also a big part of young children's lives in real life. Children stereotype others which makes the other person feel bad about themselves and insecure. Secrets were a big part of Julia's life. Olga kept many secrets from her family. The secrets that Olga concealed made Julia feel confused about her whole life. All of these aspects demonstrate the reason why Julia attempted to commit suicide. In the end, Julia regretted attempting to commit suicide. Julia's journey with mental health demonstrates that there are many different ways that young adults act towards factors that affect them throughout their lives. All of these factors have a strong impact on the lives of young adults in literature and in real life.