I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

by

Erika L. Sánchez

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Connor Character Analysis

Julia meets Connor, a white boy from the affluent suburb of Evanston, at a used bookstore in downtown Chicago. After bonding over their love of literature, Connor and Julia begin seeing one another regularly, even in the face of Julia’s mother’s restrictive rules. Though Julia is worried that Connor will look down on her or judge her because of the poor, working-class neighborhood she comes from, Connor is always kind to Julia—if slightly insensitive about her background. Julia believes she loves Connor, and she loses her virginity to him. As Julia’s home situation worsens, she’s grounded and banned from going into the city or using her cell phone. She calls Connor from a pay phone each day, but when her depression intensifies, Connor admits that he doesn’t know how to help Julia. Julia feels abandoned by Connor, and their estrangement contributes to her suicide attempt. After the attempt, an outpatient program, and a trip to Mexico, Julia is relieved to come home and find that Connor has been trying to get in touch with her for weeks—she doesn’t tell him all she’s been through, but they begin casually dating once again. After they’re both accepted into schools in New York for college, Julia takes comfort in the fact that they might see each other even after leaving Chicago, but doesn’t pin all her hopes on Connor, demonstrating a healthy detachment from him and an investment in her own independent growth. Julia’s intense but conflicting feelings for Connor—combined with her desire to keep him at arm’s length—are a large part of her shame over her working-class roots and her cultural background.

Connor Quotes in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

The I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter quotes below are all either spoken by Connor or refer to Connor. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Knopf edition of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter published in 2017.
Chapter 15 Quotes

Connor’s house has a giant wraparound porch and enormous windows. It’s as big as our entire apartment building. Part of me wonders if I should go back home. I feel nervous and start tugging at my hair.

Related Characters: Julia Reyes (speaker), Connor
Page Number: 196
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
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Connor Character Timeline in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

The timeline below shows where the character Connor appears in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 14
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
...about their favorite—and least-favorite—books for a few minutes, Julia and the boy, whose name is Connor, introduce themselves to one another. Julia feels an intense attraction to Connor, and isn’t sure... (full context)
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
Connor asks Julia where she’s from, and she tells him she’s from Chicago. When he asks... (full context)
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Eventually, Julia blurts out that her sister died last year—she tells Connor that though she feels she never knew Olga, she finds herself wishing lately that there... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
A few days later, Julia meets up with Connor in the city again after lying to Amá about a field trip to the Cultural... (full context)
Chapter 15
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
...shared childhood. She feels mired in grief—her only moments of joy come when she sees Connor. The two of them talk on the phone every single night, and though Julia knows... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
Connor has asked to visit Julia in her neighborhood, but she’s embarrassed to bring him around... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
That Saturday, Connor invites Julia to come to his parents’ house in Evanston. He tells her that they’ll... (full context)
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
Connor answers the door and invites Julia in, telling her she smells like Mexican food. Julia... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
While they’re watching videos, Connor tells Julia how beautiful she is. He begins kissing her, and soon he is on... (full context)
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
...parents aren’t home, and she’s grateful for the privacy. She’s starving, even though she and Connor ate lunch, and she rifles through the pantry and fridge searching for something to eat.... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...that she can carry it with her to school in case she gets to see Connor afterwards. (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
Julia is grounded big-time—Amá takes away her cell phone, and her only way of contacting Connor is by using a pay phone near school. Three weeks have passed since Amá found... (full context)
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
...things that are bad in her life—her dead sister, her “shitty neighborhood,” her overbearing parents. Connor says he wishes he could understand what she’s going through, but admits he doesn’t. He... (full context)
Chapter 16
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
...destroyed, some of them representing months or years of hard work. Julia hasn’t spoken to Connor in three weeks, and she misses him so much she can barely stand it—but refuses... (full context)
Chapter 22
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
...the warm feelings of desire she’s having for Esteban—she thought she was in love with Connor, and yet Esteban makes her feel “all goopy inside.”  (full context)
Chapter 23
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...Julia turns it on she sees that she has multiple calls and texts, all from Connor. She quickly calls him and tells him that she was in Mexico—when he asks why,... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
...lie—even in spite of their moment of connection earlier, she’d never tell her mother about Connor. Amá agrees to let Julia go, since she hasn’t seen Lorena in such a long... (full context)
Chapter 24
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Julia heads to Wicker Park to meet up with Connor at the bookstore. They don’t hug or kiss as they see one another again for... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
As the sun begins to set, Julia asks what happens next. Connor says he isn’t sure—all he knows is that he’s missed Julia terribly. He suggests that... (full context)
Chapter 25
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
...platter of seafood as they discuss Julia’s love life. Lorena says she wants to meet Connor, and Julia texts him, asking him to come join them.  (full context)
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
After lunch, the girls meet up with Connor in the city. Lorena clearly doesn’t like Connor right off the bat, but when Julia... (full context)
Chapter 27
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
...impending move to New York. One sunny May afternoon, she attends an outdoor fair with Connor. As they share food and listen to music, she asks him what is going to... (full context)
Chapter 29
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
...like. Though she doesn’t know what the future holds—who she’ll be, whether she’ll continue seeing Connor—she’s excited for what’s to come. She finds herself thinking of Mexico, and of Esteban, and... (full context)