I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

by

Erika L. Sánchez

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter can help.
Julia’s best friend Lorena is a saucy, sarcastic, and daring young woman. Though the boy-crazy Lorena and the quiet, aloof Julia couldn’t be more different, they’ve been best friend since childhood, and have stood with one another through thick and thin as the years have gone by. Lorena is self-centered but fiercely protective of Julia, always looking out for her around her nosy, judgmental family—and later in the novel, around Connor. Lorena supports Julia in her lowest moments, but also calls her out when she’s being the worst version of herself—something that Julia resents. Lorena is herself struggling with many of the same issues Julia is, though for different reasons—disconnection from her mother, resentment and anxiety about structural poverty, and feelings of grief and loss, albeit due to the death of her father rather than her sister. Lorena and Julia always have one another’s backs, and when they tearfully part ways at the end of the novel as Julia prepares to head off to New York City for college, Lorena is sure to remind Julia just how much she loves her.

Lorena Quotes in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

The I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter quotes below are all either spoken by Lorena or refer to Lorena. 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 7 Quotes

The sky is still dark, but it’s beginning to brighten. There are beautiful, faint streaks of orange over the lake. It looks like it’s been cracked open.

I think of Jazmyn’s face when I told her about Olga. Everywhere I go, my sister’s ghost is hovering.

Related Characters: Julia Reyes (speaker), Olga Reyes, Lorena, Juanga, Jazmyn
Page Number: 97
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
Chapter 10 Quotes

“Sometimes it’s like you think you’re too good for every­thing. You’re too hard on people.” Lorena doesn’t make eye contact.

“That’s because I am too good for everything! You think this is what I want? This sucks. This sucks so hard, I can’t take it sometimes.” I swing my arms, gesturing toward I don’t know what. I’m so angry my ears feel as if they’re on fire.

Related Characters: Julia Reyes (speaker), Lorena (speaker), Juanga
Related Symbols: Food and Hunger
Page Number: 129
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter LitChart as a printable PDF.
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Lorena Character Timeline in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

The timeline below shows where the character Lorena appears in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Julia can hear her aunts whispering about her, and is relieved when her best friend, Lorena, shows up. Though Amá thinks Lorena is wild and slutty—which Julia admits she is—Lorena has... (full context)
Chapter 5
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
...needs to stay late to work on a project—when really she’s planning on going to Lorena’s to do some “internet snooping” about Olga, since there’s no internet at the Reyes home.... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
At Lorena’s, Julia and Lorena devour a bag of nacho chips drenched in hot sauce. Even after... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Julia tells Lorena about the things she found in Olga’s room—the lingerie and the hotel key card. Lorena... (full context)
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
Julia eyes the altar set up in the corner of Lorena’s living room—her mother worships Santa Muerte, a skeleton saint (another reason Amá is so skeptical... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
Lorena offers Julia some weed, and Julia accepts. As the weed kicks in, Lorena feels herself... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...to her prayer group at church, Julia asks Apá if she can go out with Lorena. The indifferent Apá shrugs, and Julia hurries out the door to wait for Lorena and... (full context)
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
At the lake, Lorena and Carlos run off to have sex, leaving Julia alone with Ramiro, who only speaks... (full context)
Chapter 7
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
At school, Lorena has made a new friend—a boy who is “gay as a rainbow-colored unicorn.” The boy... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
...asleep, and then stuffs pillows into her bed and sneaks out to meet Juanga and Lorena on the street. When Juanga pulls up, he tells Julia that though he doesn’t have... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
...finds herself dreaming of having a place like it to herself one day. Juanga and Lorena socialize with lots of people and drink, but Julia nurses a single beer and gets... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
...more questions, but can’t find the girl anywhere. After the party, as Juanga drunkenly drives Lorena and Julia home, Julia thinks about how her “sister’s ghost is hovering” over her no... (full context)
Chapter 9
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
The night of the dance, Julia borrows a dress from Lorena, and the two of them go to the event with a group of friends—Juanga has... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
...She bottles everything up, though, and shares none of her feelings with her parents or Lorena. One day, after class, Mr. Ingman pulls Julia aside to ask if everything’s okay. She... (full context)
Chapter 10
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
On the day of the field trip, Julia wanders around with Lorena and Juanga—back from his love affair, and still inseparable from Lorena. While Lorena and Juanga... (full context)
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
As Juanga, Lorena, and Julia eat, Juanga begins talking about sex, and Lorena teases Julia for being a... (full context)
Chapter 12
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
...helping Amá put together party favors, the doorbell rings. Julia opens the door and finds Lorena standing there—she apologizes for being a “bitch” to Julia, and says she hates not being... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Julia expresses jealousy over Lorena’s friendship with Juanga, but Lorena begs Julia to have some empathy—Juanga has a terrible home... (full context)
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Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
At a pizza parlor in a nicer neighborhood, Julia orders two slices for herself. When Lorena asks if she’s seriously going to eat them both, Julia admits that she would’ve ordered... (full context)
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Lorena encourages Julia to remember that she’s almost out—she’s not going to have to live the... (full context)
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
After taking Lorena home, Julia begins the walk back to her own apartment. On the way, though, a... (full context)
Chapter 13
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
...of the party almost on autopilot. When there’s a break in the program, she asks Lorena to go with her to the bathroom and help her lift her cumbersome dress so... (full context)
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
In the bathroom, Lorena and Julia run into Julia’s gossipy Tía Milagros. She greets Julia by remarking that Olga... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
One wintry afternoon, Lorena insists on going sledding in the city with Julia and Juanga. Julia hasn’t hung out... (full context)
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Julia calls Lorena for some advice. Lorena offers Julia only one piece of wisdom: “shave [your] pussy.” Julia... (full context)
Chapter 16
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
...can barely make it through a day without taking a crying break in the bathroom. Lorena and Mr. Ingman have expressed concern about Julia’s mental state, but she doesn’t know how... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...returns to her room and gets in bed, looking forlornly out the window—until she spots Lorena and Juanga standing on the opposite corner, waving up at her like mad. (full context)
Chapter 18
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
...that she’s been on a long backpacking trip through Europe. When Julia sees Juanga and Lorena, they both embrace her and tell her how happy they are to see her. They... (full context)
Chapter 23
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
...to the living room to ask Amá if she can go hang out downtown with Lorena tomorrow afternoon. She feels bad that she has no choice to lie—even in spite of... (full context)
Chapter 25
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
...for Mexico. Juanga has a new boyfriend, Mr. Ingman is engaged to another teacher, and Lorena has missed her period—and believes she’s pregnant. After school one day, Julia takes the train... (full context)
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Lorena’s test reveals that she’s not pregnant. She and Julia leave the clinic in high spirits,... (full context)
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Julia tells Lorena the truth about Olga—that she was pregnant when she died, and had been seeing a... (full context)
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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 pulls Lorena aside and... (full context)
Chapter 27
Restlessness and Ambition Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
...lose hope that she’ll be able to go away to school after all. Juanga and Lorena urge her not to get discouraged—and remind her that if all else fails, she can... (full context)
Chapter 29
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
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Family, Immigrant Cultural Identity, and the Self Theme Icon
Poverty and Entrapment Theme Icon
...tell her they’re proud of her, and ask her to visit them over winter break. Lorena comes into the room as Julia is ending the call and sits on the edge... (full context)