Whereas food represents Julia’s restlessness, ambition, and desire for more than she has in the present, books serve as a symbol of escapism throughout the novel. Julia reads books when she wants to zone out of overwhelming or uncomfortable family gatherings, when her home and school life become too difficult to navigate on her own, or when she simply wants to get out of her own head for a little while. Even reading difficult or existential books comfort Julia in tough times, such as when she retreats into reading Albert Camus’s The Stranger after having a big fight with Lorena and Juanga. Books allow Julia to feel like she can get away from her present circumstances, even just for a little while.
The timeline below shows where the symbol Books appears in I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...and being stuck in her working-class neighborhood forever. Julia tries to distract herself with a book, but even reading—her favorite activity—doesn’t work. Julia spies a picture of her and Olga on... (full context)
...a guillotine.” She’s been forced to take waltz classes though she’s hopeless at dancing, and dreads the “bland food” and “odious music” which will be part of her celebration, as they’re... (full context)