Tigers, Not Daughters // Pages 137 - 207 Discussion

As part of my new goal to read more books by Hispanic authors and about Hispanic experiences, I'll be discussing a Hispanic based book of my choice every Thursday. The first book I've chosen is Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry. It's a young adult contemporary/magical realism story centering around the Torres sisters a year after the death of the eldest sister. Strange things start happening around the house that suggests their sister is trying to communicate with them or warn them of danger. In this post, I'll be discussing my thoughts on pages 137 - 207. You can see my thoughts on pages 1-70 here and pages 71 -136 here. This is of course, not spoiler free. If you would like to join, I would love to hear your thoughts.


We learn two significant things about Ana: 1) She might have been pregnant before she died and 2) John, who Jessica is currently dating, was the person who fled away in his car when Ana fell to her death. Whoa. Both facts were eye-opening. I don't know how I didn't connect the two together because of course John would be that terrible of a person to not only take advantage of Jessica in a vulnerable time in her life but also leave a girl who had just fallen from a tree without trying to see if she was alive.

Ana also makes a slight appearance as a possible hyena and laughing when Jessica is. My thinking with the laughing is that is she laughing along with Jessica or is her laughter being transferred to her in some ghostly way? Also, she must have been an illusion of a hyena or something to mess with Iridian. Or maybe Rosa is right about the hyena. From what I remember I believe she thinks the hyena is Ana or has something to do with her. I'm not sure. Overall, I'm curious to see what the final role she plays for her sisters. What will she say or do to make them get out of that house?


Iridian's storyline starts with her receiving a gift from Jessica - a notebook. So that moment they had as sisters has made it so that they have begun to form a new bond it seems. However, there didn't seem to be much of a development in the sisterhood of these girls in these pages which I was looking forward to. There is a lot of leading up to something and I'm hoping it's something satisfying.
"It was a nightmare. Iridian saw it all unfold. She knew Ana would have the baby. It would be a little girl because this was a house full of girls, and all Iridian's plans of running away with her sisters would be ruined. They couldn't run with a baby. Ana couldn't be both their leader and a mother."
This moment surprised me. Iridian says some awful things to her sister and then she goes out of the window and falls to her death. Iridian talks about shame and I feel like she was the perfect person to find out. How everything unfolded made sense because she guards herself inwardly. She doesn't say anything when she is made fun of. She just takes it and doesn't let it out well until she was yelling when she heard Ana's laugh. I think the theme of being trapped comes up again. Peter points something out that's basically like Ana doesn't want you to be trapped in this house, she would want you to leave. And I think that is true. I think Iridian hates that her sister is around because she is ashamed of what she said to her before she died as well as all that she represents. Ana is trapped in the house she always wanted to leave.

"If I was the ghost of someone, who had always, in my life, looked out her window with an expression on her face like she was desperate to escape, and I had come back to send a message, it would be to tell her sisters to get out of this house and never look back."
When I learned that John was sneaking out with Ana that night... Oh my goodness I wanted to shake Jessica. She doesn't see her worth. She's all bark and bite but no real action. She goes right back to him after the fight. And I know what the author is doing. She's simulating what many women do. They go back to their abuser. But she better get away. This girl better not get trapped like her sister did.

The laughter during the fighting makes me think she was using Peter. She was smiling before. She knew she could use him to her advantage but again still went back to John. And then I find out that Peter is our narrator of the neighbor's chapters. At least I'm pretty sure he is. I may have missed it in the early pages of the book but I didn't remember all the neighbor's names. I sure don't remember Peter being mentioned. If he is then it means he's trying to stop being a coward like they were when they laughed along with Iridian getting made fun of in the cafeteria. I just didn't think of him being a neighbor and everything felt more clear when it was revealed to me. He's one of the boys who thinks he can protect the girls so is he part of the problem or does it show that it's always up to the girls? No matter what he says to try to convince her to get away from John... Jessica needs to do it herself. Peter can't protect her. Only she can stand up for herself.


Rosa's storyline starts with fireflies and I find that interesting because I listened to part of Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega earlier on in the month and fireflies in that culture were the spirits of the main character's ancestors. So Rosa might just have a spiritual connection but again Ana doesn't direct anything towards her. Is it because Rosa has it all together or she just doesn't need help like her sisters do?

I need to know her age because I have this image in my mind about how old she is and I must be wrong. If I'm right then I don't like Walter at all. He's being kind and all but there doesn't need to be another guy in the sisters' lives.

Overall Thoughts

I felt like these pages were buildup to the ending. I got a couple of reveals that put things into perspective. Now I am just waiting until the end. I'm really hoping I see all the girls come together because I am not seeing any real substantial growth in them - only small bites with Iridian and Jessica. I raced through the pages this time around and I'm sure I'll be doing it with the last pages. I want it all to wrap up in a satisfying ending but I am worried that there is going to be a lack of a sisterly moment. I am hoping for the best. Let me know what you thought of these pages. What do you think about the major reveals?


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