Tigers, Not Daughters // Pages 71 - 136 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 (I've moved recently so this one is a couple of days late). 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 71 - 136. You can see my thoughts on pages 1-70 here. This is of course, not spoiler free. If you would like to join, I would love to hear your thoughts.


Ana's ghost makes her first appearance to the sisters. First to Jessica after we realize how truly terrible John is. She's basically dating someone like her father - controlling with capabilities of violence. Her coming back at that moment felt perfect even though I would be as terrified as Jessica was to see a hand coming at me from my shower curtain. 

Then Ana reveals herself to Iridian with the scent of oranges and her own writing. The choice of words "I want him  I want him to want me" makes me think she was coming to her because of her sense of insecurity f how she looks and to remind her f who she was. Apparently, Iridian didn't like to be shut up in the house so much. One of her favorite moments was when she was with her aunt who apparently "kidnapped" the girls from Rafe. I love how everything is connecting together. She's basically telling Iridian, "Don't you remember yourself? Don't you remember how happy you were? Don't you remember how we were planning to leave?"

She has not revealed herself to Rosa but according to the "protector" neighbors, she went knocking on Rafe's door which brings me back to his moment on the couch when he had Ana's bracelet on. I have a feeling. A feeling he feels guilty. Maybe Ana's fall wasn't an accident or maybe it was and she blames him. 

"Jessica covered her mouth with her hand. How funny that John thought that she would respond to him. He actually thought that she wanted him to find her, just like he thought she wanted him to wake her up in the middle of the night and force her out of bed, but he didn't know how thrilled she was to be left alone in the cold dark."
Oh, no Jessica. You are making such a mistake. A mistake, I wonder if Ana made herself and is hopefully warning you about. I think Ana is trying to save her sisters. Jessica sure needs saving. The moment in the church where she was playing hide and seek and she didn't deem to come out because he wanted her to was the first warning sign. And then here comes Peter. The only good guy there seems to be in the girl's lives. 

Another scene was in the grocery store when she was helping Peter who noticed the thumb-shaped bruise on her cheek. I hope Peter shows up as being that good guy and says something. I just couldn't help thinking, what are you doing Jessica? Tell someone. Ask for help. If you don't, you are as trapped as you feel.

"She was practicing at becoming invincible. Every day, she'd stand in front of her bathroom mirror and come up with insults to hurl at her reflection. She practiced keeping her expression blank and worked at dodging and deflecting."
Iridian doesn't end up being so heartless. She doesn't like how she looks and maybe even who she is. I just want to tell her that hurling insults at yourself won't make you more invincible. It will just make you hate yourself more. You can't prepare for other people's hate or judgment.

There's also this topic brought up with her writing. A scene in which the main character wants to be wanted which is what Ana wrote on the wall. I understand Iridian so much. With her wanting to feel invincible, not feeling pretty enough, avoiding problems, and guarding herself against real emotions - her wanting to feel wanted makes perfect sense. I'm expecting Ana's ghost to bring all three girls together to save each other. I expect them all to leave at the end but it's the in-between that worries me especially Jessica and John.

There was a great moment between Jessica and Iridian that made me think that the author was trying to bring the girls together through Ana. Jessica would have never just sat down and hung out with Iridian if she hadn't been so spooked. Jessica mentioned how she stopped caring and that she had t get ready for work at work. She didn't wear as much makeup or do her hair. Her barriers are going down and I think Iridian's will too soon.


The cardinal scene was a perfect introduction to the continuation of the story. It was the first pages I got back into after not reading Tigers, Not Daughters for a week. The scene has Rosa watching cardinals flying together. One falls but instead of flying back up, it hits the ground. The other cardinal chirps mournfully before moving on, leaving Rosa alone. Then later on here comes Ana. So good.

It was revealed that Rosa has been searching for her sisters after the worshipping neighbors of Ana saw her ghost knock on her dad's door. She mentioned this: "Hector and his friends were there, watching. They thought they were protectors, which was a silly thing all boys thought." And it made me love Rosa. There's definitely a theme of how boys or men act like either the protectors or keepers of the girls in this story. It's a feeling I'm sure most women have felt before. Like they need to be a certain way to be wanted by men or are told to act a certain way. Don't be your own person. The men will protect you. You can't protect yourself. I'm so loving what this book is bringing to the table.

There's a moment where Rosa sees how Jessica is treated and it's a somber moment in my mind because she's seeing her big sister being abused. She doesn't know what she could do about it. And Jessica might be subconsciously showing her little sister that this is how all guys act in a relationship. This is okay when it's not. Also, how old is Rosa? There was a hint of her being kissed and touched and I was raising my eyebrows at that. Be a kid, kid.

Rosa goes looking for Ana on the roof and she's making me worried. Don't be another Torres' sister that dies by falling to the ground. It's interesting that Ana hasn't revealed herself to Rosa. I think something Rosa will do will be a catalyst to bring all the girls together once Jessica and Iridian's walls are down. Although maybe Ana will reveal herself to Rosa. Maybe she does need some guidance in one way or another. I say this because of the boy comment. I just hope nothing has happened with an older boy. I could have sworn she was twelve or thirteen but I'm not sure anymore.

The Mom

I love how everything came around with ghosts and brought it back to their dead mom who had an experience with ghosts herself. The Torres' sisters might have a thing for attracting ghosts. Maybe that's why Ana became a ghost. She might have had one in her. Maybe that's what's going on with Rafe. Maybe Ana has been haunting him this whole time. 

Overall Thoughts

I could not be happier with how everything is going. I think out of luck I chose a great book to start my Hispanic book discussions with. The connections that were revealed were perfect. I'm excited t see the girls bond together. And I'm dreading that climax or catalyst of the story. I think it may have something to do with Rosa but I'm worried about Jessica and her boyfriend. I just hope all the girls see their worth and that their bond means more than anything. No man can break it. Let me know what you thought of these pages in the comments. What do you think will bring the sisters together?


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