Tigers, Not Daughters // Pages 208 - 280 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 (eventually I'll get back to posting on the correct date). 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 208 - 280. You can see my thoughts on pages 1-70 herepages 71 -136 here, and pages 137 - 207 here. This is of course, not spoiler free. If you would like to join, I would love to hear your thoughts.


"He said he thinks Ana is trying to get us out of the house. That's why she is scaring us, ripping up Iridian's things, sending Rosa to search for the hyena."

This last portion of the book was amazing. All I could ever hope for. Ana was coming full force that the sisters could even feel her in the wind. Her smashing up the TV when her father was being terrible to Iridian set the stage. I loved that she actually was part of helping her sisters. She wasn't just a ghost to wander around and send messages but take action.

"She had her key out, ready to thrust and twist into the lock. She was ready to seal John into the house. It was a terrible thing to do - lock a person in with a ghost - but Jessica was a terrible person. 

But then the bolt clicked on its own."

Before this all happened, John smacked Iridian and was holding Jessica against her will. He DARES come back and then he gets what he deserves. I think Jessica was right in saying that he was just lonely. Some people just like to control who they are with. Manipulate into them thinking they were in the wrong and reduce their fight into something small. There are so many vulnerable girls and women who have to deal with this abuse every day. They may feel trapped but this story feels like a roar cry for those girls and women. You can get out of it. Fight! But in real life, men who are this controlling will follow you. I would have loved if in the back of this book there was lists of resources on actionable steps or people to call to get out of a situation like this. 

I was a little surprised John came back because Rosa "broke his ribs." That's the only reason why but otherwise it made sense in his controlling mind to come back. He thinks he owns Jessica. I'm sure of it.

"The light was from the same lamp Rosa had ripped from the wall downstairs and swung at the men who hurt Iridian and her sisters. They've brought it up to their room. It was theirs now. The light blinked out, then came back on. It did that sometimes."

Ana's still around. I learned a week or two ago that this will be a sequel. I was surprised that they stayed in the house and didn't go to their aunt's house. I guess in a way they were claiming their home back. However, I think if there wasn't a sequel they would have gotten to their aunt's place and they should have. I do like how this story didn't end with a cliffhanger because I would have been annoyed. It can technically be a self-contained story but I am very interested to see what the sequel holds.


"He may have talked about some other stuff, but Jessica hadn't really been listening. For sure, she hadn't said anything back. He'd never asked her anything about herself or her job or her family. Eventually, Jessica pulled up outside her house, thinking that John would get the point. He didn't The engine was off. The windows were rolled down. It was nearly five in the morning, and Jessica was so very over all of this."

When I was reading this I was like finally. She's about to get ready to dump him. She finally was tired of his BS. Of course, he didn't care about what was happening in Jessica's life. It's all me, me, me. Every time she tries to get him to stop talking and leave her car it seems like it is later and later. Who cares that she has to sleep and get to work the next day. Her life doesn't revolve around just you, John.

"The worst fear of all, Jessica was coming to realize, was the fear of having no idea who she was. Jessica had become a ghost and not a good kind of ghost like Ana or like the ones that maybe haunted centuries-old churches. She was acting like a small spirit. She was so mad all the time, but instead of striking out, she would do nothing or reach out with tentative, tissue-paper fingers. She had t do better. An angry girl was allowed to be angry."

Jessica noticed what the boys next door did, that she didn't act out with her anger like she usually did. I think a lot of girls and women aren't seen as allowed to be angry or act over emotional because you would be labeled as such. But have you ever seen a guy angry? It's one of the most hypocritical things in the world. I've had fights where the man could get angry but how dare I get angry back. It's a ridiculous notion that this book nailed on the head. You know the song by No Doubt - Just a Girl? I thought of it when I was first getting into this book and I think it's the perfect theme song for how these girls and many girls feel. Needing protecting. Not allowed to be their own person or feel what they want to feel. 

"It had just been a little over a week ago that Rafe had been in the middle of the street, bruised and crying out, needing help. Jessica had rushed to his side. She'd stopped her car in the middle of the road and had thrown herself at her father. And this is what she got in return, when she was the one who needed help - nothing."

This scene where Rafe wasn't helping his daughters while they were getting attacked showed those relationships that are one-sided. A lot of what this story showcased was those manipulative, one-sided, and soul-sucking relationships that need to be cut out of our lives. I hope it helps teen girls and even adults realize that they are worth more than they are given.

"Jessica knew, just as every other person in Southtown knew, that Rosa was the good sister, the one worth saving. Jessica was the expendable sister, the one with the heart too hot, the one who locked boys into houses with ghosts, the one with nothing to give but anger."

This killed me. I have felt the way Jessica has. I have a sibling that I think is the better one, the one worth saving so this hit hard. I have felt like the expendable sibling. I really think this book was made for me. I actually like the idea of this story getting a sequel because I want to see the girls lifted up and feel better about themselves. I didn't care for Peter hitting Jessica with a car. I know it was an accident but it was a weird choice. I wish it was a stranger especially since she ends up with Peter. I don't like that choice either. Peter has his flaws but he is trying to do better which I appreciate but I think Jessica didn't need to end up with another guy at the end. I think it took away from the story.

Jessica wanted to become her sister so much that she ate her hair. Ew! So gross. And how can you eat hair? I would think you would easily choke on it... Anyway, she had this persona that she wanted to be Ana but in doing so she lost herself. Her getting angry isn't a crime. Some girls are angry girls like some boys are angry. There is nothing wrong with emotion. Although, I hope she isn't angry all the time. I hope she discovers how amazing she is. 


"For a long, long time, Iridian had wanted to be completely inconspicuous, homebound, so introverted she was practically invisible. But nothing? Iridian didn't want to be nothing, and when she heard her father say that to her, she exploded like a star."

Another scene that killed me because I have felt worthless before. Jessica and Iridian have a lot in common really. I am so happy that Iridian showed her emotions once and for all and tried to help her sister. She showed that she was hardly nothing. I have a feeling a lot of introverts feel this loneliness and invisibility that Iridian felt. I remember friends of mine being surprised at some things I've said because I'm only vocal with friends, close family, and some coworkers. I'm very much a talker even if I am introverted and very shy with those I feel comfortable with. Although, be careful if you are because there are those that will easily manipulate your words against you.

Iridian going over to the neighbor's house. There's this theme of those neighbors or outsiders having good intentions but not acting on it. I think we as a society have good intentions but we don't help our fellow man. We are all very selfish. You should be careful always but there are times we miss standing up for someone else.


Rosa goes to church to talk with her priest and he mentions her mother being the ghost. That's not true of course but I would have liked the story to go into more of Rosa's feelings on the matter.

"Her priest was about to launch into a story. He probably thought this story, which would no doubt be about the young ita de la Cruz down in Mission, Texas, was going to be a gift Rosa could then take home with her and cherish like a bird's bright feather or a perfectly coiled snail shell. Father Mendoza probably thought he was being kind and generous. But Rosa knew his story wouldn't really have anything to do with Rosa or her mother. She could tell by the warm glow in his eyes that, even if the story seemed on the surface to be about Rita de la Cruz, it was really about him."

Again, another brilliant scene because don't people do this? They make giving advice to you about them? I wish Rosa wasn't going away from the church though as it seems like she will but she does realize that you have to follow your own heart. Your own intuition. 

"And if I ever see you on this street again, I will break your spine."

Rosa swinging that lamp around and attacking the men hurting her sisters was awesome. I love this about her although I think there is still a lot of character development missing from her that I got with Jessica and Iridian. I think I spent a lot more time with them then I did with Rosa in the story.

"Rosa had never believed Ana's purpose in coming back was to get her and sisters out of the house. That would've meant they would've had to split up, or split up even more than they already had in the year since Ana died. Rosa knew Ana had come back to convince her and her sisters to stay together."

I thought that Ana wanted her sisters to stick together but again I think if there wasn't a sequel they would have left town. I don't love that they are still in their home and Ana is still around. Maybe the sequel surprises me in being as good or better than this book.

Overall Thoughts

I was so worried that this wasn't going to end with the girls fighting for each other like they did. I mean of course they would, but there is supposed to be a sequel so who knows. I am so happy with how they did fight for each other. I just believe they still have some time before they come to know their worth. I also wish Jessica didn't end up with Peter. Overall though, I absolutely loved this book. Five stars all the way. The message and connection I felt with Jessica and Iridian especially was fantastic. I feel like this book is one that teenage girls should be reading. And even adults can learn from these girls' actions. Teen boys as well could benefit from reading this book. I cried a lot towards the end and was doing a Jenna Marbles saying, "Hell, yeah!" when things were going down. I am so thrilled to be done with this first book discussion. I hope to get into a routine for the next one - Into the Tall, Tall Grass so I actually post every Thursday instead of the weekends so bear with me as I make changes to my routine to do so. Let me know what you thought of these pages in the comments. Did it conclude how you wanted it to? Are you excited or apprehensive about the sequel?


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