Thursday, March 30, 2017

Book Review: The Education of Margot Sanchez

Title: The Education of Margot Sanchez
Author: Lilliam Rivera
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: February 21, 2017
Source: Library

Format: Physical

Mami, for destroying my social lifePapi, for allowing Junior to become a NeanderthalJunior, for becoming a NeanderthalThis supermarketEveryone else
After “borrowing” her father's credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts. 
With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment. Lie, cheat, and maybe even steal…
Margot’s invitation to the ultimate beach party is within reach and she has no intention of letting her family’s drama or Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal (goodreads).

The Education of Margot Sanchez is the unapologetic exploration of a teen trying to do what she thinks is best.
Plot: Margot "Princessa" Sanchez has spent her high-school career trying to make a name for herself at the preppy high school her parents sent her to, and she's doing pretty well for herself so far. She's friends with two popular girls who open her eyes to new music, new fashion, new experiences, and for Margot, they're her free pass to popularity. This all changes when she steals her father's credit card and racks up some serious debt in an attempt to buy herself a trendy new wardrobe. Now she has to work the duration of summer break at her family's supermarket and interact with people that will surely bring down her popularity if anyone were to find out.  

I have never seen Pretty in Pink so I can't comment on the comparison, but The Education of Margot Sanchez does read like any coming-of-age Young Adult novel. I was hooked from page one with Margot's dedication to make a good impression and be the family "princessa". The novel cover about 5 weeks and it is pretty short; however, it does pack a punch. 

I loved how the focus of The Education of Margot Sanchez was on perceptions. Margot's father shipped her off to Somerset, a preppy school where Margot was basically the school's diversity. Rivera explored perceptions of race,  perceptions of skin color, perceptions of wealth, perceptions of neighborhoods, and the perception of having the perfect life. Margot's family end game is perfection, and I loved her storytelling for all of the lessons Margot learned in her 5 weeks.  

Characters: Margot was pretty messy, she stole her father's credit card and didn't feel an ounce of guilt for it. While her realization of her behavior came abruptly, I did appreciate how Rivera was able to get into Margot's head and create a believable 16-year-old girl. Everyone in this story had a back story, and I enjoyed getting to know everyone, especially Margot's family. 

Worldbuilding: The Education of Margot Sanchez loses points for its lack of worldbuilding. The majority of the novel took place in the Bronx but there were never any descriptions to the neighborhood or her school. This was a major disadvantage since a key plot point was discussing the gentrification of the neighborhood. 

Short N Sweet: The Education of Margot Sanchez will have you experiencing a gambit of emotions as a young girl struggles to find her voice. I recommend this for everyone. 


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