The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: February 21st 2017 by Simon & Schuster
Source: Publisher

  1. The Education of Margot Sanchez is bloody amazing.
  2. I will tell all the reasons why.
  3. Now you may not know this but I am not someone who willingly reads contemporary. I prefer dragons with my drama.
  4. But I have been making an effort to dip my toes into contemp written by #ownvoices writers because you should.
  5. I’m attempting to read responsibly.
  6. Also, this book comes out on my birthday and of course because I’m internally 12, this means something.
  7. Anyway! Margot Sanchez is a very interesting protagonist. She is a completely flawed character and someone I should not be able to like. But honestly, the things she does (like stealing from her parents and lying to everyone) are all ways in which she is trying to survive the environment she has been thrown into.
  8. When her parents discover that Margot Sanchez has been a bit too free with her dad’s credit card, she is sentenced to working in the supermarket her dad owns.
  9. What follows is an extremely illuminating six week during which Margot learns many hard truths about herself, her family, and the world she lives in.
  10. Things get very unpleasant for her. Margot Sanchez is not the typical shallow girl that contemporaries usually offer with the promise to redeem by the end.
  11. Margot’s motives always make sense. She goes to a private school where the way she talks, the way she walks, the clothes she wears, the things she says, the colour of her skin–all of these things are cons stacked against her. To fit in, to spend her school life with at least some semblance of social success, she needs to make some compromises.
  12. And if that compromise comes at the cost of her morality…well.
  13. Then there’s Moises, the boy she meets giving out pamphlets outside her dad’s supermarket.
  14. The boy who cares about gentrification and social issues, things Margot has never thought or cared about.
  15. He doesn’t change her world but he does manage to shake it. He makes her aware of her own privilege.
  16. And that’s a very fine thing to do.
  17. Of course there’s family drama. I won’t give anything away but I will say “yikes!”
  18. The Education of Margot Sanchez features a distinct flavour with its use of Spanish dialogue and explosive emotion that makes reading it a veritable treat.
  19. I also really like Moises.
  20. And Margot. I like Margot too.
  21. I ALSO really like Paloma who is a very minor character but her energy was intense.
  22. I like that Ms. Rivera doesn’t shy away from exposing the rampant sexism and classism present in the community. It would be only too easy to paint everything a rosy colour but this brand of realism gives the book greater depth.
  23. So yeah, this book is not exactly wholly POC romance like I promised but it is romance in the sense that Margot Sanchez unintentionally goes on a journey to find herself and finds love, self-respect, and the strength to look life in the eye.
  24. I recommend this entirely. Wholly. Totally. Completely.
  25. And you know, it’s 2 am. So I’m going to bed.

  • Sometimes following a character as they get to know and build a loving, healthy relationship with themself is the most satisfying kind of romance!