The Education of Margot Sanchez
THE EDUCATION OF MARGOT SANCHEZ is author Lilliam Rivera’s first novel. Although some would relate this book to Pretty In Pink, the popular 80s movie, I would say that THE EDUCATION OF MARGOT SANCHEZ focuses more on finding and being true to yourself.
"Lilliam Rivera did a wonderful job creating a cohesive debut novel. She incorporated romance but left it at appreciable levels. Her book spoke volumes about the importance of being true to yourself instead of trying to be like others around you."
The main character is --- no shocker here --- Margot Sanchez. Prior to the start of the novel, Margot began studying at a new private school, Somerset Prep, and was having a hard time fitting in with the new crowd. In an attempt to impress the most popular girls in school, Camille and Serena, Margot stole her father’s credit card and bought $600 worth of clothes. Now, instead of spending her summer under the sun in the Hamptons, Margot is forced to work at her family’s grocery store and pay off her debt as well as an extra $2000. Throughout the summer Margot is forced to confront the truths about her friends and family. Her friendship with old friend Elizabeth hangs by a thread as Margot continuously chooses popularity over her true personality. Moises, a boy with a harsh past, amplifies Margot’s boy problems, and Margot’s family proves more complicated than she ever thought. THE EDUCATION OF MARGOT SANCHEZ is a wonderful novel showing the growth and character of Margot as well as incorporating important topics such as urbanization.
There are many components of THE EDUCATION OF MARGOT SANCHEZ that I thought were wonderful. For example, Lilliam Rivera centered this whole book on the Sanchez family who are Hispanic-American. The best part of this was that Lilliam Rivera didn’t just add color to her characters, she also added Spanish dialogue. I personally have only taken three years of high school Spanish, but I found it challenging and fun trying to translate the sentences before they were translated for me. Parts of this book made me anxious for the ending. As the plot progressed I got increasingly scared that Margot would make the wrong decisions.
I think Lilliam Rivera did a wonderful job creating a cohesive debut novel. She incorporated romance but left it at appreciable levels. Her book spoke volumes about the importance of being true to yourself instead of trying to be like others around you. I also was amused by the mentioning of a sort of domino effect resulting from urbanization. In THE EDUCATION OF MARGOT SANCHEZ Rivera mentions the impact on small, locally-run businesses when big money corporations set up shop near them. This addition to her novel made it more interesting than other pure contemporary novels that only focus on romance.
Do I think the book could have been better? Yes, I do. There were times when paragraphs or sometimes whole pages bored me, but overall it was a great book.
THE EDUCATION OF MARGOT SANCHEZ is a great book for those who love contemporary novels. It is also a good read for someone who finds that current young adult books have a lack of diversity. Overall, I would definitely recommend that readers go pick this book up.
Reviewed by Kaela N., Teen Board Member on February 21, 2017