Published February 21st 2017 by Simon & Schuster
Format read: Finished copy via publisher
Things/People Margot Hates:
Mami, for destroying her social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
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.
Because Margot has been sheltered to the realities of the world to some extent, simply by being in a very whitewashed school. It's jarring to have to face the actual realities of her life via her dad's store, and Rivera showcases that steep learning curve, smartly and beautifully - albeit with the aforementioned bratty attitude.
But as Margot (and Lillian) digs deeper into Margot's life, we see her struggles to grow up and get wise. She contends with the sexist attitudes of her family, she learns to who to trust and not to trust, and what she values in herself. It's basically a classic bildungsroman, wrapped up in an additional tale about gentrification and the impact on the neighborhoods that gentrification comes to change. Rivera balances a number of complex plotlines through the eyes of Margot and her growth, and it's a credit to Rivera's writing talent, that she does so and manages to realize all of them, in a fully-formed way.
The book wraps up in a solid way, and we come to get to know Margot and her life, in a solid way. Highly recommend full stop.
About the author:
Lilliam Rivera is the author of The Education of Margot Sanchez and is a 2016 Pushcart Prize winner. She is a freelance writer with work in Tin House, the Los Angeles Times, and Latina, among others. Originally from the Bronx, New York, Lilliam now lives in Los Angeles with her family. Visit her at LilliamRivera.com.