The Education of Margot Sanchez

Title: The Education of Margot Sanchez
Author: Lilliam Rivera
Rate: 4.5/5
Bookstore: Book Culture LIC
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date Published: February 21, 2017

Mami, for destroying my social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
This supermarket
Everyone else

After “borrowing” her father’s credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot 
Sánchez 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 Moisés—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal.

Margot is a young girl that is trying to get through high school and the struggles that come with; trying to fit in with the “popular” group, crushing on the popular guy, trying to find herself and dealing with family drama. To say that I was didn’t relate to her in some ways that are an understatement. My high school experience was both very dramatic and full of challenges, but also full of great memories. I didn’t feel the pressure of being “popular” and being in the “in” crowd since my high school was small and we got along with one another for the most part. The difference with me is that I went to school with people that were looked like me and those that I can relate, unlike Margot where she was in a school full of white people, where she felt like she had to dress, act and look like them as much as possible.

Apart from Margot having to fit in and trying to stay relevant to her prep friends, she feels disconnected to her community and her own people. She feels like she can’t relate to them and the more she is around them, the more she is feels drifted away. Rivera touched upon many other aspects of what young Latinx go through, one of them having the pressure from parents about becoming successful by becoming a lawyer or doctor, in order to get out of the “hood” since our parents couldn’t make it, the children are pressured to excel in school and reach your full potential.

Gentrification is another topic that is raised in the book; Moises is trying to save the community from changing by protesting against high rise developments and displacing the people that currently living there. Many boroughs like Brooklyn and part of Manhattan are experiencing that now. I lived my whole life in Washington Heights and I have seen the place change from mom and pop shops closing down due to high rent to be replaced with modern restaurants. This even goes with new buildings being built with high rent that no one in the community can afford and trying to drive the people that lived their all their lives.

I love that this book is Latinx representative and I was fully able to connect to it in many ways. Although that Margot was a self-absorbed teen believing that nothing can touch her and that she is better than others. At the same time, she is a teen that is curious and is trying to find herself which many went through at her age. I really enjoyed the story; the writing was good and the dialogue of the story was realistic in many ways. Either way, I highly recommend this book.

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