Book Review: The Education of Margot Sanchez, Lilliam Rivera

The Education of Margot Sanchez26594801.jpg

By: Lilliam Rivera

Length: 304 pages

Published: February 21st 2017

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆



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.



I’ve come across a lot of characters and their families throughout my reading journey. Often times when trying to capture the essence of a community it can become muddled as someone always seems to stand out like a sore thumb, or an expression isn’t used in the right dialect. But with The Education of Margot Sanchez, you are thrown into not just the Bronx neighborhood but the Sanchez household. I felt like I was reading a life I know and seen so many times. That is how authentic of a setting you’ll witness.

I didn’t grow up in the Bronx, but I grew up with my PR family and we are scattered everywhere, NY, PR and where I call home. I grew up with my cousins, with Spanglish, and the little bodega at the corner of where I often played. I remember the Spanish festival the Iglesia put on yearly. The music, the food, and the fun. Lilliam Rivera was able to remind me of my childhood without even knowing me.

While Rivera featured all the positives of my youth she also showcased the downfalls of the community being sold to the highest bidder. The change that has taken over and has hurt many of the middle-class people.

Rivera captured not just an imaginary family of the Sanchez but was able to create a world that is familiar, safe and home, despite its flaws. Essentially she captured what it is like to be a Hispanic teenage girl in today’s world.

I found myself nodding along, thinking that’s so my Dad, and there goes my Titi with her cleaning of imaginary dust. While not every family goes the route the Sanchez did, it was still an exceptional read. I know that somewhere out there someone is going to say this say something about how she stereotyped the Hispanic community. And I for one want Rivera to know, that this is really the closest depiction of the community I grew up in.

Margot “borrowed” money from her father, as the “Golden child”, the one who was supposed to raise the name of the Sanchez ‘s she is sent to a private school, which leaves her out of place amongst her new peers. Forced to work her summer at the family grocery store, Margot gets life lessons thrown at her quick and fast.

Following her summer of working, she learns more about herself, her community and her family. Not all of it being welcomed knowledge. You see, Margot or Princesa has been kept in a bubble.  The lesson is, what you want you don’t always need and what you need you don’t always want. But it’s life and this is the Education of Margot Sanchez.

This is being marketed for 14 and up and while I agree wholeheartedly with that I do want to note that this book does have sex (nothing graphic at all, it is just mentioned) and drugs (again nothing graphic).

38 thoughts on “Book Review: The Education of Margot Sanchez, Lilliam Rivera

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  1. I’m always looking for a good read, even YA. They are such an enjoyable read! The story line reminds me a lot of what my cousin’s shared growing up in NY, which I always found fascinating since I grew up in the south. Love recommending books to young folks. This looks like a perfect fit. Thanks for sharing your review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This book sounds absolutely intriguing and I think I will go look for it at the library this weekend. Thanks so much for the recommendation.


    1. Hope you enjoy it, if your library doesn’t have it, clicking the title will take you to Amazon, the authors name with take to his site.


  3. This book sounds awesome. I struggle to find fiction books that I would enjoy. I think this book is one that I need to check out. I find YA books so much more enjoyable than adult books. Currently writing this title down!


  4. Margo is such a complex character and I sincerely enjoyed watching her grow up. I was ready to give her some “chanclazos” after reading the beginning of the book. I like the writing style of the author too and can’t wait to read more.


    1. HAHAHA….Yes, I was also. She has so many characteris that cross my everyday life. I also enjoyed the writing style, it was much more relaxed compared to other YA that have been on my radar.


  5. It sounds like a very intriguing book that I’d like to read. It was interesting to read how the book reminded you of your childhood. That’s a sign that the author was able to create the right atmosphere to take your imagination go wild.


  6. This one sounds really good! Its lovely when a book can give you a sense of home, I don’t find that happens often. I want to know what decisions she makes after already ‘borrowing’ from her father, now I am wondering if she will try not to disappoint or will do what she wishes in the hopes of making it up after!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This would be a perfect book for my 14 year old niece who is always looking for a good read. Thanks for the disclosure at the end too! This seems like a great book, even I’m curious to read it myself! Thanks for the recommendation.


  8. I love how your reviews are so detailed! i’m going to tell my cousin about this book, she’s always looking for good reads!


  9. What an interesting story!! I am Hispanic too, I find funny how you compare a region of the US to “today’s world”, interesting. I guess the US mentality is quite unique and the way all minorities are well defined, I wonder if this book reproduces that pattern?


    1. I can only compare “today’s world” to what I grew up with and what I know, I’ve never traveled outside the states, so while I know there is a world out there, my world is just the US.


  10. A great review of the book, it sounds like a good read I shall keep my eyes open for it. I am happy you enjoyed it and could relate to the characters 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This sounds like my kind of book! I love books like this. You did such a great job of breaking this down, thank you for sharing. I will have to check this book out.


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