By: Lilliam Rivera
Length: 304 pages
Published: February 21st 2017
THINGS/PEOPLE MARGOT HATES:
Mami, for destroying my 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
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).