The Education of Margot Sanchez
Booklist Reviews 2016 November #2
Thanks to her father's successful grocery store, Margot Sanchez—aka Princesa—enjoys attending an elite prep school and looks forward to a college education. But her true education begins when she's relegated to spending the summer working with her father in the South Bronx, instead of in the Hamptons with her friends. There she learns that developers have targeted her neighborhood for gentrification, placing homes and businesses (including her father's store) in danger. A local boy named Moises takes the time to teach her about the Puerto Rican music, food, and culture—her culture—of the South Bronx. Suddenly, Margot finds herself at odds with the urbane identity she has developed. Quickly eschewing the trappings of a typical romance, this book showcases Margot's clashing identities as a teen struggling to define herself despite the expectations of her immigrant parents. The depiction of economic disparity, racism, and identity in the age of social media are intentionally inconclusive; Margot (and the reader) must grapple with them. A debut of great candor, depth, and empathy. Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2017 Fall
Social-climbing Margot uses Papi's credit card to impress her private school friends. Her punishment--a summer of work at her Puerto Rican family's supermarket--sends her back to the Bronx, with petty "cashieristas," the ubiquitous drug trade, and a sexy social activist battling gentrification. Although Margot's snobby attitude is hard to empathize with, Rivera authentically depicts the stress of juggling cultural identities. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
PW Reviews 2016 November #3
Margot Sanchez, "the great brown hope" of her family, is caught between the wealthy, white world of Somerset Prep, the private school she attends, and that of her "Rich Adjacent" Latino family, which owns two supermarkets in the Bronx. Margot changed her personal style in order to befriend the popular girls at Somerset, and she's desperate to spend the summer with them in the Hamptons. Instead, she is stuck stocking shelves and working the deli counter at the supermarket—punishment for stealing her father's credit card for a shopping spree—and trying to reconnect with the friends she left behind. Debut novelist Rivera doesn't sugarcoat Margot's conflicted life as the teenager juggles the sexist attitudes from the men in her family, the judgments from "cashieristas" at the store and her party-happy Somerset friends alike, romantic conflicts involving boys from school and the neighborhood, and family crises that arise. Margot makes mistakes, misplaces her trust, and gradually reestablishes who she is in an emotional story about class, race, hard work, and finding one's place. Ages 14–up. Agent: Eddie Schneider, Jabberwocky Literary. (Feb.) Copyright 2016 Publisher Weekly.