The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera & Seven Days of You by Cecilia Vinesse

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera & Seven Days of You by Cecilia VinesseThe Education of Margot Sanchez
by Lilliam Rivera
Release Date: February 21st 2017
Published by Simon & Schuster
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC
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three-half-stars
Source: ARC received for review purposes

Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted—from debut author Lilliam Rivera.

THINGS/PEOPLE MARGOT HATES:

Mami, for destroying my social lifePapi, for allowing Junior to become a NeanderthalJunior, for becoming a NeanderthalThis supermarketEveryone else

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.

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 Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal.

ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


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The Education of Margot Sanchez was a total cover lure for me. The promise of a Puerto-Rican family just sealed the deal for me. Lilliam Rivera is a great writer and I foresee a very bright future for her if she continues with such solid writing. Here are some of my quick opinions about the book.

  • First things first, Margot is not going to be the protagonist for everyone. She is one angry girl, and she’s not afraid to let out her frustrations. She wasn’t particularly likeable. I thought her constant desire to want to be noticed, and to separate her friends perspective of her from her reality was frustrating to read about. But thinking back, I think we’ve all had our moments as teens when we said/did things to make us seem cooler in our friend group. Being a teenager is HARD and Rivera portrays that beautifully here.
  • The Education of Margot Sanchez, as you can probably tell from the title, is Margot’s story of growth and coming-of-age. Like I said, Margot is not the most pleasant protagonist ; she tended to be materialistic and a bit shallow, in my opinion, but we do see growth from her as the story progressed. However, I wished that we had seen her starting to change and realize how awful her behavior was towards certain people in her life earlier on. It would have made a stronger story for me personally.
  • Family is at the center of The Education of Margot Sanchez, and it’s messy and complicated, and just a bit sad as well. Her brother and her father frustrated me to no ends, but the characters were so well-developed that even those who were frustrating in their actions were great to read about. Besides complicated family relationships, the book also explored complicated friendships. And there was also a sweet romance with a neighborhood activist who went by Moises. I would have liked to know more about his character to be honest, but I still really liked the glimpses we saw of his personality.
  • I really really loved the Latinx culture here too. I think it’s always wonderful to learn more about different people, their lifestyles and their culture. The portrayal read very realistic to me, and I think Latinx teens will love to see pieces of themselves in Margot and her family.

Overall, this was a decent book for me and I’ll be looking forward to reading more from Lilliam Rivera in the future.


The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera & Seven Days of You by Cecilia VinesseSeven Days of You
by Cecilia Vinesse
Release Date: March 7th 2017
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Format: ARC
Pages: 336
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two-stars
Source: ARC received for review purposes

Sophia has seven days left in Tokyo before she moves back to the States. Seven days to say good-bye to the electric city, her wild best friend, and the boy she’s harbored a semi-secret crush on for years. Seven perfect days…until Jamie Foster-Collins moves back to Japan and ruins everything.

Jamie and Sophia have a history of heartbreak, and the last thing Sophia wants is for him to steal her leaving thunder with his stupid arriving thunder. Yet as the week counts down, the relationships she thought were stable begin to explode around her. And Jamie is the one who helps her pick up the pieces. Sophia is forced to admit she may have misjudged Jamie, but can their seven short days of Tokyo adventures end in anything but good-bye?

ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


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*sigh*
Not going to lie, I had my concerns going into Seven Days of You that it could potentially wind up being a disaster, but I still held out some hope and gave this book a try because hello? Romance with a Tokyo setting? How does one resist that? Unfortunately, I should have stuck with my gut because nothing about Seven Days of You worked for me.

  • Probably my biggest issue with Seven Days of You was the setting. It really really bothers me when authors choose a vibrant, culturally-rich setting and wind up not developing it at all. This was unfortunately the case with Seven Days of You. The book may mention that it’s set in Japan, but it honestly could have been set literally anywhere and nothing about the book would have changed. The author didn’t spend her time describing the scenery, lifestyle and culture enough, in my opinion, so it fell flat. When she did describe cultural elements, they felt incredibly stereotypical. Another thing I thought was pretty unrealistic was how every character in this book was white. You are in Tokyo, why do you not have any Japanese friends?
  • I didn’t care for ANY of the characters, which means the book was doomed from the start for me. I just didn’t think they were likable. The main character, Sophia, was a whiner. She constantly made illogical decisions and I found her to be immature. I get that she was a teenager, but everything about her felt so forced and dramatic.
  • The relationships in this book are an utter mess. I hated the friendship between Sophia and Mika (if you can even call it that). I don’t know why she even had a crush on her other friend, David, who insisted on calling her Sofa (*EYE ROLL*) and who in actuality was a dirtbag. Jamie, her actual love interest, was decent enough, but again, I didn’t feel like he was fleshed out enough for me to find him memorable. Ultimately, even the romance fell flat for me.
  • OPEN ENDING
    UGH. Just ugh. I absolutely despise open endings, especially  in contemporary YA romances.  Enough said.

So yeah, Seven Days of You wasn’t the  book for me, sadly. I definitely thought it had the potential, but unfortunately, it got lost among all the dramatics and lack of descriptive setting.

What are some recent contemporary reads? Tell me what’s your favorite book set in a country besides the US!
Let me know in the comments below!

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Nick
  • Aww no, Seven Days of You sounds like it could have had so much more diverse potential, since it’s set in Tokyo. Sad to hear that it didn’t develop :(. OMG, OPEN ENDINGS, don’t even get me started on them, the worst is when you’re reading a really read book and they hit you with an open ending. I normally just sit there in denial, haha. The Education of Margot Sanchez sounds super interesting, tbh I really love reading coming of age stories! :p Lovely reviews 🙂

    • Nope, no diverse setting other than mentioning junk food here and there.
      I hope you give Margot a try! Thanks, Kristin!

  • One of my recent contemp reads was Tell Me Three Things and PS I Like You, which were both pretty average although I liked the former more than the latter! I thought they were cute but nothing that stood out to me too much sadly!

    Great post though!

    xx Anisha @ Sprinkled Pages

    • I thought those two were pretty average too, Anisha.

  • The Education of Margot Sanchez sounds amazing! I have a total soft spot for unlikeable heroines (I was also a super angry and somewhat insufferable teen, so I get those people!) and Margot sounds like a fascinating protagonist. Of course, anything with strong family relationships is also a win in my book. I’m really eager to give this one a try now!

    Seven Days of You sounds bad….hahaha. The absence of Japanese characters is upsetting and kind of embarrassing tbh. How did no one in editing realize that was a problem?!

    • I’m the same! I wasn’t always angry as a teen, but I had my moments. Margot really was an interesting character. And I’m with you on family dynamics in books.

      I honestly have no idea. I don’t even know why the author bothered to set it in Japan. It made no sense to me.

  • Jazmen Greene

    I read TEOMS I thought it was pretty decent. The second one I’m not so sure about. Thanks for sharing!

    • Glad you liked it!

  • Okay yup, I’m never looking at Seven Days again. I wasn’t interested in it when Little Brown offered it for review, because I don’t like those types of books. You know, the vacation types in which the girl (or guy) goes on vacation or summer camp or some temporary setting, falls for someone, and then in the end, has to leave the person. Ugh! Not my thing. And it sounds like the book was a mess in general! No Japanese friends – that’s hard to believe. Jeez, why even set the book in Japan?

    I have Margot Sanchez but it was sent unsolicited and I’ve not really read much about it. I don’t mind angry heroines but I bet she would frustrate me a little. But I don’t really nearly enough books featuring Latinx characters. So there’s that!

    Excellent reviews, Nick! Have a great week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • I’ve read some good travel books, but this was not it. Skip it!
      Thanks, Alyssa!

  • I really liked Margot, I thought she was hopeless dramatic, but yes, a major brat. Haha. Agreed that it was cool to learn more about LatinX culture, I used the hell out of my “look up” button on my kindle because my Spanish is pitiful!

    • She totally was, which is what made her likeable! Me too. I always love learning about cultures from books.

  • Oooh definitely interested in The Education of Margot Sanchez! I need more Puerto Rican families in books or hey, a book set in PR! It actually sounds like a good story! I think I’d be upset by her shallowness but I want to give it a try.
    Seven Days… I’m glad I never requested it. I was being sold on the Japan setting like you have no idea. I really despise when authors don’t do enough research to talk about a culture in a book. I’m sorry this wasn’t good :/
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

    • I hope we’ll see more of them in the future.
      Yeah, good thing you didn’t because that book is a mess!

  • I don’t have Sanchez, but I might get it when I have a chance since I’m from Puerto Rico and I just feel like I should read it. And yes, Hispanic men can be infuriating 🙂

    • It’s a lovely book, Liza, so give it a try! Hahaha! Good to know!

  • Yasss! I totally agree with you on Seven Days. I mean, I rarely saw the characters interact with Japanese people! And aside from some Japanese junk food and karaoke, there wasn’t much culture mentioned. I was disappointed.

    • Nope they rarely did. It’s so stupid to have a book set in Japan and to come up with this.

  • Oh that’s too bad about Seven Days of You. The setting is what made me interested in the story! =/
    Margot sounds really good. I’ll have to check that one out.

    • Same here, but the setting wasn’t used well at all. Margot was great and I highly recommend it!