Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 778
dark, atmospheric, and riveting
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
I AM MARGARET MOORE is a dark and atmospheric YA read about misogyny, friendship, and consequences. The story is told in fragmented, lyrical prose about what happened last summer and what is occurring in the present from Margaret's perspective. Every summer, she and her 3 best friends attend Marshall, a naval summer program, as part of Deck 5. What happened last summer has defined everything and ripples out through their and other's stories as we slowly learned what occurred and the consequences it has had on those at the program.

What I loved: This was a chilling and riveting read. The writing was absolutely lovely and poetic - but also fragmented and confusing, as both the reader and Margaret attempt to put together the whole timeline and the problems scattered throughout. Margaret is simultaneously a terrible narrator and the only one who can tell the reader what happened and why. Although the book begins as a story about friendship, bonding, and the ripples of terrible events, it evolves into something much darker and insidious - betrayal, misogyny, and the unequal burden of mistakes. Ultimately, there is also a strong current of sisterhood in friendship and the power of such connections. These themes are ones that resonate with readers and require some careful contemplation - they are harrowing to read and Margaret's own agony flows from the page.

Although the reader may figure out what is happening before Margaret, the book still manages to be quietly surprising, and the real power of the story is in how all the clues are everywhere. This was a book that, when I finished, I turned back to the earlier sections immediately and reread. It's a story that few will be satisfied with a single read. Key pieces of information are scattered like landmines or treasures throughout, and the reader is left to gather them and assemble the plot in a really riveting way. This is a book that pulls the reader in and keeps them on their toes, understanding and constructing the past and present. It is certainly a read that garners many emotions and is difficult to provide a rating - I have a feeling that this is a story that will stick with me for a long time.

Final verdict: Dark, raw, and fragmented, I AM MARGARET MOORE is an atmospheric read that is sure to leave the reader reeling. Highly recommend for fans of SADIE, SAWKILL GIRLS, and UNNATURAL DEEDS.
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