Book Review: Margaux with an X

6:00:00 PM

As we start the new year, I can't help but remember the reading goal I set for myself last year. I challenged myself to read 25 books in 2016 and by December 13th I was only 68% of the way done. Luckily though, I had just completed a book haul, so I had lots of new books to read!

After doing the math, I realized that I had 18 days to finish 6 more books! So, I went to my bookshelf and picked out Margaux with an X. I figured something short would help boost my confidence, so I immediately began reading!

She’s drop-dead gorgeous, has a razor-sharp wit, and is a charter member of the school’s most popular clique. Margaux (with an x) is the dream catch of every teenage male within her radar. Encouraged by her caustic friend Sara, she’s perfected the art of the sarcastic tease, while keeping her sweaty-palmed suitors just far enough at bay. It’s a dreary game, but at least she’s not home with Mom, the shopping channel addict, Dad, the professional gambler, and a certain haunting secret from her past. Then along comes Danny Riley—a scrawny, weak-chinned, animal-loving oddball with a quaint chivalrous streak, a kindhearted kid who can match her banter to the polysyllable and who harbors a few painful memories of his own.

When I first picked up Margaux with an X, I thought that it was going to be right up my ally! The character's back story sounded a little bit like my own, so I immediately felt close to the character. And overall, the synopsis just sounded interesting to me.

However, after opening up the book, I quickly realized that it wasn't for me. For one, I'm a complete freak when it comes to organization and this book didn't even have chapters! There was the occasional word at the beginning of a paragraph that was both uppercase and bold, but it didn't start on a new page or anything. It was just there.

Another thing that bothered me was the author's writing style. One of the biggest things I learned during English class was that varying your sentence structure can only help your writing and it is often encouraged. Unfortunately though, I don't think that Ron got that memo. It's almost as if the author is afraid of compound sentences.

Oddly enough though, the author is a huge fan of lists! It seemed that a majority of the book was filled with details and descriptions that really just didn't belong. Now don't get me wrong, I do believe that writers should follow the rule "show don't tell," but there's a good way and a bad way to do it. This just wasn't the good version.

In the author's biography, Ron states: "Margaux with an X started as a short story, but the heroine wouldn't let me alone. A story wasn't enough for her. Oh, no. She had a story to tell, and she wanted a whole novel to tell it in. I had other things I thought I wanted to write. But I was putty in her hands. She made me do it."

Honestly though, I think that Margaux's story was better left as a short story. As a writer myself, I just don't see why she needed this entire book. I know that sounds harsh, but there just wasn't much to this novel.

For instance, the entire novel felt like it spanned the course of a week or less. I think it's partly due to the overwhelming amount of short sentences and fast paced writing tactics; but when I pick up a book, I want to be transported into a new world for more than just a couple of days.

Not only was Ron's sentence structure lacking, but his vocabulary was a little problematic. I think here and there it's good to introduce more complex words to strengthen a readers vocabulary, but the author went a tad bit overboard. Reading through Margaux with an X, it felt like studying for the SATs all over again and that's not what I call fun or relaxing.

To put it frankly, Margaux with an X just didn't have the makings of a successful novel. I think that the short timeline really hurt the book's chances. The characters may have been developed well, but I can't say the same for the plot.

Personally, I really felt connected to the characters and I wish I had gotten to hear more of their stories. Or, at least gotten to see more events take place. To put it simply, this book can be summed up in just a few sentences - Margaux, the gorgeous and popular girl with a toxic home life meets Danny, a kind guy with average looks and an equally painful past. The two grow together and with the help of Danny's aunt, Margaux gains the courage to leave her toxic home.

Overall, I wouldn't 100% recommend this book. I think it's ideal for those interested in a short and simple story, but it's definitely not up to par with my usual reads. I definitely don't think I'll be picking up another book by Ron Koertge anytime soon.

If you're interested in purchasing this book, you can find it here

Have you read this book? I'd love to read what you thought in the comments!

* This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I'll receive some type of commission. For more information, you can read our full disclosure here. *

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  1. As an avid reader of anything I can get my hands on I thank you for your review. I always check them before starting a new book.

    1. You're welcome and I'm the same exact way! If you're interested in more book reviews, you might want to check out my other website too! I'm currently in the process of writing my own novels, so I'm reading a TON! Of course, I'm also interviewing other authors and giving away free books too :)

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