Cover Image: I Am Margaret Moore

I Am Margaret Moore

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I Am Margaret Moore is a paranormal thriller unlike any I've ever read before. We follow Mar, or Margaret, and her three friends: Flor, Nisreen, and Rose in their time at Marshall. A navy-esque summer camp where their love for each other is limitless, where everything is perfect, and where they can be their true selves — until something goes terribly wrong.

As this is written, there isn't much I can tell you about the plot that isn't a spoiler. All we know is that Margaret is deeply depressed, her thoughts and feelings are a constant spiral. She feels empty and lost, clinging to her girls, her friends, the true loves of her life. Last summer, there was a boy. And something within that spiral of events led Margaret Moore to shame, and Deck Five to be sent home early.

This book is like trying to wade through a dream. It's written near in prose, deeply poetic, full of symbolism and repetition. It is not a style that everyone is going to enjoy or understand. I, personally, found the repetitive nature almost maddening to get through at times, no matter how beautiful the writing actually was. Things start to pick up about 60% in, but it is still a long trek to the point and the ending swallowed me up so quickly I almost didn't realize what had happened. I was *satisfied* with the events that folded out, I just wish it hadn't felt like staring into the sun to get there.

I so desperately wanted more backstory on the other girls. I wanted to know how they became friends, how Flor and Nisreen fell in love, what made their loyalty to each other so deep and true and all-consuming. Their friendship was my favorite part of the book. It is almost obsessive, but not suffocating. They know that who they are at camp cannot be who they are in real life, they understand they have responsibilities to handle once they leave, but their love for each other is as deep and true as anything to exist and it was a beautiful thing to behold.

If you want to enjoy a book that is part daydream, part nightmare, part poem—check this book out on 12 October 2021. It is an experience I'm unlikely to forget.

*My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for gifting me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.*

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Nothing gets me more than an unlikeable narrative with lyrical proses every once in a while. This reminded me of Foul is Fair due to the whole diving into the story blinded with no idea what really is happening. But, on the other hand, this book is entirely it's own.

Margaret Moore is a questionable heroine. We get the gist that something really went wrong but her narrative on how it progresses gets very confusing at times. I think that is what got me more into this book. There's a lot of deception happening and it makes me want to uncover it more. I can't tell much without spoiling but if I were to describe this in one word, it would be scrumptious. Lovers of the thriller genre will surely enjoy this.

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I really enjoyed this book, with its unstable narrative and moments of intensity, anger, fear, and retribution. The narrator was less well-fleshed out (pun partially intended) than the other characters except perhaps for Jack, but that ultimately makes sense, since the book is really about the girls who fight to end the lies that circulate around their friend--about how they are true Marshall girls to the end, in every way. This novel is excellent, surprising me when I though there were no more surprises (or obvious secrets) left, and concluding just the way readers will want it to.

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This book is a lyrical medley of summer warmth, yet bone chilling paranormal mystery. Great storytelling and world building, Marshall felt so vivid. I loved the eternal feeling of the female friendships in the story. The only criticism I have is that the poetics and lyricism left me a bit confused as to what was actually happening in the book.
Overall, a great, unique read!

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I'm a sucker for a good YA thriller so I was excited for this one. However, it just really fell flat for me. It was confusing and the pacing was very weird. The first half of this book is hard to get through. The second half does pick up but that's if you can make it that far. The story is good and the characters were likable but the writing style is just so hard to follow.

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Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of I Am Margaret Moore in exchange for an honest review.

I want to start off by highlighting that this book is extremely, extremely lyrical to the point of basically reading as if it was written in-verse. In-verse books are my favourite "genre" so I was pleasantly surprised to learn that, but I'm very aware that picking up a mystery thriller and then encountering this writing style can be less than appetizing for some readers so wanted to let you know that from the get go.

I Am Margaret Moore is an incredibly lyrical twisty mystery-thriller that uses its lyricism to disorient the reader to bolster plot twists while also keeping them incredibly connected to Mar's inner monologue. I really like the way Capin used the writing style to take what could have been a very thin concept and really flesh it out into a full-fledged thriller, especially since its a writing style that normally doesn't appear in the thriller genre. My one gripe was that despite this book heavily focusing on Mar's friend group, they all speak and act fairly similarly. Since Mar was so well established, I wish they were also individually complex.

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My issue with this book lies in the writing style. It was like poetry but not quite. The chapters were short and choppy and with the moving timeline, I struggled to understand what was happening. The plot is okay and I think if this were written differently, I would have liked it more.

I think the book is written to be confusing so you don't guess the twist. It hops between previous summers and now and the way 'second summer' comes prior to 'first summer' doesn't help. Sometimes it feels like we're following a stream of consciousness and things don't make a lot of sense. After finishing, I get why certain things were concealed but it was done in a way that I think some people might give up before things come together.

The ending was my favorite part because we got the revenge I was hoping for and kind of a sweet wrap up for the characters. This is a fairly short read but you may want to take your time so you understand it all.

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. Thank you to St. Martin's Press and Wednesday Books for the copy.

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Fantastic!! This story had me hooked from the beginning and didn’t let me go until the very ending! Loved the story, the characters, and the setting! I need more!

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ARC provided by NetGalley for an Honest Review
This book was a real honest to God struggle for me. From the start I felt a major disconnect and much of that had to do with the writing style. The narrative changes at the author's whim and the mix of narrative styles and lack of chapter separations really left me feeling detached. Not only that but the heroine was a very drab and unreliable storyteller. I kept wondering what the point of hearing all about her days in summer camp were leading up to. There was so much trivial detail that honestly IMO amounted to nothing. The only mildly interesting part was finding out Spoiler** [she was already dead. But this was overshadowed by her idiotic behavior and repeated ignorance when it came to a certain boy. It was a whole fool me once, shame on you-fool me twice, shame on me situation. Even as a young woman I think her undeniable faith in an obvious @$$hole was unwarranted. She certainly did not deserve his treatment or to die at his hands. But at the same time she was literally blinded when it came to him and even I saw her death on the horizon. I was mildly excited again thinking she perhaps got her revenge and killed him but if I'm not mistaken it was actually her friends who did the deed--booo. (hide spoiler)] The book also leaves me feeling sooooo confused and with many questions. I'm unclear on a lot of things but as it was such a struggle to get through and I put this book down quite often I find I'm just glad to be done.

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3.5 stars. The writing style was entirely different from Foul is Fair, and even though it was short, it took me a long time to finish when it was written this way.

It's impossible to describe the plot without spoilers, but just know that it involves a navy camp that Margaret and her closest friends Mary Rose Winston, Flor Gómez de la Parra, and Nisreen Al-Shayab have gone to every summer since they were nine. Last summer, there was some kind of mysterious incident that resulted in the girls being sent home early, and it's clear that it's not going to be forgotten. Margaret sees that the boy who betrayed her on that night has come back, and tries to make sure that he stays away from Rose. Later, another boy dies and Margaret's friends start leaving camp one by one. Anything past that is a spoiler. Right before I started reading this book, I saw another review that mentioned a certain plot point that wasn't revealed until about halfway through. Even if I knew it the whole time, I still thought that it was pretty easy to guess early on.

*spoiler warning*

I also didn't realize that it was mostly historical until the end, but I liked that. Turns out the "last summer" events happened in 1959, but there are several different time periods shown, including one of the Deck Five girls in 2021. I'd definitely read a book about Rose, Flor or Nisreen, because they were really good characters who i thought deserved a lot more attention. Especially when it came to Flor and Nisreen's relationship. I mean, they don't even live in the same country (Flor is from Venezuela and Nisreen is from Jordan) but they come back every summer to see each other? I love that, but they don't have nearly enough backstory. (BUT THEY DID RECONNECT AND GET BACK TOGETHER AS ADULTS and that's enough to make me forget about it).

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This is a fascinating study on girlhood, power/control/helplessness, and narrative voice. It seems like the lyrical writing style (the MC thinks of herself as a poet) isn't for everyone, but I found it very easy to read and not at all pretentious or immersion-breaking. I appreciated the setting and world-building of the novel very much--it's very much a summer thriller/horror work, and I loved the friendship between the core four girls. The only issues I found were the way the novel didn't really handle race-or more explicitly white privilege (though two of the MC's best friends were Venezuelan and Jordanian, respectively)-as strongly as it could have, particularly given the way the novel ended. The main reason this is a 4 star book for me is that after the massive reveal/twist 2/3 through the novel (which I didn't see coming, although apparently many readers did), the novel stalled somewhat and felt very repetitive, which made the back third much slower going than the earlier portion. That being said, I understand why this stalling/recursive quality was probably intentional, but it still didn't fully work for me that late in the novel. I can appreciate what the author was trying to do there, though. All-in-all, this was an excellent read, and I'm now going back to read the author's back catalog. Content warning for sexual assault and (non-graphic) violence.

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I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was honestly really happy and intrigued when I requested and got accepted to dive into I Am Margaret Moore. Mystery thriller books can sometimes give me life and the synopsis for this book made it sound freaking amazing. Well, it had potential to be but I think the book and I were not vibing together.

This is definitely about a group of girls that were kind of close but definitely became super closer after a tragic and unfortunate event. It all started on a stormy night and then things get wild after that. I wont lie, I was definitely confused with what was happening for most of this book. Also the pace was kind of all over the place and I just wanted connecting with anyone.

Then the second half came and things were starting to pick up. Or maybe I was starting to see the light. Either way I was excited to get some answers. Unfortunately, the book took it's sweet time to do a semi big reveal and I'm still left with questions. It was definitely a lot to take in but I really wished that I found someone to connect to or something to connect with.

In the end, I'm glad that I got a chance to dive into this. It was definitely something I'm not used to and I hope that I dive back into this another time to see if my opinion changes or not.

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Book Review for I Am Margaret Moore
Full review for this title will be posted at: @cattleboobooks on Instagram!

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Margaret Moore loves her Deck Five girls – every summer she goes to Marshall Naval School and the summer is the only time she feels alive. But something happened the year before with a boy and that has changed the dynamics of the new year. The writing is a lyrical punch in the gut – and ever since I read Foul Is Fair last year I fell instantly in love with Capin’s writing style. However, this novel didn’t keep me as engaged as her previous one. Not because I didn’t enjoy the story or the protagonist, because I did. And there’s a huge twist towards the middle of the novel, and maybe it’s because I anticipated the twist or maybe because the ending happened way too long after the twist that the novel began to feel a tad repetitive.

That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because once you know the twist, you’ll understand why there’s the repetitiveness to it. And yes, this novel too is filled with ferocious friendships and violent revenge, but I suppose since reading her previous novel that was far bloodier, I was expecting a bit more?

If this is your first time reading Capin, you may love this book more because it’s got a group of friends you will root for, a protagonist that is both relateable and someone you can feel empathy for, and again, the writing is both razor sharp and poetically beautiful. So there is much to love in this novel if you’re a new reader.

I recommend this book if you love feminist revenge stories with strong female friendships.

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DNF-Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me an ARC of this copy. Unfortunately this book wasn’t for me which is disappointing since I was excited about the premise of this one. I guessed some of the “twist on the first few pages which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the book.

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This book was confusing, heartbreaking, hopeful, magical, and deadly all in one. I didn’t understand initially and when I did, I couldn’t put it down! It was expertly crafted and felt like I was there at Marshall; a part of Deck Five. I was Mar and Flor and Nisreen and Rose all; this was the story of any girl who has loved and lost, albeit with a twist. Great story and I would definitely recommend! Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my free arc in exchange for my honest opinion. I loved it!

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I wanted to love this one! I wanted to love it so very very much. I am a huge fan of books written in verse and I do love a good cryptic, odd, lyrical story. But this one was neither of the things I love so much about those stories.

First, the writing style is odd. It's not quite a book in verse but it's close. It has poetry and lyrics and written in quick, short chapter breaks. But the few lines it gives aren't really verse, they are a lot of full sentences, but they are the same things repeated a lot. There are whole sections that felt like the same chapter over and over. The beginning, the intro to the summer camp and their style, was jarring. I don't know a lot about a navy type summer camp so the levels and chants and line ups were a lot to catch up on with little intro.

I felt like what was maybe supposed to be the twist was really easy to spot pretty early on. So the layers I was hoping to dig through or the spooky parts I was hoping to get goosebumps from just never happened. The end was good but didn't quite pull together the story. I wish I'd loved it more.

<i>A huge thank you to the author and publisher for providing an e-ARC via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.</i>

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Part poetry & part mystery, I AM MARGARET MOORE is the story of a group of friends who have bonded together as sisters over the years of attending an exclusive summer camp. Last summer, Margaret, the bookish one, left camp early under mysterious circumstances, and her friends are still waiting for the explanation by the time next summer rolls around. But Margaret is afraid to share the truth of that summer, scared that they won't understand.

In addition to the mysterious hook, Capin's book mixes genres in a unique way. It's written beautifully, but sometimes the language is so heavy on the lyrical aspect that the story can feel like it's meandering a bit. (I think this would be a great audiobook.) It feels sometimes like you are viewing the narrative through a window of stained glass - it's hard to make out what's going on at times, but it sure looks beautiful.

I was disappointed the twist was telegraphed so obviously in the beginning. I guessed what was actually going on in the first few chapters, and it impacted the way I enjoyed the rest of the story because some of the mystery faded. I'm not sure if that was intentional, but I do think it would have been more impactful if the twist was better concealed and revealed at a more vital time.

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I wanted to like this book, and I am so disappointed that I didn’t. It’s description was very intriguing. Overall, this book had a great storyline, but I just could not read this style of writing. I did not care for how many times the character repeated the same words over and over throughout the book. It got a bit confusing at times with the going back and forth through time. I thought that could’ve been written better. I honestly was going to give this book 2 stars, but I liked the storyline so I gave it 3.

Thanks you Netgallery for this ARC!

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This sounded like an unique take that could create a very different story, so I added to my TBR. Turns out,I ended up really enjoying it, even though I wasn’t the hugest fan when I first started.
The writing style,even though it took me a little bit to get used to it, I ended up really liking how the writing had a lot to do with the voice of the character and her personality as a whole.
If you like poetry with drama and a thriller this book might be for you.

ARC kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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