Margo's Got Money Troubles

A Novel

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Pub Date 11 Jun 2024 | Archive Date 06 Aug 2024

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“An audacious, wildly funny, completely unpredictable novel by a writer so singular that it’s hard to compare her to anyone else . . . absolutely brilliant.” —Kevin Wilson

A bold, laugh-out-loud funny, and heartwarming story about one young woman’s attempt to navigate adulthood, new motherhood, and her meager bank account in our increasingly online world—from the PEN/Faulkner finalist and critically acclaimed author of The Knockout Queen.

As the child of a Hooters waitress and an ex-pro wrestler, Margo Millet's always known she’d have to make it on her own. So she enrolls at her local junior college, even though she can’t imagine how she’ll ever make a living. She’s still figuring things out and never planned to have an affair with her English professor—and while the affair is brief, it isn’t brief enough to keep her from getting pregnant. Despite everyone’s advice, she decides to keep the baby, mostly out of naiveté and a yearning for something bigger.

Now, at twenty, Margo is alone with an infant, unemployed, and on the verge of eviction. She needs a cash infusion—fast. When her estranged father, Jinx, shows up on her doorstep and asks to move in with her, she agrees in exchange for help with childcare. Then Margo begins to form a plan: she’ll start an OnlyFans as an experiment, and soon finds herself adapting some of Jinx’s advice from the world of wrestling. Like how to craft a compelling character and make your audience fall in love with you. Before she knows it, she’s turned it into a runaway success. Could this be the answer to all of Margo’s problems, or does internet fame come with too high a price?

Blisteringly funny and filled with sharp insight, Margo’s Got Money Troubles is a tender tale starring an endearing young heroine who’s struggling to wrest money and power from a world that has little interest in giving it to her. It’s a playful and honest examination of the art of storytelling and controlling your own narrative, and an empowering portrait of coming into your own, both online and off.   

“An audacious, wildly funny, completely unpredictable novel by a writer so singular that it’s hard to compare her to anyone else . . . absolutely brilliant.” —Kevin Wilson

A bold, laugh-out-loud...

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ISBN 9780063356580
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Average rating from 175 members

Featured Reviews

So this is definitely gonna be a more personal review than what I usually do. I requested this ARC after reading The Knockout Queen and devouring it. As I read this title, I realized I related more to it than I expected.

I am a former camgirl myself. I quit theindustry after becoming pregnant (currently six months along), and while I never dealt with all the obstacles that Margo did as a sex worker, I was thrilled to find a story where the sex worker isn’t vilified or seen as a “slut”, but rather just an empowered girl trying to make her way.

This book meant so much to me, as I felt seen and vindicated as a former sex worker/soon to be mother. I’ve been lucky to have an amazing support system, but so many in the industry have similar stories to Margo. I found it incredibly well-researched and humanizing. The only thing I didn’t relate to was falling in love with a client, but then again I’m happily married and most clients are not as cool as JB.

Rufi Thorpe is very quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, and I can’t wait to read what she comes up with next. I know sometimes the authors get to read these reviews, so if you’re reading this, thank you for telling this story and giving a voice to sex workers.

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Talk about fiction expanding your empathy! I absolutely loved this book - it was unlike anything I've ever read before in how it switched perspectives and challenged my ideas about making "good" or "right" choices. Thorpe's writing is so funny, sharp, and insightful, and the characters are so lovable. I was sad to finish the book and leacve them behind. I look forward to checking out Thorpe's other work on the strength of this novel.

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Weird and sad and hysterical and perfect. I highlighted many parts of this book, but to me this one sums it up. “She would never pay fifteen dollars to look at a guy naked. You could buy two, possibly three sandwiches for fifteen dollars.” Keep an eye out for Margo when the book comes out this summer.
(Thanks to NetGalley and William Morrow for the ARC.)

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This book is a star. From the first paragraph I was hooked. It managed to be literary, trashy and addictive all at once. I’ve enjoyed all of this authors books, but this one is my true love.

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My first arc. Thanks NetGalley.
This was such a great book!! I really couldn’t put it down for a whole 2 days. I loved the characters/their flaws so much. Margo may just be one of my favorite characters from a book in a long time. This book is definitely worth a read, it’s funny, empowering and uplifting all in one! This is my first time reading from this author but definitely won’t be my last.

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Oh my gosh, this book was delightful. It is laugh out loud funny, insightful, thought provoking, unpredictable and sad all at the same time. I really think this book will hit home with many demographics and it covers issues that many young women struggle with on a daily basis. I was routing for Margo the whole time and I think she is such a strong, independent character that is forced to grow up quickly and deal with real life issues she is not prepared for.

I thought this was going to be a light, fluffy book but it's so much more than that. The characters are complex and the writing will make you empathize with each and every character. You will be angry, you will be upset, you will be elated.

This book is wonderfully written and I cannot wait to read more by this author. I think this will be on many reader's book club lists as a must read.

Thank you NetGalley, William Morrow and Rufi Thorpe for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I could not love a book more. As a single mom, it was so easy to see myself in Margo when I was younger.
The struggle of identity from not being able to separate who you are from the label of being a Mother.
The money problems, not knowing how to make ends meet. How to balance childcare, and still pay the bills.
The flip flopping family dynamics. Not having the support you need, having too much input from people that think they know what’s best for your child. Trying to appease all sides of everyone involved.
I adored Margo, she is witty, strong, unbothered and determinedly powerful. Her unwavering love for her child propels her to new heights, and it was beautiful to watch her grow into this new version of her self. I especially loved watching her relationship blossom with her father. It was funny, it was raw, and it was frustratingly real.
I will recommend this to everyone I know. This is not one to be missed. I hope this isn’t the last we see of Margo Millet, Jinx, and Bodhi.

5 ⭐️

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A delight! Full of humor, surprises, and amazing characters that seem all too real.

This was my first read by this author and I am very impressed. She takes characters with outrageous backgrounds and personalities and transforms them into people you care deeply about (perhaps except for Shyanne and Kenny!). I found myself actively rooting for and empathizing with Margo early on in her story, feeling distressed when she was distressed, happy when she was happy, and so on. Margo’s Got Money Troubles is unusual, captivating, and thoroughly entertaining reading experience.

Thank you very much to William Morrow and NetGalley for the opportunity to read a copy.

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*Thank you to NetGalley and William Morrow for providing this book, with my honest review below*

Margo’s Got Money Troubles by Rufi Thorpe opens with a description of what most everyone picking up a book must wish for, “that from the first lines….you will sink into the story like a hot bath, giving yourself over entirely”. This isn’t just a great line but it exactly describes how I feel about this book.

A catchy description had me wanting to read this but excellent writing and a unique plot kept me engaged throughout. I loved Margo and her father, Jinx. I loved how scrappy the story was and where it took me. I didn’t love Shyanne, Margo’s mom who clearly hadn’t ever really grown up, and some other choice characters. But Thorpe writes so well that I felt my dislike and love as I might for those around me, testament to a great story.
I would recommend this for anyone looking for an empowering and hilarious read, not just women, as it was great fun.

Thank you again for the ARC, William Morrow. It is much appreciated and I enjoyed the read and the opportunity to share my feedback.

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Yet another Rufi Thorpe book that I read with highlighter at the ready, absorbing every brilliant sentence. Daring, hilarious, riveting, complex, heartwarming, wise, beautifully written and so smart--no one is doing it better than Rufi these days. Thank you for the ARC!

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Not the book I was expecting, and definitely the book I didn’t know I needed. Such a heart warming journey. Loved the character development.

Unique premise, fascinating characters. I can’t really explain this book, other than to say it was truly well written and thoughtful. 5/5 stars!

Disclaimer: At the beginning of the book, the switch from first person to third person narration was super irritating, but by the end of the novel, it makes much more sense. Great literary terms tied in throughout the book as well.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC! This review is not influenced in any way. I would still tell you if the booked sucked. (which it didn’t! It was great!)

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This book ripped me up emotionally. I felt connected to heroine on a lot of different levels so her emotions felt like my emotions. I simply couldn’t put it down.

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A heartwarming & luminous coming-of-age tale of a 20-year old single mother trying to make it on OnlyFans by getting business tips from her ex-pro wrestler father so she can support herself & her son is starting a new year of reading on a high note. You are rooting for Margo the whole time and can't help but fall in love with the wacky cast of characters, especially her dad. Thorpe perfectly captures the intensity of caring for a newborn while crafting a smart & relatable heroine in Margo. I also love the meta descriptions of the narrative point-of-view and asides to the reader. Overall, such a standout that makes me want to read everything Rufi Thorpe has ever written!

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Absolutely delightful. I loved Margo and her motley band of misfits so, so much. Thorpe’s writing sparkles and is the perfect blend of fun, witty, and heartbreaking. The rare book where I would look at the percentage tracker as I read and be glad that I wasn’t as far into the story as I thought. I did not want it to end!

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2024 is off to a hot start with this 5 star read, Rufi Thorpe hit it out of the park again! I couldn't love this book more, and I will continue to read whatever Thorpe writes. She has a way of making characters who have completely different situations from me feel so relatable, her character's voices are so distinct and authentic. Margo is the daughter of a Hooters waitress and a professional wrestler, and finds herself pregnant from her English 121 professor at the age of 19. Against everyone's advice, she decides to keep the baby. As the title suggests, money troubles ensure, and Margo realizes she's over her head. She reconnects with her father, and starts an unconventional side hustle that proves more lucrative than I thought. I really think it's worth not knowing much about this story when you start, it was so much fun being surprised.

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Nobody could have prepared me for the true plot of this book—though the synopsis promises an array of juicy details.
For yes, this is about OnlyFans and TikTok and pro-wrestling. It’s about a 20-year-old single mother, her son the result of an affair with her english professor.
And yet…oh man, oh yet. It is also a deeply, agonizingly human story about the judgments we make, the way we try and decide who “deserves” a Good Life.
Rufi Thorpe, master of fleshing out realistic characters for people to relate to, has somehow surpassed even herself. Here is a novel full of people who keep handing you reasons to root against them….though I promise you’ll stay glued to the story for the exact opposite reason. You will love them.

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This was a book that I had such a hard time putting down. I didn’t really know what to expect, but the description had me so curious about how all the elements would come together, and I found myself so completely hooked. I went in with pretty much no expectations, having not read any of the author’s other work, and ended up enjoying it greatly.

We start off with Margo in the midst of an affair with her much older professor, but most of the book takes place after he has cut ties and she has had his baby, following along as Margo tries to make things work and get money to support her child. The arrival of Jinx is where things really take off. Not only do we get a tale of a daughter and her father reconnecting, but the family unit the develops with Margo, Jinx, Bodhi (the baby), and Suzie (Margo’s last remaining roommate) is so endearing and I loved this weird little crew. The emotional growth and the journey for each character was so rewarding, and the way that they played off of each other was quite compelling.

The combination of using storytelling techniques from pro wrestling and applying those to sex work primarily through OF was so interesting, and often just presented as matter of fact. Margo’s instinct for merging these two channels was so fun to see grow, and it was quite rewarding to see her come into her own. She goes from being slightly removed from the events she is partaking in, to having a sense of true ownership in everything she does and being empowered through everything she accomplishes.

The way the story is told was interesting, switching between first and third person POVs from Margo, and I loved the way that that is gradually explained within the work itself. There are also moments where the narration breaks and speaks directly to the reader. It was super meta while also being very earnest, and I was a huge fan of how all of the elements came together to create what is ultimately a heartfelt story. I was so invested in the entire story, and am now interested in reading some of the author’s other work.

This is a solid 5⭐️ for me!

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Was I so intrigued by the synopsis that I started reading this the day I got approved in spite of having more than ten other titles to read? Absolutely. Did I read this to the point of a book hangover because I just couldn’t stop? You know it. And finally, did I read this in one day? Do you really even need to ask?

Margo’s Got Money Troubles pulled me in immediately - the author managed to capture the panic one feels when caring for a newborn alone, and the memory of being an older teenage girl involved in a situation with an older guy who should know / do better.

On the whole other end of the spectrum now, as a mother with daughters nearing Margo’s age and I couldn’t stop reading this, and I will tell you that all of these characters come across as so real, in all their nuanced depths and layers. If you’re like me, you’ll be rooting for Margo throughout the entire book.

Strong recommendation.

Thank you to William Morrow and NetGalley for the DRC

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This book cemented me as a lifetime fan of Rufi Thorpe - I will read whatever she writes. This novel is simultaneously so charming and yet so deeply emotional - the relationship between Margo and Jinx was so nuanced and lovely and complex. OnlyFans is something I know very little about, and honestly it was fascinating to learn more about the behind the scenes gears of it - I would like to read more books that treat sex work as work! I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fiction about families, chosen and otherwise, work, and humor.

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