I Am Margaret Moore

I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin is a lyrical YA thriller. Margaret’s friends are going missing, and she needs to tell her story.

All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

From Goodreads:

Lyrical and haunting, Hannah Capin’s I Am Margaret Moore is a paranormal thriller that tests the hold of sisterhood and truth.

I am a girl. I am a monster, too.

Each summer the girls of Deck Five come back to Marshall Naval School. They sail on jewel-blue waters; they march on green drill-fields;  earn sunburns and honors. They push until they break apart and heal again, stronger.

Each summer Margaret and Rose and Flor and Nisreen come back to the place where they are girls, safe away from the world: sisters bound by something more than blood.

But this summer everything has changed. Girls are missing and a boy is dead. It’s because of Margaret Moore, the boys say. It’s because of what happened that night in the storm.

Margaret’s friends vanish one by one, swallowed up into the lies she has told about what happened between her and a boy with the world at his feet. Can she unravel the secrets of this summer and last, or will she be pulled under by the place she once called home?

“I do not believe in monsters that curl beneath girls’ beads and suck their blood. I believe in monsters with wide smiles, beautiful and bright, that live in grand old Victorians; that push girls into the mud; that take our voices and tell us what we are.”

This book is described as lyrical, however, it often borders on verse. The repetitive nature of this writing felt mind-numbing, at times, and frustrating at others. It feels like wading through someone’s dream journal and hoping to find something logical to answer questions. While this writing style starts to make sense around 50% in, it also starts to unravel even more. This made it difficult to know what was going on. While this was a quick read, it was mostly because if you thought too hard about it, you’d get stuck on a line for days.

“We are everything and everything is ours.”

The twist of this book is one of the more interesting things that happen- and even our characters seem undeterred by it. This was strange, considering the entire plot relies on this twist. Was there character development? Not at all. Margaret is frustrating and idiotic. She is gullible and foolish. It is her dreamworld we are essentially wading through, and this almost made me drop the book repeatedly. The world-building was fantastic, and I would have enjoyed an actual thriller written in prose in this world. However, this felt more like a contemporary in verse dressed up as a thriller labeled lyrical.

“The smell of gunpowder. The sound of starlight. The blade of a knife in my heart. I have always known what I am.”

I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it now: I hate when a plot summary doesn’t accurately describe the plot. I understand the requirement for it to be somewhat vague for the twist to be shocking – but it led to the read being frustrating. There could have been so much more to this story. The writing style took those opportunities away.

“We are girls and we are unconquerable.”

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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