I Am Margaret (Volume 1)

I Am Margaret (Volume 1) - Corinna Turner It's a good thing this book was amazing, because twenty dollars is a lot to pay for a paperback. But one should be careful when one starts this book, lest one be unable to put it down when one should really be doing homework for college. This is one of the best books I've read all year.

I watched a video where a booktuber was ranting about the things that bug her, and one of those things she complained about was books being compared to The Hunger Games just because they're dystopian novels. I don't usually mind when people say that one book is 'like' another book, but I have to say that this book is not like The Hunger Games. Margo is nothing like Katniss (that's a good thing,) and this book has a great deal of focus around suppressed religion. If I had to say that it was 'like' another book I'd actually have to compare it more to [b: The First Principle|21423893|The First Principle|Marissa Shrock|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1395617245s/21423893.jpg|40733693]. Most dystopian novels either ignore religion (Hunger Games, Divergent, Legend, The Selection) or invent a random new one (Atlantia, Divergent) (Yes, Divergent is on both of those lists because there are brief mentions of the different factions religious principles, but then it pretty much ignores them). The First Principle and I Am Margaret both addressed the suppression of religion. To be honest, I feel like the world of The First Principle could be a forerunner of the I Am Margaret world. In The First Principle everyone is forced to use birth control, and if a girl gets pregnant while in school she is forced to abort the baby. In I Am Margaret everyone is forced to use birth control and, I assume forced to abort babies the government doesn't want (that wasn't the main focus of the story, so I'm not entirely clear on that one). They both have birth limits of two children, though in The First Principle you can pay a fortune to have more than two children. In I Am Margaret the entire world except for the Vatican and the continent of Africa is under similar oppressive governments, so the fact that The First Principle takes place in America and I Am Margaret occurs in England wouldn't interfere with my theory that I Am Margaret takes place in The First Principle's future. The only inconsistency is that the government of I Am Margaret still permits the use of paper and real books (even if they did force-plant trees) and The First Principle only permits electronic books and writing (well, the other problem is that The First Principle will hopefully have a sequel, but if it doesn't than it really could be how I imagined it.) In spite of my comparing the two books, they are really quite different, and, though I enjoyed The First Principle, I enjoyed I Am Margaret much more. I felt like I fit in to the audience that I Am Margaret is directed at more than The First Principle, what with I Am Margaret being told from the point of view of a Catholic Christian girl, and The First Principle being told by an atheist/agnostic who starts to consider becoming a (generic protestant) Christian. (I would still recommend The First Principle, just maybe not quote as enthusiastically as I Am Margaret.

I don't know if I'm an arrogant American or if it's because this is the first dystopian novel I've read not set in the US (or what used to be the US) but I was confused for a while until I figured out that the book was set in the UK (or what used to be the UK).

Margaret: Margo is strong, but vulnerable. She wants to do the right thing, but sometimes fear holds her back. Given her high principles I was rather surprised when she used words like 'bastard,' 'bitch,' and 'damn' but maybe those words aren't considered as bad in the UK as in the US? It's interesting that she considers Bane hotheaded, but the way that she addressed the Major was thoroughly incautious.

Bane: Bane is a confusing character. We meet him briefly at the beginning of the book, and during a couple of dangerous night time visits to Margo, but for the most part we get to know him only through, letters, flashbacks and Margo's descriptions. Margo's descriptions are fairly biased, and even though she is aware of many of his flaws, I still feel like she presents him, perhaps as better than he is. I liked his letters, which were very clever, but he did annoy me a bit in the flashbacks, and when he meets Margo at night. He's just so stubborn and prideful. Still he seems like a decent guy, so hopefully I'll like him better in the next book. And maybe he'll convert to Christianity.

Jonathan: I really, really like Jon. He's sweet, principled, protective, strong yet vulnerable and very, very Catholic. I really felt bad for him at the end of the book. Hopefully he won't dissolve into self-pity in the next book, because the ending chapter opened up that possibility and as a general rule characters who are immersed in self-pity aren't much fun to read about.

Jane has a lot of Character. I hope we get to know her better in the next two books because she has a lot of potential as a character. She's bitter, angry, fearful, hopeful and fearful of hope. I can't help but feel that there must be something more to her then just having been waiting her whole life to be taken away into the facility. What does it mean that she was unregistered? Did her parents have her while in school? Was she a third child? Or is it simply that you have to have a license to have children and your child will be murdered later in life if she is unregistered, even if you don't have any other children, and are registered as a couple, or whatnot. Another curious thing is all the crap the government gives about how you can only have kids with someone of your race, and of forced immigration of people to the place where their ancestors originally lived, how is Jane described as Asian? I hope there will be an explanation of that. At any rate, Jane was a very interesting character, and it would be nice to see more of her.

The other ReAssignees were mostly bland. Other than Jane, the only one we really got to know was Sarah. I feel like some of them really could have been fleshed out a bit more, or at least Rebecca and Caroline since they played a slightly bigger part in chapter 26.

We really only got to know the two priests through flashbacks. They're both brave, stubborn and capable. I do hope we get to know Father Mark better, and I sort of hope that we get to meet Margo's brother. I think it would be nice if we got to see Margo and Jon's parents as well. Especially Jon's parents because we haven't met them even in flashbacks, and it would be rather nice to learn how they, who obviously care very deeply about Jon, dealt with knowing that the government would want to kill him as soon as he got old enough.

Margo and Jon made their confirmations when they were fifteen. That's how old when I was when I made mine. Jon and Margo were both told that confirmation was the decision to remain in the Church, and treated confirmation as such. This is also the way that it was explained to me as well. Now however our current bishop is changing the age of confirmation to be in 3rd grade at the same time as First Communion, returning the order of sacraments to how it was originally, a very long time ago. The last few weeks the Bishop had asked that the homilies address this change, and, as such, the way that I've heard it explained lately is that the main purpose of confirmation is to give the receiver the Holy Spirit and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the reason why they're lowering the age is because they believe that children need the Gifts of the Holy Spirit at a much younger age these days. I'm still pretty torn about how I feel about the age change. I do wonder if the world came to such a horrible time as is described in I Am Margaret, if they would think it best to treat Confirmation as the choice to remain in the Church (and in doing so risk your life because the government hates religion) or if it would be treated as my current bishop is treating it; the giving of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (and therefore the sooner the better.)

I also wonder which saints Margaret and Jon chose as the confirmation names. Then again I Am Margaret takes place who knows how far in the future, so maybe they would choose saints who haven't lived yet.

The writing style was very good. Every now and then in the early chapters I would come upon a sentence that I had to reread, but as the book went on that stopped happening. I'm not sure if I settled into the writing style and started understanding the slightly confusing sentences better, or if the later chapters were proof-read more thoroughly.

I'm squeamish, and chapter 6 bothered me a bit, but not as much as chapters 27 and 28. Those ones actually made me feel sick. Especially chapter 28. Those were my least favorite parts. At least I didn't faint though.

My favorite part was when Bane and Father Mark sent the consecrated Eucharist over the wall, and the moment when Margo thanked them for it "I ought to thank the chef and the waiter."

Now I really need the second book. I'm trying to decide if I should get both book 2 and book 3 at the same time, or if I should get book 3 and hope that book comes out in the US version by the time I finish book 2, because the only version of 3 on Amazon is the UK version, which means my covers wouldn't match. I guess I'll have to decide...