Saturday, September 25, 2021

Audiobook review: Margarita in the Spotlight by Maria Frazer

Book Summary

Margarita McCoy plays banjo and sings back-up in her stepsister Stephanie McCoy’s wildly popular country music band.

Margarita isn’t particularly passionate about music, but she loves Stephanie and would do anything to help her—and that includes being thrust into the media spotlight after an article in the New York Times calls out country music for its lack of diversity. Since Margarita’s father is Mexican American, the McCoy’s record label wants to use her to show that they aren’t as white-washed as the article says.

For Margarita, the media frenzy is overwhelming, and quickly has her considering how exactly she should define herself and her identity. How Mexican American is she? How should she use her 15 minutes of fame? And how come no one ever taught her about Selena Quintanilla?

MARGARITA IN THE SPOTLIGHT is a fun and empowering story about identity, family, music, and the power of finding your voice—featuring original music that will delight your ears and get your toes tapping!

Flo's Review

Y'all. I felt this one. I grew up in Tennessee, so I am a fan of country music. For awhile there, I would spent many of my weekends line dancing at my local country bar, and I even worked at a country music magazine for a little bit. Whenever people found out I liked country music, the reaction was very, very surprised. Usually when I explained the whole, "I'm from Tennessee," thing, understanding dawned in their eyes. But before that it looked like people were thinking, but they would (rarely) say, "A Black girl likes country music?"

I'm aging myself a little bit, because that was several years ago, and country music has become much more diverse in that time. But, I definitely understood on a personal level a lot of what was happening with Margarita in this story. Even without that personal connection, though, I still think I would love this story. The bond between Margarita and sister, and even among their whole family is so heartwarming. 

My favorite thing, though, was the format. This was my first time listening to a story like there, with music interspersed throughout the audio narration, and it was solid gold. The songs tied in so well with what was happening in the story, and it felt like such a nice little treat every time one came up. It's so fun, and I highly recommend that anyone give it a shot.

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