Book Title: Margo Zimmerman Gets the Girl
Authors: Brianna R. Shrum & Sara Waxelbaum
Release Date: May 2, 2023
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBTQ+
My rating: 4/5 Stars
Margo Zimmerman is gay, but she didn’t know until now. An overachiever at heart, Margo is determined to ace her newly discovered gayness. All she needs is the right tutor.
Abbie Sokoloff has her own gayness down to a science. But a flunking grade in US History is threatening her acceptance to her dream school. All she needs is the right tutor.
Margo agrees to help Abbie get her history grade up in exchange for “Queer 101” lessons. But as they spend more and more time together, Margo realizes she doesn’t want just any girl—she wants the girl.
Margo Zimmerman Gets the Girl is a contemporary story about self-identity, breaking down stereotypes, and what it means to be queer. This book was a lot of fun and one that I read fairly quickly. While I have a couple of comments about some of the representation, overall, I think it was a very entertaining story, and I really enjoyed the romance between Margo and Abbie.
One of the MCs, Margo, is autistic, and has recently discovered that she’s a lesbian, so she recruits Abbie to help her “be more gay.” I absolutely love how Margo’s autism was portrayed. This book really has nothing to do about autism, yet it’s still a big part of who Margo is. She stims, she has sensory overload, and she has a strict need for routine and control. Her autism isn’t something that’s shied away from and is explicitly mentioned several times. We need more of this in fiction!!
Abbie on the other hand is bisexual but has been dealing with some insecurity recently because of a lot of the biphobia she’s received—even from other queer people. Just like for many bi people, Abbie is accused of not being gay enough or not being straight enough. Bi erasure is so harmful, and I’m glad it was discussed in detail throughout the book.
Another big part of Margo Zimmerman Gets the Girl is stereotypes surrounding queer people. Something I appreciated about this book is that many of the characters who were warning against stereotypes also had their own. I think this is so important to showcase, cause it’s something we’re all guilty of. Abbie especially is frustrated with the stereotypes she faces as a bi person, yet she teaches Margo a lot of the common lesbian stereotypes in the beginning of the book. It’s something the two characters have to work through and unlearn, and I really appreciate how it progressed.
As for the relationship, Margo and Abbie were really sweet and awkward. Their attraction to each other felt messy and real, and I was rooting for them the whole time. While it was obvious the two liked each other from the start, they were equally oblivious about the other’s attraction, so we got a bit of a slow burn in that aspect, which I always enjoy. Their relationship was honestly one of my favorite parts of the book, and the biggest reason I was so hooked.
Now, though, I want to address a couple of my issues. Can we please normalize the use of the word lesbian in fiction? I know it was mentioned a few times throughout Margo Zimmerman Gets the Girl, but the majority of the time, both Margo and Abbie referred to themselves as “gay.” There’s already so much stigma surrounding lesbians, and portrayals like this will only further that. I wish Abbie had referred to herself as bisexual more often, and I wish Margo had embraced the word lesbian. Seeing that would have made my experience with the book that much more enjoyable.
My only other wish is that there’d been a bit more of an emphasis on the fact that Abbie was also stereotyping queer people in the beginning of the book. While the middle and ending totally clear that up, I worry that a younger person might start the book, get distracted, and never come back and think that that’s okay.
Other than these two issues, though, I really did enjoy Margo Zimmerman Gets the Girl. It was quick and engaging, and I especially loved following Margo’s character and her journey!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
Check out my last Blog Post: Employing Patience (Cover & Excerpt Reveal)