Kirkus Reviews QR Code
MARGAUX WITH AN X by Ron Koertge


by Ron Koertge

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-7636-2401-2
Publisher: Candlewick

Margaux, a devastatingly pretty, tightly wound teenage girl who was fundamentally betrayed by her father, uses her acid-laced tongue—along with her best friend Sara—to rule the school. Then she meets Danny Riley, a physically unattractive but kind animal enthusiast who is “a year behind her in school,” and “a light year behind her in every other way,” especially socially. Intrigued by this decidedly uncool yet self-possessed boy who has no interest in kneeling at her altar, Margaux begins helping him check up on newly adopted shelter animals, and learns that he is not only scarred from a past trauma, but lives with a beloved aunt who is sick and deteriorating. Gradually, they begin to connect, developing an unlikely yet believable friendship. Defying expectations, Koertge has written a story that is unusual for teens in that it’s not tied up with a bow, provides no easy answers, and runs the gamut from tart to tender. Despite some hard-to-buy scenes, Margaux’s story ends on a hopeful note, demonstrating the remarkable resiliency of the human spirit. (Fiction. YA)