Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Supergirl Mixtapes

Author: Meagan Brothers

Source: Library

Summary: (goodreads) In Meagan Brothers's Supergirl Mixtapes, a music-obsessed girl travels to New York City to find herself. After years of boredom in her rural South Carolina town, Maria is thrilled when her father finally allows her to visit her estranged artist mother in New York City. She’s ready for adventure, and she soon finds herself immersed in a world of rock music and busy streets, where new people and ideas lie around every concrete corner. This is the freedom she’s always longed for—and she pushes for as much as she can get, skipping school to roam the streets, visit fancy museums, and flirt with the cute clerk at a downtown record store.
But just like her beloved New York City, Maria’s life has a darker side. Behind her mother’s carefree existence are shadowy secrets, and Maria must decide just where—and with whom—her loyalty lies.


Maria Costello lives with her perfectly boring dad in South Carolina while her estranged mother is an artist in New York. The stuffiness of the South and a few incidents make Maria force her father and grandmother to let her stay with her mom. Instead of blaming her mother for abandoning her, Maria thinks she understands why a vibrant artist like her mother could not thrive where they lived. But will Maria still see things this way when she makes the trip?

If you are into all sorts of musicians like The Ramones, Patty Smith or Nick Cave, then you may get a whole lot more out of this book than I did. It had the potential to go deep, to cut, to exude emotion, but the lightness of tone and Maria’s indifference made it hard to connect with the deeper issues explored in the novel. The lists of band names and artists were great for exploring new stuff, but I felt that they took up a lot of space. Maybe if I knew those bands and were a hardcore listener, then I would have understood Maria’s story much better. But alas, I regret to describe it as a record junkie’s paradise rather than an emotive story.

Still, I read it in less than twenty-four hours. It was well-written. Scenes had sufficient detail, but managed to allow the reader to build up a personalized version of the settings. The ambiance was of course bright and worldly and grand as I imagine New York City appears to those first entering it. Maria is mostly a positive role model and in many ways is mature for her age. It had a plot that did move forward and was entertaining to read.

As a reader though, I picked up cracks in Maria’s cool exterior. Her dysfunctional life was supposed to be the foundation of this novel, but I felt the author never explored it. I didn’t come close to feeling for Maria. There was just too much fun and glamour and not enough of the angst that should have contributed to Maria’s character growth. She might have learned a thing or two, but overall she was mostly unchanged by the end. This is where my problem with the novel lies. A potential never reached.

Rating: 1 2 3 3.5 4 5

1 comment:

  1. I have heard mixed reviews on this one, but I still plan on reading it. Thanks for the review. Nice blog too!


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