Saturday, April 21, 2012

Supergirl Mixtapes by Meagan Brothers

Book:  Supergirl Mixtapes
Author:  Meagan Brothers
Publisher:  Henry Holt and Co. (an imprint of Macmillan)
Date:  April 24, 2012
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A+

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.

My Review
I am still reeling from this novel.

I thought that this would be a fun novel, a romp through the 90’s and New York City with a touch of Southern charm.

Boy, was I wrong!  But in the best sort of way.  This book had lots of 90’s, lots of NYC and some Southern charm, but this was a novel with a lot of meat to it.

One of the lighter things that I loved in this novel was the music.  All the references to the NY punk scene and all the punk bands were a lot of fun.  I owned many of the albums that were discussed in the novel.  It was refreshing to see that someone else knew about Henry Rollins. Ha!  The beginning part of the novel had me reminiscing about my punk rock high school days.  Readers who are not well-versed in fringe music genres might feel lost in this part of the book.

But this was not a fun novel about the punk scene.  It was gritty and deep.  I loved Maria, the main character.  I mean, I really loved her.  She felt so real.  A teen girl, with a mother who took off when she was young, trying to find herself and figure out how to be a woman.  I think that she was very realistically portrayed.  Yes, there were times when I wanted to smack her and yell “What are you thinking??”  But I want to do that to my own teenaged daughter as well, so I think that was very plausible.

I really did not like her mom.  From the first moment that she appeared on the pages, I thought that woman was a sorry, no-good excuse for a woman and a mother.  Even at the end of the book, I find that I have little sympathy for her.

This was a real page-turner for me.  I found it extremely hard to put the book down once I started reading.  In fact, I finished this book in a day.  It was fairly short, coming in at 256 pages on my Nook.  But it was compulsively readable and I found myself flying through the pages to find out what happened next.

I think the book handled a lot of very adult situations and issues with finesse.  The only thing that I wish was different is that I wanted more explanation of Maria’s “incident”.  I was left wondering exactly what had happened.  Otherwise, the whole “sex, drugs and rock’n roll” thing was portrayed realistically without being too graphic about any of it.  Still, the mature themes of the book make this a novel for the upper high school crowd.

I thought that one of the things that made this novel great was the balance between fun and darkness.  This wasn’t a book that had me crying and ready to slit my wrists at the end, but I also didn’t get to the last page and think that the whole thing was a little too good to be true.  It didn’t end with a happily ever after, but there was a “probably things will be ok ever after” ending.

My grade for this book is an A+.  This book had a lot of depth with a splash of fun thrown in.  If you’re looking for a light, fluffy read, this is not the book for you but if you are looking for a gripping contemporary realistic read that really lives up to the name “realistic” then you have found your book.  This is a gritty and poignant coming-of-age story for music lovers.

Now I have to go make a mix tape…….or I guess a mix CD. : )

Thank you to the publisher and to netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book.  I received no compensation for this review.


1 comment:

  1. Wonderful review! I didn't enjoy this one so much so I'm glad to see somebody else did! :)