Friday, April 27, 2012

Review: Supergirl Mixtapes by Meagan Brothers

Supergirl Mixtapes by Meagan Brothers
Published: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Harry Holt and Co.
Pages: 245
Received: from publisher via NetGalley

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.
I was super excited when I saw this available for review via NetGalley - the cover was so reminiscent of my childhood and the story sounded fabulous. A teenage girl devouring all that New York City has to offer, what more could I want in a book about music from my teenage years and growing up? 

I really wanted to love this book, but I have mixed feelings about it. It had such promise to me, but some parts just did not live up to the expectations that I think I had for it. I liked Maria's character enough - a girl trying to figure out who she is, spending time with her estranged mother, listening to mixtapes that her BFF sends her and grabbing a hold of everything within her reach to remember New York by. She had this sorrow to her that had me always wondering what her deal was, at first I thought she was sick (like with cancer or something) and then I thought perhaps she was suicidal, but now I'm thinking she was just a girl needing time to figure out who she is and who she wants to be. 

I couldn't appreciate her Mom - she was all over the place, one minute happy and the next sad. She wasn't a great mother figure for Maria. Sometimes Maria seemed like a better parent than Vic was. I am sure that was the intention, to prove that perhaps Maria was better off back in the south. Her mother does have some serious secrets, but I assumed something completely different about her than what the story reveals. 

The one character that I was drawn to the most was, Travis, her mother's much younger musician boyfriend. He had this feel about him: he was young enough to understand Maria and he could relate to her, yet on the other hand he looked out for her like a surrogate father might. I had such high hopes for both Maria and Travis' characters. 

The only part that truly threw me for a loop was the ending. I understand it and it does make sense, but I think I was hoping for something more.

About the author:
Meagan Brothers is the author of Debbie Harry Sings in French, which was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, won a GLBT Round Table ALA Award, and was named a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age. A native Carolinian, Meagan currently lives in New York City.

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