Ahoy there me mateys! I received this reissue of the author’s debut from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Here be me honest musings . . .
I shouldn’t be surprised that SMG’s debut is a five-star read. I do understand how many of the crew consider this book to be their favorite. This novel has dual timelines, 1988 and 2009, and follows Meche in Mexico City. Fifteen year old Meche and her two friends, Sebastian and Daniela, are social outcasts who find themselves thrown together by lack of other options. Later, thirty-six year old Meche is back in her hometown for her father’s funeral and has to confront what happened 20 years before. Magic was involved. Things went very wrong. Maybe Meche should have listened to her grandmother’s warning. Maybe not.
Ultimately this novel involves coming-of-age and making bad choices and having to live with the consequences. I loved how the story unfolded. I spent most of the time trying to figure things out only to have an ending that felt surprising and yet inevitable. I love when that happens.
Meche is a hard character to sympathize with because she is selfish, prickly, and thoughtless. Sebastian is slightly better because he is thoughtful and caring but he is a pushover. I loved Daniela and thought she was the most compelling character. She is a dreamer and not smart but understood what friendship should mean. Ultimately this novel shows how many teenagers can feel fraught with emotion and filled with the wish to just fit in. The passing of time can add perspective and clarity to choices of the past. The only minor quibble is that Meche really didn’t seem to ever improve or truly reflect on her bad choices. She remained as stubborn as ever.
Music is almost another character in the novel. I am not musically-oriented but can imagine that for those that are, this book could be even more magical. Highly recommended. I love this author’s work so much. Arrrr!
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
A literary fantasy about love, music and sorcery, set against the background of Mexico City.
Mexico City, 1988: Long before iTunes or MP3s, you said “I love you” with a mixtape. Meche, awkward and fifteen, has two equally unhip friends — Sebastian and Daniela — and a whole lot of vinyl records to keep her company. When she discovers how to cast spells using music, the future looks brighter for the trio. With help from this newfound magic, the three friends will piece together their broken families, change their status as non-entities, and maybe even find love…
Mexico City, 2009: Two decades after abandoning the metropolis, Meche returns for her estranged father’s funeral. It’s hard enough to cope with her family, but then she runs into Sebastian, and it revives memories from her childhood she thought she buried a long time ago. What really happened back then? What precipitated the bitter falling out with her father? And, is there any magic left?
To visit the author’s website go to:
Silvia Moreno-Garcia – Author
To buy the novel please visit:
signal to noise – Book
To add to Goodreads go to:
Yer Ports for Plunder List
Previous Log Entries for this Author
certain dark things (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)
gods of jade and shadow (On the Horizon – Fantasy eArc)
the beautiful ones (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)
untamed shore (Off the Charts and On the Horizon – Murder Mystery eArc)
mexican gothic (On the Horizon – Gothic Sci-Fi eArc)
prime meridian (Captain’s’ Log – Sci-Fi)
the return of the sorceress (On the Horizon – Fantasy eArc)
velvet was the night (Off the Charts & On the Horizon – Noir Historical Fiction)
certain dark things (Second Reflections – Sci-Fi)