Review: Supergirl Mixtapes by Meagan Brothers

Supergirl Mixtapes by Meagan Brothers
Young Adult
Hardcover, 245 pgs.
Expected Publication: April 24th, 2012 by Henry Holt & Co.
Source: NetGalley & Henry Holt & Co.

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.

This book was full of awesome that I totally loved!  It also had some things that I felt really needed to be developed more as well.  But when I finished the book I felt happy and I can honestly say that I really enjoyed it.

Maria moves to NYC to live with her mom and her moms boyfriend who is only six years older then Maria.  Maria’s mother has always been absent and she hasn’t seen her since she was very young.  She knows that her mom is a bit flighty and has some issues but she doesn’t really understand them or know what they really are until she’s living with her.  And it’s not really until the last quarter or so that we really see what the issues really are (other then her being obsessed with music and not very present for her daughter).  

I liked the characters in the book.  I liked their personalities and all that but I never felt really wow’d by them.  I don’t really have a lot to say about them actually.  Maria’s mom was a bit neurotic so I can picture her the best because her personality came out the strongest.  Her moms boyfriend Travis is a good friend to Maria and I think he could have used a bit more character development and stood out just a bit more.  He was important to the story but didn’t quite POP like he could have.  But I liked him and I just wanted more.  

Graham was the love interest but I never really felt anything toward him.  He really felt like a side character and not important.  And he wasn’t real terrible important but Maria has feelings for him and I just never felt it.

Okay, so it seems like things have been kind of negative so far but I honestly did enjoy the book.  The thing I really liked the most was the time period and the setting.  Maria is the same age as me which makes the book take place in the 90’s.  There was so much I connected with.  It was only briefly mentioned but Maria’s grief over Kurt Cobains death (OMG!  That was HUGE for me!), and Maria was teased for wearing JNCO’s (remember those?!  I wore them!).  And for those of you who don’t know, they are huge saggy pants.  The kind where the pockets are at your ankles (practically anyway 😉  The music scene, the grunge scene, all that stuff- I so totally connected! The setting of NYC was absolutely fantastic!  I would have LOVED this book as a teen.  I wanted to move to NYC so freaking bad!  I was happy to just read about Maria’s experiences in the city but I really was wishing for more conflict, more to move the plot along a bit.  In the last quarter it really did move along and suddenly the story itself was absolutely terrific.  But then it just ended.  I didn’t feel like we really got the full conclusion to everything like I would have liked.  At the same time I kind of ‘get’ why the author ended it there though.  We can come up with our own conclusions I suppose.  I’m just a fan of everything getting wrapped up and that’s a personal preference.

Overall I enjoyed the book.  I think that if things had been a bit more developed this would be a 5 star book for me.  I also have to mention that for those who didn’t grow up in the 90’s and experience those things probably won’t enjoy the book that much.  There is TONS of music talk and if your not familiar with the scene it’ll go right over your head.  So, if your ready for some 90’s nostalgia, go read it!

3/5 stars

Disclosure:  I received an advance copy for review purposes.  The final version may be different from the copy I read.  This review is my own opinion and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

 This book qualifies for the YA Contemporary Challenge 2012.  Click the button to find out more.

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  1. I just finished a book where I got to the end and couldn’t for the life of me think of anything to say about the characters! It’s always hard to write a review when that happens O_o. I’ve only been to NYC once, so I think I would like that aspect of this book even if the characters weren’t as stand out as I would like. Wonderful review Candace!

  2. I loved the 90’s graduated high school went to college. I love the music too. I am on the fence. Should I request or not? Sounds good but you didn’t quite convince me.

  3. I read the author’s first book and really enjoyed it. This one reminds me a bit of “High Fidelity” which I loved. I think I’m going to give this one a whirl. Thanks for the review!

  4. Honestly, I would have never thought twice about this book! The cover is weird but I am happy you ended up enjoying the book. I love the sound of the setting – grunge!!! Of course, I was a big Nirvana fan back then:) So I might totally enjoy this one too, just for the sake of nostalgia !

  5. Sounds like a great book that brings up a great time period. It does sound like there are some issues with the characters though and since lately I’m having problems connecting with characters I might put off reading this one for now until I get back into a reading groove.

    Thanks for the great review!

  6. Kurt Cobain died the day before I got married. My husband was crushed. He loved Nirvana. I will always remember when he died. I was so angry that no one got him the help he so obviously needed.

    But your review was so great! It’s always about the way the book makes us feel, isn’t it? That’s why our reviews are always so different. (not yours and mine, everyone’s) I was in a much different place, but still young and remember the music so much, but hated the saggy pants. Still do! Too bad no one and nothing is memorable but the nostalgia. At least the memories were fun!


  7. Haha, I never understood the baggy pants thing. But I loved the 90’s music. This book sounds like a great read. I’m interested in knowing what the mother’s secrets were.

  8. I just read through all your comments and it was really cool to see so many people refer back to the death of Kurt Cobain, as you did in your review. I remember it as well. Remember right where I was when I heard the news. (And River Phoenix’s death, that one hit me like a ton of bricks in the 90s as well.) I think I would read this strictly for the nostalgia and music themes (which is one of my fave’s in YA Lit.) And I think that cover is pretty freakin’ RAD (how’s that for the 90s?) Loved the review Candace:))

  9. I’ve been really curious about this one so I’m glad to hear you liked it. Not sure it’s something for me though, since books focusing too much on music I’m not completely familiar with isn’t something I usually enjoy sadly! Great review, Candace!

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