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.
When I first heard of Supergirl Mixtapes I knew that I had to read it as soon as possible. It takes place in the 90’s and there’s a lot of focus on music. Those are two elements that I adore in any book. So I was very excited. Then I started to hear some very mixed opinions about the book. I’ll admit that I kept moving it down on my TBR after that. Finally, I decided to give it a chance…and I kind of loved it.
I can see where some readers had issues with it, but I was pretty much hooked from page 1. Maria had an interesting voice. She was very unhappy and going through a rough time, but she wasn’t whiny at all. The book starts out with Maria arriving in NYC to live with her absentee mom. Her mom is crap but Maria thinks the sun rises and sets with her. Needless to say, she is very naive, but to me it was totally believable. What child doesn’t want to have absolute faith in a parent. I wish Maria would have had a more concrete resolution with her mother, but once again the way it played out felt realistic to me.
The 90’s element really isn’t as big as I thought it was going to be. There’s are a few mentions of Nirvana and Jnco’s but that’s about it. The music mentioned was mostly from the 70’s and 80’s. I went into the book expecting to love those elements and I did like them, but what I really ended up loving was all the Southern elements. The book takes place in NYC, but Maria is from a small town in South Carolina. She meets up with a boy that’s also from a small SC town and he throws SSK –Smart Southern Kids– parties. They have fried chicken, greens, biscuits, and sweet tea. It’s awesome. Really, I adored all the southern elements of it. I really also adored Gram. He was funny, sweet and smart. He also wasn’t the muscle obsessed jock type that seems to be prevalent in YA contemp. It was refreshing.
Supergirl Mixtapes is not at all the light-hearted fun contemporary that the cover might suggest. It really deals with some tough issues like drug addiction, unhealthy relationships, lying, and neglect. My biggest problem with the book is a lot of these issues are brought up but not resolved. I can definitely see why this would drive some people crazy, but I was able to look past it just because I thought the story was so interesting.
I recommend giving the book a chance. I loved it but not everyone is going to. I suggest going into it with an open mind. It’s also a very, very fast read!