Signal to Noise

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?

I am already a huge fan of Silvia Moreno-Garcia and despite only finding this author last year, I’m making my way through her back catalogue with some urgency. This book, like the others, was such an excellent read!

I was in the mood for some teen angst and this book gave me angst mixed with magic and even more drama.

I absolutely loved the alternating chapters between childhood and adulthood. I enjoyed the way that the dialogue changed between the two time periods, so that it felt authentic to the characters.

The original trio of Meche, Sebastian, and Daniela felt like such a realistic trio. I very much felt like they reminded me of my high school friends and I. The social awkwardness was giving me nostalgia galore. I really enjoyed their dynamic, it really felt familiar. I’m sure most of us had a ‘Meche’ in our teenage groups- bossy and everything had to be their way.

I feel like this was perhaps the most realistic book I’ve read by this author which was an unexpected delight!

I felt that the rules of magic in this world were really interesting. The trio cast spells using a turntable and records. This was a really fun concept. The cost of magic in this world were severe. I maybe would have enjoyed if the book included more magic by other people but the book was so short that perhaps that would have ruined the flow.

The modern day chapters (yes, I’m counting 2009 as modern day because if I think of that as being 13 years ago, I’ll get sad about the passing of time) really captured that feeling of returning back to the hometown after many years away. The reunion between the trio gave me so many questions! What happened? They were so close! I needed to know what happened!

I found this book to be so utterly compelling, I couldn’t put it down!

My favourite character was the grandmother, wee Granny Delores. I loved her! She didn’t even have a lot of dialogue but she was the care giver in the household, she was a listening ear, she was so wise. I am a sucker for a wee granny in a book.

Once again, Silvia Moreno-Garcia gave me an emotional rollercoaster of a book. I felt so attached the the characters and wanted to know what happened to them. Sometimes this author gives me the ending I deserve and not the ending that I want…in this instance, I got what I wanted and I squealed with delight!

1 thought on “Signal to Noise”

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