Magic will break your heart.
Mexico City, 1988: Meche is fifteen, awkward, and obsessed with music. Her world revolves around her two misfit friends, Sebastian and Daniela, and a stack of records. Then Meche discovers how to turn music into magic, and things takes a turn for the strange...
Mexico City, 2009: Meche returns home for her estranged father’s funeral. Her family are trouble enough, but when she runs into Sebastian, long-buried childhood memories resurface. What really happened back then – and is there any magic left?
Moreno-Garcia takes readers back to the age of mixtapes and records in this sweet debut. In 1988 Mexico City, 15-year-old Meche and her only friends, book-loving Sebastian and dreamer Daniela, discover literal magic in Meche's record collection. They use their newfound powers to raise their social status, but the emotional stresses of magic and adolescence test their friendships to the breaking point. In 2009, Meche returns to Mexico City for the funeral of her father, a radio deejay and washout performer who fed her love of music, and confronts her estranged friends, reopening old wounds. This accurate depiction of outcast teenage life cycles effortlessly between eras. Meche, Sebastian, and Daniela are deeply believable characters, and numerous '80s musical references make this unusual story a welcome blast from the past.
Impractical Magic in Mexico City
Meche and Sebastian have a tangled and prickly friendship as unpopular teenagers in Mexico City in the 1980s, which unwinds in parallel with their meeting again in 2009. Their lives are made more complicated and at first better by the discovery that they can make magic using music. But there isn’t really a solution, magical or otherwise, to being a teenager.
These kids are beautifully-developed characters, set in a neighborhood that may not be familiar to Anglo readers, but will quickly become understandable to them, because Moreno-Garcia knows it well, and shows it to us with deft and understanding prose.
I’m not going to forget these characters or their problems with magic, and I recommend that you get to know them too.