In Meagan Brothers's Supergirl Mixtapes, a music-obsessed girl travels to New York City to find herself.
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.
Maria was six years old when her mother headed for New York City, leaving Maria in South Carolina to be raised by her father and grandmother. Now, at 16, Maria is finally allowed to move into a small apartment with her energetic, music-adoring mother and her much younger boyfriend, Travis, a musician. Maria hopes to leave her past behind, including the events that led to her suicide attempt, as she starts a new life. Brothers's (Debbie Harry Sings in French) story is steeped in rock and roll history and lore, from the "supergirl mixtapes" that Maria's friend Dory sends her (so named because they mostly feature girl bands) to her mother's obsession with Patti Smith. The 1990s New York City setting is captivating in its detail, and Maria's struggles to bond with her mother, survive a snobby school, and understand her mutual attraction with Travis are honestly portrayed. Maria is a sympathetically flawed character, and the climactic scene with her mother is painfully real. Messy and often heartbreaking, Maria's journey is one well worth taking. Ages 14 up.