Title: Signal To Noise
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Romance
First published: February 10th 2015
Publisher: Solaris
Finished reading: September 4th 2022
Pages: 352

“You don’t get to rewind your life like a tape and splice it back together, pretending it never knotted and tore, when it did and you know it did.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Solaris in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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I’ve been meaning to read more of Silvia Moreno-Garcia‘s work ever since my first successful experience reading Mexican Gothic back in 2020. I actually have more than one title lined up and waiting on my kindle, so I’m still not sure why I haven’t done so already… Getting an ARC of the republished Signal To Noise was the perfect excuse to finally read one of her backlist titles sooner than later. It’s true that I don’t read a lot of YA anymore, but between the Mexico City setting and the promise of magic through music I simply couldn’t resist adding this title to my shelves. And it definitely turned out to be an interesting read!

One of the things I loved was the late 1980s Mexico City setting. There were so many musical references as well as references to the 1980s in general, and it really set the tone for the chapters set in the past. The Mexican food mentions added a local flavor, and there was also some focus on what life was like in Mexico City back then. Would I have liked the story to have even more Mexican influence to truly feel like I was there? Yes. But as it is, the setting was still satisfying. The story itself is seemingly split in two… We have the past that feels like a YA coming of age story laced with magic and romance as well as the usual teenager problems; the present is more of an adult contemporary featuring grief over a lost parent as well as looking back at the past and broken friendships. I wasn’t sure if the two were balanced all that well; I much preferred the storyline in the setting in the past myself and the present storyline was rather slow.

I still love the idea behind the magic and Meche being able to do magic through music. It was interesting to see her discover what she can do and then try to improve her skills… I do wish there would have been more focus on the magic though, because as it is it almost felt like an afterthought in points. Meche herself was also extremely unlikeable, and she lacked dept and development for me. It seems like she hasn’t exactly evolved or learned from the past? The rest of the characters felt a bit cliche and underdeveloped as well, and the high school drama mainly seemed like something you would find in most typical YA stories focusing on that.

As a whole, there were things that worked for me including the setting, magic and writing style. Other elements didn’t work as well for me personally, but I do still think Signal To Noise was a solid read in general.


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