Is that not the greatest cover ever? The book doesn’t quite live up to it, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Maria finally convinces her father to let her spend a year in New York with her estranged mother — partly to get to know her mother, partly to get away from some bad kids in the rural town where she’s living with her dad. Maria’s grandmother enrolls her in a fancy prep school, Maria packs her things, and she moves to New York. Of course, things don’t go as easily as she hoped — her mother is barely around, leaving Maria alone and the kids at the prep school are evil. Plus there’s a lot of secrecy — what’s her mother really doing all day, and who’s this woman Nina who seems to be bankrolling her?
In addition to Maria, her mother, the mother’s boyfriend and Nina, we get another major character: music. Maria’s mother is obsessed with it, particularly Patti Smith. Maria and her friend have years of burning “chick” rocker music for each other (well, not burning it — taping it, I guess). The book is set in the 90s but spans decades in its references. A lot of it went over my head — I like pop music but I basically listen to country most of the time — although it’s pretty interesting and adds a lot to the story. But like how Caitlin_D didn’t really appreciate Weird Girl and What’s His Name because she’s an X-Files ignoring philistine, I didn’t get as much out of this book as someone with the right kind of musical taste would.