Signal to Noise

Signal to Noise - Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This really felt like two separate books to me. In one timeline you have the story of Meche's youth. There are coming of age themes, growing pains, and puppy love, all mixed together with a plot that felt like that old movie The Craft - magic becomes a stand in for power and it turns ugly. It was decent story. Then in the other timeline you have Meche returning to her childhood home and dealing with her father's death. This was also a decent story. The problem comes in that these two very different stories are occupying the same book.


The biggest problem for me is that adult Meche doesn't feel any different from teenager Meche. Despite all the things that happen in her youth, the life she lives in between the two timelines, and then confronting her father's death, she doesn't seem to have changed or grown at all. If the two timelines were closer together I might buy this, but it's difficult to swallow that over 20 years have passed and this person hasn't grown up at all. And if I do manage to suspend my disbelief, and accept that Meche hasn't changed in all that time, then that makes me dislike her even more. Have I mentioned I didn't like the main character? That's another thing that made this book a miss for me - I never empathized with Meche.


So here's the thing: Moreno-Garcia is actually a great writer when it comes to putting down memorable and affecting sentences. It's the overall structure of the story that became a problem. The two different storylines felt too different in tone, and didn't compliment each other nearly as well as intended. And without character growth holding them together the structure collapses for me. While I didn't care for this book I would be completely game to try another novel from her. I know she can tell a good story, I just wish she had picked one for this book and stuck with it.