Signal to Noise

Mexico City, 1988. Long before iTunes or MP3s, you said “I love you” with a mix tape.
Meche, awkward and fifteen, has two equally unhip friends – Sebastian and Daniela – and a whole lot of vinyl records to keep her company. When she discovers how to cast spells using music, the future looks brighter for the trio. The three friends will piece together their broken families, change their status as non-entities, and maybe even find love…
Mexico City, 2009: Two decades after abandoning the metropolis, Meche returns alone for her estranged father’s funeral.
It’s hard enough to cope with her family, but then she runs into Sebastian, reviving memories from a childhood she thought she buried a long time ago. What really happened back then? What precipitated the bitter falling out with her father? Is there any magic left?


“Moreno-Garcia employs her back-and-forth structure beautifully, building suspense and emotional resonance between the two parallel storylines. Her main strength, though, is in the voices she gives her characters […] SIGNAL TO NOISE feels uncluttered and understated […] funny, touching, and engaging […] In a poignant, graceful coda, Moreno-Garcia brings the book full circle.”


“The magic in SIGNAL TO NOISE may be short on spectacle, but it runs deep in what it tells us about pain and alienation. The astute use of music practically gives the novel its own soundtrack — and helps make this one of the outstanding debut fantasy novels this year.”

Chicago Tribune

“Meche jumps off the page; by turns rebellious, precocious and vulnerable, she wields her magical ability for good and bad — and Moreno-Garcia brilliantly details the consequences of such power in the hands of an unruly teenager […] Haunting and beautifully nuanced, SIGNAL TO NOISE is a magical first novel.”

The Guardian

“The book is this rich, elaborate symphony of awesome that defies simple definitions […] It is incredible how Moreno-Garcia builds this seamless whole […] Meche is a complicated and complex character and to see her arc from teenager to adult was utterly gratifying […] It’s a little bit funny how some books grow on you the more you think about them. SIGNAL TO NOISE, with its intricacies and complicated people, is one of them […] This book destroyed me into little pieces and then the last page put it all back together in the best possible way. I know it’s very early in the year but I can already tell this is one of the Notable Reads of 2015.”


“[A] sweet debut […] 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.”

Publishers Weekly

“Moreno-Garcia uses the trope such an ingratiating way, and with such intriguingly conflicted characters that it seems vibrantly new […] [SIGNAL TO NOISE] is one of the most important fantasy debuts of the year so far.”


“It’s a vivid, poignant, understated take on urban fantasy, and the setting teems with texture and life. But it’s also a family drama, one whose tragic overtones are heightened by the supernatural elements in play throughout the story. It’s one of my favorite novels of the year, and one that doesn’t necessarily take a genre geek like myself to appreciate.”

The A.V. Club

“SIGNAL TO NOISE is a perfect young adult crossover novel, full of appeal, diverse characters, setting, wonderful writing–and magic […] The author does a wonderful job of pacing the revelations through the narratives. She creates suspense around the fates of her character’s relationships, which propels readers through the book.”

School Library Journal