I’m not going to make this a long introduction because I have already done it once and you should check out that post anyway because I’m really proud of it–inspired by the adorable cover, I matched up the five main characters with their matching enamel pins. After the jump, I review Undead Girl Gang for you and give you all the reasons you should check this book out when it releases May 8th!
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
Hardcover, 272 pages
Veronica Mars meets The Craft when a teen girl investigates the suspicious deaths of three classmates and accidentally ends up bringing them back to life to form a hilariously unlikely–and unwilling–vigilante girl gang.
Meet teenage Wiccan Mila Flores, who truly could not care less what you think about her Doc Martens, her attitude, or her weight because she knows that, no matter what, her BFF Riley is right by her side.
So when Riley and Fairmont Academy mean girls June Phelan-Park and Dayton Nesseth die under suspicious circumstances, Mila refuses to believe everyone’s explanation that her BFF was involved in a suicide pact. Instead, armed with a tube of lip gloss and an ancient grimoire, Mila does the unthinkable to uncover the truth: she brings the girls back to life.
Unfortunately, Riley, June, and Dayton have no recollection of their murders. But they do have unfinished business to attend to. Now, with only seven days until the spell wears off and the girls return to their graves, Mila must wrangle the distracted group of undead teens and work fast to discover their murderer…before the killer strikes again.
Overall: My deep and eternal love for this book began in the very first scene where Mila is simultaneously in deep grief, rolling her eyes into the deepest confines of her head and pining for her unrequited love. Lily Anderson very deftly conjured a very tough witch exterior with a heart of gold. Mila wasn’t perfect, but her internal monologue and way of looking at the world was just so charming and engaging. I couldn’t help but want to go along on this ride with her. With every page, I became more and more engrossed in Mila’s life–from her deceased best friend, Riley, to her interest in Wicca, her badass looks, her devil-may-care attitude with how everyone in town perceives her. Undead Girl Gang is a diverse, body positive, feminist mystery with strongly developed characters that cast a spell over me and kept me enchanted long after I closed the pages of this book.
Judge a Book by its Cover: Plot aside, I was initially drawn to the brilliant cover. Did someone say jean jackets and enamel pins? Welcome to my childhood aesthetic with a witchy twist and I am totally here for it.
Me Talk Pretty: Sharp and witty, this book had me giggling and crying and, many times, both simultaneously. We were provided an arc from the publisher, so while these quotes may not be final, they should give you a feel for the atmosphere provided by Lily’s words.
“When you earn a reputation as a grumpy witch, there are no tender hugs coming your way, no matter how sorry people feel for you.”
“The only vengeful deity in witchcraft is yourself.”
“I’ve seen her spout corpse facts to scare people before. It seems in poor taste to say it to the face of actual corpses.”
“No one likes a helicopter witch.”
“I did big, real magic using a bunch of flowers and an old-ass book, and I feel just as lonely now as I did when my best friend was dead.”
“Who knew necromancy could make you so popular?”
“No one else knew that it was worth braving death itself to get to have Riley and Xander in your life.”
“…so I walk with my usual sense of purpose. Boots on the ground. Collar up. Zombies behind me.”
“Delusions are like that, I guess. Syrupy sweet and heavy enough to keep you submerged.”
Audiobook Narration: Rebecca Solner is an audiobook pro. I was pleasantly surprised to hear this snippet of her voice. UPDATE: Lily specifically requested Rebecca because of she is Cuban-American!
Kick-Ass Factor: Mila is the powerful witch of her generation and she both dresses like a badass and does badass things in this book, so….
Body Count: This book starts with 3 dead girls, so…there’s that…but I’m not spilling the beans on anything else.
He Said/She Said: Mila’s strong voice full of insecurities, grief, unrequited love, body positivity is a wonderful insight into a teen witch’s mind. I would die for her and I loved the short time I was able to view the world through her eyes.
Don’t Believe the Hype: From the cover to the voice to the witchcraft, this book is contemporary perfection.
Open tab/Last call: Lily, after reading two of your books, I’ll be save you a spot at the bar and we’ll try the Witch’s Heart cocktail to see if we can conjure or more books out of you sooner rather than later.