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.
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson wasn't exactly what I expected, but, damn, if it wasn't great.
The leader of the undead girl gang, Mila, isn't undead at all, but a fat, Mexican witch. She is funny and strong while still being vulnerable, with the perfect amount of hope and naivety that keeps her and the story going. I didn't know, when starting this book, that she would mean so much to me, a fat, white, agnostic. Mila's confidence is a thing of beauty. She knows who she is, what she is, and the plot never centers around changing any of it. When Mila's confidence faltered, I felt it with her. When she told people off for the things they said, I cheered for her. She's the perfect balance of real and unreal, showing the readers it's okay not to be perfect while also showing them it's possible to keep going and strive to be better, to be treated better, to attain your goals.
I've never read a book with a Wiccan main character and it was really interesting seeing the difference between Wicca and the magic put on the page. As someone without a religion, I find it interesting to dive into someone else's head and see their beliefs and how they inform the character's actions.
Anderson does a great job at mixing humor with sadness. When we first meet Mila, she's at her best friend's funeral. And Riley isn't just Mila's best friend; she's her only friend. We feel this loneliness, this loss, even without knowing Riley, because we can all imagine losing the person we're closest with. The undead girls get seven days before they have to return to their graves and, despite knowing this fact, there's still time for shenanigans, which is a great balance to the growing dread of having to say goodbye.
The voice and characters are amazing. Anderson made me love the characters Mila despises from their first appearance. The girls are all unique while still managing to be someone you probably know. Their humanization was probably tricky, but Anderson nails it.
And I won't get into it too much, but the romance was sooooo good. My heart. Oh, my heart.
Lastly, this book has one of my favorite covers ever and I need to get a jean jacket and these pins ASAP.
Okay, last lastly, Netflix needs to adapt this please. Thanks.
Lily Anderson is a school librarian and Melvil Dewey fangirl with an ever-growing collection of musical theater tattoos and Harry Potter ephemera. She lives in Northern California. She is also the author of THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU and NOT NOW, NOT EVER. She tweets @ms_lilyanderson.
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Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson releases May 8, 2018 (TODAY!!!).