Reviews

Undead Girl Gang — Lily Anderson (ARC Review / Blog Tour)

May 2, 2018

Undead Girl Gang by Lily  Anderson
 

TITLE: Undead Girl Gang
AUTHOR: Lily Anderson
RELEASES: May 8th, 2018; Razorbill
GENRE: Mystery
AGE RANGE: YA
SYNOPSIS: 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.

{GOODREADS . AMAZON . B&N . BOOKDEPOSITORY . INDIGO}

If I can recommend one YA mystery to you, it’s this one. I’m honestly not usually a big fan of YA mysteries—most of them fall short for me in a big way—but this was such a wildly enjoyable, hilarious, heartbreaking, and gorgeous little story. While most mystery novels are about the destination (discovering the whodunit), this one is about the journey, and the things Mila learns along the way. It’s about grieving, friendship, overcoming your judgments, and so much more.

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.

It’s rare that I read a book that can present gallows humor in a solid way, but it’s fantastic in this narrative, and as someone whose humor tends to lean on the incredibly morbid and dry side, I honestly adored Mila. I feel like she and I would legitimately be best friends and I’m a little bit sad that she’s not an actual human being, in my life.

Two days is a long time when you can’t sleep or eat because remembering that your best friend is gone slams into you whenever you think you’re safe from it.

Of course, there’s also a tremendous amount of sadness in Undead Girl Gang; after all, we’re talking about teenagers dropping like flies, and not only that, but we’re dealing with the narrator’s own best friend of several years being one of those teens. I was taken aback a few times by how palpable Mila’s grief was, especially mingled with the desperation she has to convince the adults in her life that these girls didn’t kill themselves.

I’m so tired of adults using hyperbole to try to keep me in my place. I’m not crazy. I’m not too angry. I’m fine just the way I am.

Of course, there’s a lot of happiness and important conversation to be had in this story, too. We get to watch two of the school’s “mean girls” come to terms with their own abusive behaviors, and any potential for girl on girl hate is squashed quickly, as Mila is an incredibly forgiving and considerate person beneath her sarcasm and rage. I loved watching her friendships with June and Dayton unfold.

Is it possible to be a pagan agnostic?

I gotta admit, as soon as I heard about this book’s rep, I was so stoked. I learned it had Wicca in it, too, and I was sold! I practiced Wicca for years as a teen, and while I don’t practice it anymore, it’s still something that I so rarely see portrayed in a positive light that I get truly eager whenever I see its representation done well. Every person’s experience is different, but I truly enjoyed the Wiccan rep in this book and related really well to it.

“And, for fuck’s sake, stop using ‘normal’ as code for ‘white’,” I snap. “Your life isn’t the ruler that the rest of the world gets measured against.”

As a white woman, I obviously cannot relate to the Latinx rep in this book, or the black rep for one of the side characters, but as the author is Afro-Latinx, I can only say that I loved reading her portrayal of some of the feelings she might go through in a world where so much of society still views “white” and “normal” alongside one another.

“So you… what? Wanna start the fat brown girl clique?”
She cocks her head at me. “Doesn’t that sound dope as hell?”

The last thing I’ll say about the rep is that, as a plus size woman, I was able to relate really hard to the fat rep in this book, and I LIVED for it! I read so few books with plus size protagonists, and it’s even more rare for the rep to be done in a positive and thoughtful light, but this was perfect. As this, too, is own-voice rep, Lily Anderson does an impeccable job of describing so many of the daily microaggressions and difficulties that we deal with, and I was over the moon for it. If you’re a plus size reader looking for a book that mirrors your life experiences—or a non-plus size reader looking for an opportunity to empathize with what others go through on a daily basis—I highly recommend giving this book a try.

Buddy read with the ever so lovely Taylor! ♡

All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Razorbill for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

5flowers


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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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.


BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE:

WEEK ONE
April 23 – Darque Dreamer Reads – Review
April 24 – Books and Blends – Review + Book Spotlight
April 25 – Spinatale Reviews – Review + Creative
April 26 – The Book’s Buzz – What three historical women I would bring back to be apart of my undead girl gang!
April 27 – YA Wednesdays – Creative
 
WEEK TWO
April 30 – Teen Librarian Toolbox – 5 Question Interview
May 1 – Bookstore Finds – Feature on Instagram
May 2 – Howling Libraries – Review
May 3 – The Plot Bunny – Review + Creative Activity
May 4 – The Bookish Actress – Review
 
WEEK THREE
May 7 – Inkedfables – Playlist
May 8 – The Page Turner Reviews – Review
May 9 – Bookish Connoisseur – Review + Creative Instagram Photo
May 10 – Further West – Review
May 11 – Lacy Literacy – Book Aesthetics
 
WEEK FOUR
May 14 – The Clockwork Bibliophile – Review
May 15 – Zaira Book Corner – Review
May 16 – Forever and Everly – Review
May 17 – Hermit Librarian – Review
May 18 – Utopia State of Mind – Review + Two Truths and a Lie 

{TWITTER . BOOKSTAGRAM . FACEBOOK . GOODREADS}

 

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No Comments

  • Reply Tammy May 2, 2018 at 8:44 am

    I’m glad to hear this was so amazing! I love the idea of bring back the dead to solve a crime (Torchwood, anyone?) and I didnt know about the plus size rep, which is very cool. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries May 7, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      Ooooh Torchwood! My fiance is always trying to get me to watch that because I LOVE Jack’s character so much, but I don’t watch much TV so it hasn’t happened yet. You’re welcome, Tammy! I really hope you like it if you pick it up!

  • Reply Bellafairytales May 2, 2018 at 10:47 am

    So dying to read this book

  • Reply confessionsofayareader May 2, 2018 at 10:54 am

    I’m so glad you liked this one. I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for it. Can’t wait until my pre-order comes in.

  • Reply tasya @ the literary huntress May 2, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Glad you enjoyed this one! I can’t wait for this one as I think it’s going to be a fun book with some mystery sprinkled in, but I’m more stoked now that you mention it can get pretty heartfelt too. Lovely review! <3

  • Reply booksandblends May 2, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    Wonderful review Destiny!!!! I’m so glad you loved this one as well

  • Reply whitreadslit May 2, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    I really wasn’t going to read this one, but you have convinced me to pick it up! Great review!

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries May 7, 2018 at 9:55 pm

      Yaaaay! That’s like the highest form of compliment for me haha! ♥ I hope you enjoy it, and thank you!

  • Reply Ella Bianchi May 2, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    I added this one to my TBR solely for the cover, but this review has 100% convinced me to pick it up now. Great review, Destiny! I will definitely have to pick this one up after its release next week.

  • Reply A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3.1) by Sarah J. Maas – Review WITH & WITHOUT Spoilers – A Court of Crowns and Quills May 3, 2018 at 8:10 am

    […] actually come through until 12:20AM, by which point I was sending ranty tweets to Destiny at Howling Libraries, expressing my frustration haha. But, I’m glad I read it so fast because some people have […]

  • Reply Ellyn May 3, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Okay, Destiny, this book sounds amazing. You already convinced me to read this asap on Goodreads but oh my lord I loved your review. You made this book sound so so good!

  • Reply MetalPhantasmReads May 3, 2018 at 11:34 am

    I’m glad you liked it; I hadn’t much about it until recently. I’ll have to read it 🙂

  • Reply Sarah May 3, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    This looks soooooo good. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard about it yet! It’s going straight on my TBR. 🙂

    • Reply Destiny @ Howling Libraries May 7, 2018 at 10:06 pm

      YAAAAY! I think it’s honestly such a fun read so I hope a lot of people will pick it up and hype it!

  • Reply Kaleena May 4, 2018 at 11:38 am

    I wasn’t planning on reading this one, but your review has sold me. Adding to my TBR!

  • Reply becandbones May 6, 2018 at 10:46 pm

    I am so ready for this book and now I’m just so so glad you loved it too! I’m really getting back into YA mysteries and the rep in this book PLUS the Wiccan aspect has left me so intrigued and excited to pick it up. This is a fantastic review!

  • Reply April 2018 Wrap Up – Nerd Narration May 10, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    […] ALSO (x2) this was my first EVER buddy read and I was spoiled because I got to do so with the fabulous Destiny! Read her awesome review here! […]

  • Reply May ’18 Wrap – howling libraries May 31, 2018 at 11:05 am

    […] A Gathering of Shadows ★★★★★ Throne of Glass ★★★★☆ Bad Romance ★★★★★ A Girl Like Her ★★★★★ Beneath the Sugar Sky ★★★★★ Nevernight ★★★★★ The Way You Make Me Feel ★★★★★ The Devil and the Deep ★★★★☆ Undead Girl Gang ★★★★★ […]

  • Reply Top Ten Tuesday: Sensory Reads – Nerd Narration August 14, 2018 at 11:16 am

    […] to Read program, this snarky contemporary served as my very first buddy read with my teacher girl Destiny. I’ve been so blessed this past year to learn the ins & outs of how this wonderful […]

  • Reply Top Ten Tuesday: I.M. T.H.A.N.K.F.U.L. 2018 – Nerd Narration November 20, 2018 at 12:46 am

    […] fact: This was my FIRST EVER buddy read with the one and only Destiny! She was kind enough to show me the ropes, break down “the rules,” and answered all of […]

  • Reply T10T: Diverse 2018 Releases I Loved – howling libraries January 15, 2019 at 12:01 am

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