book reviews, spoiler free

Undead Girl Gang

35707056Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

Rating: XXXXX

Published May 8th 2018 by Razorbill

“Spells are just prayers with more steps and a name that scares people.”

Mila Flores and her best friend Riley have always been inseparable. There’s not much excitement in their small town of Cross Creek, so Mila and Riley make their own fun, devoting most of their time to Riley’s favorite activity: amateur witchcraft.

So when Riley and two Fairmont Academy mean girls 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.

I received an Advanced Readers Copy of Undead Girl Gang when I brought another book from the same stand at YALC this year. Originally I found an enamel pin badge as shown on the cover, fell in love with it and then searched for the book it was from which the stand only had in ARC form if you brought another book so I ended up with two books and pin badge for the price of one book! This was a wise choice and I’m so glad it caught my eye!

This book absolutely has it all. Death, Witches, Romance, Mystery, Zombies, Magic, Betrayal, Cats called Thackery Binx, multiple funerals and …Mushrooms. This book has it all and is easily one of my favorite books released this year. I expected to enjoy it but what I had not realised when I started reading was as follows:

– That I would then be up until the small hours the next morning reading by the light of the street lamp outside my bedroom window.

– That I would get in a genuine huff the next day when I had to go get my hair cut and therefore had to stop reading.

– Actually be glad about an hour and a half wait for a bus because I could read more.

– Consider stabbing my husband with a spoon if he didn’t stop trying to talk to me while I was trying to read

– Become traumatized by mushrooms.

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Undead Girl Gang was full of great surprises, genuine mystery and some great whodunnit vibes which kept me guessing the whole way through. The zombie magic was well done without being overly gross and the teenage witchy/wiccan side to things was interesting as someone who went through a similar phase when was a youngling so a lot of things sounded familiar, especially Mila’s attitude to the practise to begin with. One of my favourite things about this book is actually the relationships and family dynamics, especially between Mila and the other girls which change throughout the narrative. There are some other subtle themes throughout as well that I was pleased to see along with a funny, capable plus sized leading lady.

This book feels well rounded even with a dash of everything thrown in. The characters are memorable and it’s enjoyable to learn more things about them throughout the story and each have their own distinctive voice. I feel like Mila’s responses to some events and circumstances felt especially genuine and relatable, I couldn’t help but laugh every time she was distracted by a pretty boy because that was very much what I was like as a teenager. This is one of those books that I’ve absolutely fallen in love with but find it hard to describe in a few paragraphs without repeating myself because I don’t think I can pinpoint one or two things that made me love it, this book is a culmination of great things that net it a very easy XXXXX rating from me. Well worth a read if you enjoy stories about sisterhood, all things witchy, funny zombies, murder mystery and some VERY tense moments.

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#SixforSunday

#Six for Sunday – Characters you think would make brillant friends

28537584_10155075844121581_1653771806_nSunday has finally arrived! It feels like it’s been a long time coming this week but here we are. The prompt for this week from Steph over at “A little but a lot” (who gives the best prompts!) is actually “characters you wouldn’t want to be friends with” which is a really good prompt but I was so excited to do last weeks prompt and then real world things happened and I didn’t get around to it so this week my #Six for Sunday is going to be “Characters you think would make brillant friends“. I did write a list last week but deleted it when I didn’t get it written in time and for the life of me I can’t remember who was on that list so this should be fun right from scratch.

1.Shazad – Rebel of the Sands Trilogy by Alwyn Hamilton
Shazad is totally kick-ass and super smart while still being fun, likeable and fiercely loyal all of which of are awesome qualities. There are no spiteful undertones between her and Amani and they are probably one of, if not my number one female/female friendship in fiction. Shazad and Amani are friendship goals.

2. Samwise Gamgee – Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R Tolkien
Sam is another ultimate friend. He knows when and how to support you without encouraging any toxicity, if he thinks you’re going crazy because of an evil ring forged in Mount Doom or you’re being tricked by a crazy, emaciated water hobbit he’s going to tell you. Sam represents the honesty of friendship while also being loyal and will quite literally carry you to help you achieve your goal instead of doing it for you and I think that’s pretty damn special.

3. Magnus Bane – The Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassie Clare
Magnus has been around a while and you can bet he’s got some interesting stories to tell! I’d like to think we’d enjoy chatting while making all the cocktails we can manage! I feel like he would give great advice and have no problem telling you when you’re being an idiot and I think like he’d definitely help you to embrace your fun side a little more if you’re a bit straight backed like I can be some of the time. He’s a fun, loyal character who fights for his friends and just happens to also have magic too which is always handy!

4. Ari and Janco – Chronicles of Ixia series by Maria V Snyder
I’m pretty sure I couldn’t pick just one and let’s face it they’re kind of a package deal most of the time. Like all the other characters on my list these guys are loyal, they’re an ideal mix of (some) brains and brawn (just don’t tell them, it’ll go to their heads!), they’re funny (especially together) and love a good joke as much as a good spar. While they’ve been friends together for a long ole while they’re not the kind to shut anyone else out and it’s nice to not feel like a third wheel with these two (I’m sure Janco would think of a terrible name for a three wheeled cart…).

5.  Zuzana – Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor
Zuze is a great friend who goes to any lengths to help those she cares about, she’s loyal, feisty and absolutely hilarious. Even at the most serious of moments I can’t imagine Zuzana being unable to bring a smile to even the largest, saddest frown. She may be but little but she be fierce and has more sass than you can shake a Herondale at.

6. Hermione – Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling
This seems to be one that I’ve seen almost everyone use for theirs and I wasn’t sure about it being a part of my list. Mainly because through my younger school days I was the annoying brainy/teachers pe/Philosopher’s Stone era Hermione and I don’t think I brought anything special to my friendships but I had the same two/three friends for the whole five years I was in junior school so I must have done something right. I understand it can be difficult to be friends with someone who seems so rigid and fairly different from you, I’m still a stickler for rules and that can make me super annoying but by some miracle I still have friends. Hermione is (like everyone else on my list) fiercely loyal once she found her friend group, determined and passionate as well as being smart.

That’s all from me this week! I hope to have a new review up next week but I’ve been ill again this week (I’m surrounded by a horde of tissues as I type this) so we’ll see what happens! I have got a scheduled post ready to go though so I won’t be disappearing completely again. Don’t forget to tag your posts with the hash tag #SixforSunday and let me know what you wrote for this week! Speak soon.