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Undead Girl Gang | March 15, 2018

By Lily Anderson (Razorbill/ Penguin Young Readers)

I was lucky to snag an advance copy of this book (read: shamelessly begged a friend at Penguin for it), which comes out in May. Any novel that’s compared to Veronica Mars and The Craft is pretty much guaranteed to be up my alley, and it did not disappoint. Here’s the basic premise: Mila’s best friend Riley has died under suspicious circumstances, and Mila is determined to figure out what happened to her. So she decides to cast a powerful spell that will bring Riley back to life. One problem, though—Mila also accidentally resurrects two mean girls from their school who died the week before Riley in an apparent suicide pact. All four girls must band together to solve the mystery of their deaths before the spell wears off.

I knew I was going to be pulled in by the core friendship at the heart of the story—I love stories driven by relationships that aren’t necessarily romantic, though there is a helluva romance in this story, too—but I did not expect to be utterly charmed by Mila’s developing relationship with June and Dayton, the mean girls Mila accidentally resurrected along with Riley. They could have easily come off as two dimensional characters next to Riley and Mila, but the author takes care to really flesh them out (zombie pun?), and it was their bond that made me tear up by the end of the novel. Mila also just has an incredible voice full of hilarious snark and a walloping emotional vulnerability—I absolutely fell in love with her. More fat Latinx witches in YA fiction, please!! I raced through this novel in one sitting because a) I had to know who the killer was, and b) I could not stop spending time with these girls. Trust me, you’ll want to join their gang, too. (But maybe without the undead part.) Put this one on your radar!

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