Review: Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

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Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson | Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)

Before I picked up Undead Girl Gang, I had a pretty good idea on what it would make me feel. I was either going to adore it or despise it. Fortunately, I adored Undead Girl Gang and was completely captivated by it. Lily Anderson really held nothing back with this book and I appreciated this immensely. Not only was it an incredibly compelling and magical mystery-thriller, complete with just the right dash of humor and romance, it was a pretty accurate look at, well, life. And death. And all those little moments in between.

As a whole, Undead Girl Gang hit all the right notes for so many genres I cannot begin to explain. Secondly, it was a truly unique coming of age story that will leave readers on the edge of their seat. Anderson gets really creative both with her prose and characters, the premise only grows more and more enjoyable as the story unravels. If you are a fan of contemporary YA, this book will be right up your alley. If you aren't typically a fan of these types of story, the supernatural elements and dark humor will satisfy your desires for something more. Most importantly, you'll love the characters and the bonds they form in unlikely circumstances.

Undead Girl Gang gives off the impression, at first glance that it could be one of two things. (1) Just a simple slasher novel, with a ghostly twist or (2) A ZOMBIE TALE. It's neither of those things but also, kind of, something that takes tropes from both of these. We meet our main character, a teenage witch, Mila, quickly after the quick, unexpected, deaths of her best friend and two other classmates.




During the span of the novel, we have hints of magic and loss; grief, family, friendship, etc. Anderson is a pro at combining the many complexities of youth and impossible situations. She writes and we listen. She writes and we feel.

As the story unfolds, we get to know Mila most of all. I'm appreciative towards this fact and couldn't help but to wish that there were more characters like her when I was a teenager. She is, ultimately, the perfect lead character because there is so much about her that calls to youth and readers will likely see themselves in her.

The novel's premise is pretty straight forward--after the death of Mila's best friend, Riley, and two other students, June and Dayton, their small town is abuzz with gossip. Had these three girls been a part of a suicide pact? Mila doesn't buy it and sets out on a mission, armed with a grimoire, to get the real story behind Riley's death.

Even she isn't prepared for what happens next. What was supposed to be a spell to bring Riley back from the dead, temporarily, quickly backfires. Not only does her best friend return--unaware of the circumstances following her own death--but so do June and Dayton. While it is bittersweet for Mila to, sort of, have her BFF back, the appearance of both June and Dayton isn't, at first, all together comforting.

As the four girls work together to solve what it is that happened to each of them, an unlikely bond is formed that is equally heartwarming and heartbreaking. Readers are left thinking, hey, it's a shame that death is what brings these four together and that fate is lingering just in the shadows. The girls find that, not only are they stronger together, they are essential to each other's growth and ultimately help each other come to terms with life... er, life after death.

And that sometimes, knowing the truth can be just as painful as not knowing.

Overall, I loved Undead Girl Gang. It felt truly special reading it and is probably one of my favourite YA releases this year. It was thought provoking, moving and chilly--I could not put it down and even after I did, I could not stop thinking about it. I highly recommend reading this book. Especially when autumn arrives! 



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