Blog Tour Review: Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson // Hilarious Undead Girls Get Revenge on Their Murderer (WE LOVE)

If there’s anything I want in YA, it’s girl gangs.

You’ve all heard me scream about the importance of female friendships in YA, and how much I love reading them.

Well, when an opportunity arose for me to hop on this blog tour for Undead Girl Gang, I jumped at the chance. (“Jumped” meaning actually physically got freaked out and extremely excited.)

I was very pleased to not be disappointed by this book! There wasn’t a lot of hype for it (though there SHOULD be), so I didn’t form the highest of expectations, but it definitely did surprise me. It took zombie girls to a WHOLE new level.

This is my stop on the Undead Girl Gang blog tour! Thank you to Penguin Random House for providing me a review copy in exchange for a spot on this blog tour.

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UNDEAD GIRL GANG

Lily Anderson, published May 8, 2018

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.

.

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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This book turned out to be everything I expected, plus a little more. It’s such a fabulously-written murder mystery with layers of wit, grief, and girls supporting girls, and it was SO enjoyable to read.

ALSO. DO YOU SEE THAT COVER. I LOVE ENAMEL PINS.

WHAT I LIKED

  • It’s an extremely well-written mystery? While my lowkey suspicions about the murderer were correct, I was still surprised when it was revealed. I had been engaged for the whole book, but the last few chapters were so creepily written and my EXACT kind of vibe. I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I lived for it.
    .
  • I absolutely LOVED the friendship between all the girls in the girl gang. We have Mila, our fat Latinx (specifically Mexican) Wiccan teen girl narrator, who resurrected the rest of the gang: Riley, her best friend, and June and Dayton, the school’s “mean girls”.
  • Mila and Riley didn’t have the best of history with June and Dayton, but after June and Dayton recognized their abusive behavior, they all became closer, exchanged hilarious banter, and at the end, they could call each other friends.
    .
  • And speaking of hilarious banter? THIS BOOK IS HILARIOUS. Mila is such a witty, sarcastic girl, and I loved reading from her perspective. The other girls are also pretty humorous as well, and hilarity in books is my weakness.
    .
  • While there’s a love interest and just the TINIEST hint of romance, it’s definitely not the center of the story. It’s focused mainly on revenge and friendship, with a unique twist of zombies and magic. The concept is super unique and the execution of it is well-done, especially since it balances all aspects of a Good YA Novel very well.
    .
  • The themes of letting go and moving on in this book are so strong. While Riley, June, and Dayton are on Earth as undead girls, they have a limited amount of time before they return to the dead. The ending is honestly BEAUTIFUL and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. And the portrayal of Mila’s grief is so raw and beautifully written, and there were some parts that just made my heart twist.
    .
  • My last favorite part of this book was the fact that it had so many discussions on racism, fatphobia, and religion. There’s one part where Mila calls out the mentality that many have that “normal” means “white”, and she also talks about . Plus, my favorite quote:

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

  • WE LOVE FAT BROWN GIRLS SUPPORTING EACH OTHER IN 2K18!!!

I would include a “WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE” section but honestly? There’s barely anything I didn’t like.

I think the reason this book isn’t a five-star for me is that it wasn’t exactly my vibe, if you get me? The last few chapters were definitely my vibe: creepy murderer’s justification of actions, undead girls’ bittersweet returning to their grave (not a spoiler), just overall a lot of death… I mean, making new friends.

One thing, however, that I think would’ve been amazing to see was less of a rushed ending. It’s the type of book that has this HUGE EXCITING EVENT !!!! and then the aftermath of that event plus the wrap-up of the whole book isn’t as detailed as everything was before.

This most likely is a personal thing (since I love character development), but seeing a more detailed completion of Mila’s character arc would’ve been great!

However, though it isn’t a five-star for me, it is DEFINITELY worth picking it up! It’s a hilarious, compelling mystery, with a light-hearted sarcastic narration, while still managing to portray grief. Extremely enjoyable, well-written, and unforgettable!!

RATING:

★★★★☆

:: rep :: fat Latinx Wiccan female MC, fat black female side character

:: content warnings :: death (murder), hanging, drowning, [discussions of] fatphobia and racism


shall we chat

 

are you planning on reading this? any favorite books about zombies? favorite books with strong female friendship themes? if you could bring someone back from the dead, who would it be? and do you have an enamel pin collection??

(i don’t, but i need one)

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45 thoughts on “Blog Tour Review: Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson // Hilarious Undead Girls Get Revenge on Their Murderer (WE LOVE)

  1. oh man thanks for this review!!! I’ve been looking forward to this book for so long, im so so happy to see u enjoyed it!! and while i knew to expect some things (poc rep! girl gang! friendship! mystery!) im honestly so glad to know there isn’t much romance??? and that it’s funny god i love funny books but it’s so hard to find them???

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read lots of book reviews but yours so far is the best one. I mean, you totally made me want to find this book the second I finish writing this comment. And, UGH I LOVE YOUR TASTE 💖 xo

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow this sounds like a really interesting book. I thought it was just all hype but I might just pick it up cause of your review. Yay for female friendships. I also need an enamel pin collection, like neeeeddd. How are you May?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was a fab review, May, and I’m super even more EXCITE to read this!! An absolutely beloved favorite book of mine about zombies is Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. It’s Romeo and Juliet with zombies and has such lyrical language and really spoke to me on themes of depression, apathy, and hope.

    I instantly thought of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants when you asked about female friendships. Also The Secret Life of Bees <3<3<3

    If I could bring someone back from the dead?? There are so many literary characters omg. I'm thinking of half the losses in HP and the characters that die in The Outsiders and the Breaking of the Fellowship and and UGH my heart

    I don't have an enamel pin or jacket patches collection but heck yes I've liked a lot!! One day, one day.

    Thanks for all the fab questions!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Shai!!! I hope you love the book as much as I did 😊 And ooh, I’ve never heard of a lot of these books before, but thank you for recommending them! I’ll have to check them out ❤ And oh my god there were so many deaths in Harry Potter, I can't stand thinking about some of them,,

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Although I’ve seen this book around, it hasn’t gotten much hype or anything and kinda fell under the radar but it definitely sounds like an awesome book!! I don’t think I’ve… ever? Read a book with a girl gang in it?? And honestly that’s kind of horrible!! Adding this to my tbr ASAP!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What an amazing review, May! I’m so, so happy you enjoyed that one – I have to say it wasn’t really on my radar up until now, so… thank you for putting it on my radar haha 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great review for this book May, and you’ve really convinced me to add this to my to-read list as well. A great friendship between the main characters, a romance that doesn’t take away from the story, incredible representation and a hilarious story? This book was pretty much written for me to love it! 😀
    I think as well the fact that you couldn’t think of anything you hated has sold me too. 🙂
    Again great review! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. WHY IS NO ONE SCREAMING OVER THE COVER TO THIS BOOK IT IS PRETTYYYYY. some of the images are not showing for me?? idk why. i do hope to read this but it’s not that high on my tbr if i am being perfectly honest. it sounds sooo good though esp because i’ve never read about zombies and girl gang and girl gangs sound SO COOL OMG!!!? I have like 2 enamel pins in my life and they are from school SO WHATEVER I NEED A BOOKISH ENAMEL PINNNN.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THE COVER IS SO NICE I LOVE IT. (and sjlfksjdlfksjd May told me that she couldn’t see some pictures either but I can see them ?? and I can’t figure out what’s wrong) I’ve honestly never seen this type of book in YA so it was really refreshing to read. and FJLDKSJF I need enamel pins!!!! I have like none

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This is on my tbr because it sounds AMAZING but you’re right barely anyone is talking about this?? Why??? I mean,, girl gangs?? But they’re also zombies??? Friendship?? Magic?? Murder mystery?? Discussions of fatphobia and racism?? How can anyone sleep on this
    Definitely hope to get to this one on day soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES, I have no idea why no one is talking about this more?? It has everything you would love in a YA book (and it’s unlike any other YA book I’ve read tbh) and there is hardly any hype. I’m SALTY. I hope you love it if you read it, Michelle!!!

      Liked by 1 person

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