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Undead Girl Gang

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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.

305 pages, Hardcover

First published May 8, 2018

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About the author

Lily Anderson

9 books638 followers
Lily Anderson is the author of THE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU, NOT NOW NOT EVER, and UNDEAD GIRL GANG. A former school librarian, she is deeply devoted to Shakespeare, fairy tales, and podcasts. Somewhere in Northern California, she is having strong opinions on musical theater. Find her online at www.mslilyanderson.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,466 reviews
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,609 reviews5,001 followers
March 9, 2022
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!

You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,424 reviews8,984 followers
January 16, 2023
After three local girls in the small town of Cross Creek die, allegedly by suicide, things begin to go off the rails for the other residents. Stuff like this just doesn't happen in Cross Creek. Does it?

Mila Flores, a student at Fairmont Academy, was best friends with one of the dead girls, Riley. She knows there is no way Riley would ever have participated in the supposed suicide pact the authorities are presenting.



For one thing, Riley wasn't even friends with the other girls, June and Dayton, resident it-girls.

Sure, June dated Riley's brother for a while, but that certainly didn't make them close enough to develop promises regarding the fate of their lives.



Mila suspects foul play, but no one is listening to her.

Feeling abandoned, misunderstood and unheard, she decides to take matters into her own hands to find out what really happened to Riley.



Using a spell from an ancient Grimoire, which states it will bring the dead back to walk the earth for 7-days, Mila thinks she will be able to get the answers she seeks.

She will simply conjure Riley back and ask her what happened; as you do.



Unfortunately, the spell brings back not just Riley, but June and Dayton as well.

Now Mila is tied to a trio of snarky teenage zombies with only a week to figure out what really happened to them all.



Meanwhile, in her regular life, outside of zombie babysitting, Mila is starting to get closer to Riley's older brother, Xander.

Although it's true that most of their relationship is based on mutual grief, she's still not mad about it. She's had a crush on him forever and it just seems right.



Even though this is a wild story with super humorous and engaging writing, there is also a lot of really good stuff in here with regards to friendship, loss, grief, body positivity and finding strength within your self.



I am a firm believer in the concept of how powerful it can be to read the right book at the right time, and for me, that was the case here.

I am going through a lot of stress in my work life currently, so when picking this up, I was just looking for something engaging enough that it would get me out of my head for a while.



Admittedly, the twist was a little obvious, but I honestly didn't care at all. It didn't change my enjoyment level. Undead Girl Gang is like a good CW show, most of the twists are obvious, but I still live for them.

If it can make me laugh, or ponder deeper topics, even better. This book provided all of those things for me.



It was Heathers, Mean Girls and The Craft all rolled into a hilarious little ball and I absolutely needed that.

This was actually my first Lily Anderson book, although I own two others by her, and I really meshed well with her writing style.



Keeping this one on my shelves and could definitely picture myself revisiting this story any given October. Really fun stuff!

Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,079 reviews17.2k followers
July 31, 2019
Oh my god, you guys, this book was such a delight. With sarcastic, witty narration, a compelling mystery, and an on-point vibe, I was completely impressed.

Undead Girl Gang follows Mila, who brings back three girls from the dead: astrology-obsessed and complicated June, joyful and hilarious Dayton, and Riley, Mila’s best friend back from the dead.

First of all, you guys, I binged this. I haven’t binged a book in a day in around a month, so that should definitely say something.

The snarky tone of this book is a huge standout. This book feels all over the place, but in a good way. It’s uper super funny, but occasionally heart-touching and sad and sweet. There are cliche bits [like the romance] but the author is so aware of her genre tropes that it feels more meta than everything else. This is all topped off with an excellent bittersweet ending. You’ll tear up a little, you will probably be surprised by who it is, and you will obviously love the conclusion that really reminded me of one of my favorite movies. Oh, and not to spoil, but speaking of favorite movies, can we talk about how this entire book is a sendup of Heathers? I don’t think I’m reaching here, right? Two popular bullies who are best friends die, along with one friend. Come on, man.

And then there are all the characters! Mila, the lead, is such an icon, first of all. And let’s face it, the girl gang at the center is an absolute favorite for everyone. If you don’t stan them I probably want to fight you.

I think this alone would make for a fairly strong novel, but like other dark comedies of its nature, this has a super strong thematic core. This novel is about redemption and moving on at the same time. There’s also a lot of subtle stuff interwoven about being the only brown girl in a white town, and also being the fat girl at school and how people treat you for who you are [Mila is latina, Wiccan, and fat].

Unfortunately, while I’ve mentioned my love for the bittersweet ending, I didn’t think the ending totally stuck the landing – I mean, the conclusion for Mila felt really rushed and I wished we saw more of her arc throughout. She does that thing characters do in YA where suddenly she makes changes to her life after the climax, and we’ve seen the events that led up to that, but we haven’t felt her actual growth till the end. It makes character development feel like a narrative afterthought when it clearly is not in this book.

Okay, fine, all right, spoilers under the cut:
So maybe the climax didn’t totally work for me. Maybe I thought that this book could have gone just a bit further and turned out one of my favorite books of the year. But does it really matter? Overall, this was lovely. Totally worth the read if it’s what you like.

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✨oh hey, it's my first ever blog tour! that I now have ten days to complete my arc from. send me luck!
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
684 reviews4,625 followers
December 26, 2018
Lilly Anderson deftly created a well thought out and original story in Undead Girl Gang!

So this was honestly quite an unexpected read for me. The basic story, in a nutshell, follows Mila (Camilla Flores) who brings back her best friend, Riley & 2 mean girls (Dayton & June) from the dead after the 3 girls die within a week of each other in what the police claim are suicides. Mila knows Riley would never kill herself and she is determined to uncover the real killer.

Honestly, the mystery within the book was so much better than I imagined! The twists were fun and even when things were predictable for me (the mean girls turn out not to be so bad after all, everyone becomes friends after death when they wouldn't have in life, etc) I felt that the stereotypical high school "drama" was an integral part of the story/plot and fit well.

The book was beyond entertaining - it was dark but also witty & laugh out loud funny at times. The mystery kept me guessing. The characters were diverse, fun & there was so much witty sarcasm in the dialogue (I love me some witty sarcasm!). The tale of friendship woven into the story was also quite unique - Riley & Mila, social outcasts who find each other & delve into wicaan practices together. Their friendship was a true lifeline for each other - even in death (or the undead in this case). This is an undead friendship story you won't want to miss.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,471 reviews19.1k followers
July 16, 2018
I’m feeling SO MANY THINGS. I adored the characters, but I feel like the story was a little lacking. I still highly recommend because the writing is fantastic, but it didn’t quite live up to the expectations that I had after completely adoring The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You. Womp :c

(Although clearly still fantastic bc 4 stars but ya feel me)
Profile Image for may ➹.
463 reviews1,852 followers
May 17, 2018
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’s SO enjoyable to read.

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

🌹 WHAT I LIKED

- It’s an extremely well-written mystery? I don’t usually read murder mysteries, but I can spot a good one when I read one, and this is a good one. 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. There’s also another twist that involves Mila letting go of someone else (but it’s spoilery). 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 some good 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!!

:: rep :: fat Latinx Wiccan female MC, fat black female side character
:: content warnings :: death (murder), hanging, drowning, [discussions of] fatphobia and racism


// fake buddy read with ditcher

thank you to Penguin Random House for the review copy in exchange for an honest review as part of the Undead Girl Gang blog tour!!
19 reviews1,062 followers
October 13, 2019
In UNDEAD GIRL GANG, a fat black mexican wiccan teen resurrects a couple of girls by accident when she's trying to find out what happened to her late best friend Riley.

This is the first book by Anderson that I'm reading and I'm absolutely blown away. She has a writing style that I absolutely love, effortlessly mixing laugh-out-loud humor with extremely nuanced dissections of complex topics such as grief, mental illness (PTSD and depression), fatphobia, racism, religion -- it's so subtle and done so well that it's not a surprise to me this is an ownvoices writer writing.

I was particularly happy with how she executed the distinction between wicca and witchcraft in the story. Very subtle and very well-done. Anderson knows what she's doing and skillfully incorporates a coming-of-age story into a multi-layered page-turning story that you're not going to want to put down.

At the heart, this is a story about friendship and love, with a side of gorey zombie stuff. I love that twist. I love this book; I basically inhaled it within two days.

I loved trying to find hints to solve the murder mystery before the characters and even when I wasn't reading, I was thinking about this book. The last 30% are filled with fantastic twists and turns that I didn't see coming and that she just executed perfectly. The pace is on point.

I'm just in awe how Anderson managed to write a complex murder mystery while addressing intersectionality matters and everyday bigotry at the intersections of multiple marginalizations and also managed to add a fully-developed, super compelling m/f romance for protagonist Mila. This is skill. Can't wait to see what Anderson is doing next and also cannot wait to read her other books.

TL;DR: If you enjoy humor in your spooky books, want more diverse representation that's subtle and makes you feel seen, plus a romance that will knock you off your feet and twists that will have you yelling out loud: you want UNDEAD GIRL GANG.
Profile Image for Jessica.
562 reviews775 followers
October 27, 2019
I’ve been wanting to read this book for the longest time. I finally got around to reading it as part of my Spooky TBR.

I thought this was a fun book!

The premise is awesome. A teen witch bringing three dead girls back to life to uncover the truth about their deaths is perfect for Halloween.

I liked the interactions between the three dead girls and Mila. It was especially interesting to see Mila, the school outsider, interact with June and Dayton, the two popular girls. I liked seeing the relationship between the four girls grow and develop into a friendship.

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I also loved that Mila was a plus sized Latina because yay for diversity!

The reveal of what actually happened to the girls was a little underwhelming for me. I wasn’t shocked or anything. I thought it was going to be more dramatic and have more twists and turns.

Lastly, I loved that Riley was wearing a SF Giants hat throughout the book as part of her disguise. The Giants are my favorite baseball team and also their colors are orange and black, making it even more perfect for the Halloween season.

Overall, if you’re looking for a YA read for spooky season, then check out this book. There’s witchcraft, zombie girls, and a creepy old abandoned house. What more could you want?
Profile Image for Katie.dorny.
949 reviews490 followers
December 4, 2019
I’m gonna need more girl gangs and lesbian witches in my life from now on.

This book is definitely not one I would usually read - but I loved it!

Mila accidentally resurrects her best friend and 2 other girls from her school, with the intention of discovering the murder.

I had no clue who the villain was - that was one hell of a curve ball for me.

Also I loved the character development and the honest assessment of high school. Plus the honesty of different characters - different ethnicities, the discussion of being a minority in a predominantly all white town, weight differences and religious preference. It was immensely refreshing and made me love it even more.

Lastly, the dialogue between the characters was very funny and oh so real for teenage girls. My inner me was cringing remembering my immensely embarrassing escapades.
Profile Image for Laura.
425 reviews1,241 followers
May 9, 2018
4.5 stars
“So what are you going to do about it? Stop sitting back and waiting for everyone else to do the dirty work for you. You aren’t a princess. You’re a walking, talking dead girl. And the sooner you get angry about that, the sooner you can do something other than read through spells you don’t even fucking believe in!”

Yes!! I really had no clue what to expect when I started this. In fact, I tried lowering my expectations. That wasn't necessary at all. I have a real soft spot for the twisted things in life. Especially when we mix in teenage mean girls. Ugh, it just gets me. That’s why The Merciless worked so well for me. & need I mention the genius Dangerous Girls? My all-time favorite series throughout middle school/high school were Pretty Little Liars and Private. Murder and teenage girls go hand in hand for me apparently. But over the years, I’ve learned that many books claim to be the next Mean Girls meets The Craft. Or insert Heathers in there and Practical Magic. Whatever the case, this one succeeded.

I am here to say Undead Girl Gang kept me glued to these pages. I read it in just hours. The mystery of what happened to the girls draws you in. The snarkiness of the characters is so completely fun. The humor is spot on. There is witchcraft, zombies, and a murder mystery. At the heart of it all is friendship. Oh..and you can’t forget about the desire for revenge on the killer. Plus that small dash of romance. If all of this sounds like your kind of book, do yourself a favor and read it.
“Also, why would we want to die?” June asks. “Our lives are sweet. We’re pretty, popular, and it’s only junior year. Plus, we haven’t even been to the Rausch awards gala yet.”
“And the alumni association is talking about having it catered by Olive Garden this year,” Dayton adds.

Mila lost her best friend, Riley, the same week two other students died at their school. It is said they had a suicide pact. Because why else would three students from the same school die under suspicious circumstances? Mila knows Riley didn’t kill herself. Especially because she wouldn’t be caught dead anywhere near the creek due to her bleached hair and the creek water’s capability to turn it green. So how did Riley drown in the creek? Of course, no one will listen to Mila. They think she’s losing it. The last time Mila saw Riley was at the funeral of the school mean girls Dayton and June who allegedly hanged themselves.

Now here’s the catch…Mila and Riley are/were Wiccan. So when Mila gets a delivery of an ancient grimoire from fedex, she assumes Riley ordered it before she died & there being a spell to raise the dead inside is a sign. Maybe Mila can bring back her bff and find out who killed her. Of course, things don’t go as planned and she gets two more undead girls than she planned on accidentally. She has seven days to find out who killed them before they go back in the ground. It doesn’t help that they have no memory of what happened to them.

Part of what's so great about this book is the representation. Mila is fat and Mexican, although it doesn’t fucking matter to the plot. That’s just who she is and I love it. The representation is done very well. There is a great moment where certain characters are called out for thinking "normal" is white. It's a small moment in a bigger scene, but I love that it's there.

All in all, I really loved this book. I enjoyed the ride. The twists along the way are fun even when a bit predictable. There were surprises throughout. I couldn't get enough! I'm excited to see what Lily Anderson writes next.
Profile Image for l..
490 reviews1,921 followers
Read
January 7, 2022
This is an ownvoices book that has a fat, biracial, Mexican teen girl as the main character (who attempts to solve a murder [+ it features zombies!]).

In other words; a win for Intersectionality .
Profile Image for ✨    jami   ✨.
653 reviews3,841 followers
November 3, 2018
Riddle me this: there are people on this hellsite that read yeti/human porn and yet a book with potentially the best premise in the world (girl raises murdered BFF from the dead to try and solve her murder) isn't even getting THE HYPE it deserves??

"There's nowhere to step on the rotting porch that doesn't come with a screech or a groan of wood, so I walk with my usual sense of purpose. Boots on the ground. Collar up. Zombies behind me."


So, this book is fucking fantastic and not just because it has the best premise ever. It was so fun, had a really interesting cast of characters, a compelling mystery, witchy and zombie stuff, lots of diversity and was so funny that it made me laugh out loud in parts.



the good

SO MUCH FUN
This whole book was just so funny and easy to read and feel good. The girls all coming back as zombies, with a healthy dose of zombie gore such as heads falling off and wrists snapping out of place was kind of campy and meta and it was great. This book knew exactly where to make fun of it's own genre, if you've ever seen Warm Bodies or What We Do in the Shadows its similar vibe to those. I really liked how this book kind of laughed at it's own ridiculousness. I also LOVED the narrators snarky, sarcastic narration. It was so funny and so REFRESHING and I loved her take no shit attitude. I feel like if you liked the concept of Leah being snarky in Leah on the Offbeat but didn't like the execution, you'll like this. I feel it was a similar concept but I liked how it functioned in this book a lot more.

THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP!
Most of this book is about Mila, Riley, Dayton and June's friendship and how their friendships change throughout this book. Mila and Riley are best friends but June and Dayton are the school mean girls. Undead Girl Gang definitely looked at the mean girl trope and deconstructed it. I thought that was really fun. I just really loved how so much of this book was about teen girls and how cool they are. I also really liked the focus on redemption and the concept that, as people, we're all growing. And that you can't expect teenage girls to be perfect models of what a person should be DESPITE how they are portrayed.

THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP!
Most of this book is about Mila, Riley, Dayton and June's friendship and how their friendships change throughout this book. Mila and Riley are best friends but June and Dayton are the school mean girls. Undead Girl Gang definitely looked at the mean girl trope and deconstructed it. I thought that was really fun. I just really loved how so much of this book was about teen girls and how cool they are. I also really liked the focus on redemption and the concept that, as people, we're all growing. And that you can't expect teenage girls to be perfect models of what a person should be DESPITE how they are portrayed.

WELL DEVELOPED CHARACTERS I loved that each character had such distinct interests and hobbies and personalities. SO OFTEN I feel like teenage girls in books have literally no traits. They're just kinda there. This was NOT the case here. June loves astrology and her interjections about astrology were hilarious. (I'm a Taurus. I don't forgive. lmfao) Dayton loves singing and swimming and her remorse about dying before she could enjoy these things was really refreshing .. I feel like so much "dying" narratives revolve around love/sex stuff like that, it was cool she was sad she couldn't do things she loved anymore. Mila and Riley, of course, are super into Wicca and magic and are both creative, Mila especially.

WITCHINESS This is probably the only book I've read with a serious Wiccan main character and it was really refreshing to read about. I liked that the different covens in the area came into play and the creepy vibe kinda reminded me of The Raven Boys.

DIVERSITY So the main character is Mexican and fat and has anxiety, and there is lesbian witches, plus a black fat side character, and much more.

"If you would kill for me. Then you can die for me. "


why not 5 stars

ENDING The ending wasn't bad, per say. I just didn't buy it. I definitely thought it could have been stronger and I would have liked to see things more thoroughly wrapped up. One incident at the end, in particular, I really thought needed more closure than what it got. I also felt like certain reveals were too rushed and more build up was needed. Overall, I think this book could have just been like .... 50 pages longer?

FAMILY Most of Mila and Riley's family is absent throughout this book and I kinda wish they hadn't been. The family dynamics, especially with Mila and her sisters was so promising at the start and I felt it kinda got thrown aside. I wish it had been developed more.

“A scoop of dried rosemary goes into the bag, followed by salt. Sometimes, magic looks a lot like how my mom prepares chicken.”


I had SO MUCH FUN reading this book. The whole premise was so unique and this entire book felt extremely fresh. I can't think of any books with a premise or set up that feel at all similar. The focus on teenage girls being valid and growing was nice and the mystery was really well written. I really enjoyed this and it definitely needs more hype !
Profile Image for - ̗̀ DANY  ̖́- (danyreads).
256 reviews92 followers
June 3, 2018
. : ☾⋆ — 5 ★

I HAVE NO WORDS FOR THIS I WANT TO BUY 7,000,000,000 COPIES OF THIS BOOK AND GIVE ONE OUT TO EVERY SINGLE PERSON ALIVE THIS IS THE BEST BOOK THIS YEAR BY FAR

● this book is filled with so much female positivity i could burst with happiness: even from the cover, undead girl gang radiates these intense female empowerment vibes, and let me tell you, i was not disappointed. all the girls in this book are different physically and psychologically, but every single one of them brings new and interesting aspects to the storyline, be it representation wise or simply as important additions to the plot. there’s differences in age, weight, race, sexuality, etc. and even though there are also some issues with some of the girls being mean and bullying other girls, it is addressed amongst them in very healthy ways. there’s also obviously the witchcraft, which i feel is also something inherently female and something that definitely makes women feel empowered.

● writing style: i’ve never read anything by lily anderson but now i know i’ve FOR SURE been missing out. her writing style is painfully relatable and HILARIOUS. the girls were so so so funny and since this is very clearly a stand alone i’m gonna miss them so much. i also admittedly picked up this book knowing next to nothing about what it was about so most of the twists and turns caught me completely by surprise!!

● originality: it suffices to say that i’ve never read a book even remotely similar to this one. from the murder mystery aspects, to the comedic ones, the witchcraft & magic, and the actual necromancy and zombie side of things. just!!!!!!!! SKILLS.

● MEXICAN REP!!!!: i know i mentioned representation before but mexican representation is SO SO important to me i feel like it needed its own bullet. as someone who was born in mexico, raised in mexico, and currently lives in mexico, i feel it’s intrinsic to get this particular kind of representation right, and lily anderson really pulled through. even though we didn’t get to see much of mila’s family life or her family’s background, that one scene where they go to the mercado absolutely broke me in the most perfect way. the food (mila giving the girls real mexican food, the pan dulce), the vibe, and the actual use of mexican spanish (and not google translate spanish). i wasn’t sure so i looked up lily’s ethnicity and found out she’s afrolatina!!! i know a lot of people won’t care but to me this was extremely important.

/////

all in all this book was incredible, by far one of the best reads of 2018. i would absolutely recommend it to ANYONE who hasn’t had many five star reads this year, like me. i’ve been swarmed by one and two star reads lately so picking this up knowing next to nothing about it and enjoying it profusely was definitely a relief!!! i LOVED it!!!!!
Profile Image for Diana | Book of Secrets.
769 reviews556 followers
May 26, 2018
I don't read a lot of YA books, but every once in a while one comes along that catches my eye – especially one that sounds like a combination of Heathers and The Craft. I wasn't wowed by the book, though it was a quirky read, with some fun parts and sad moments too. With such an interesting premise – a novice witch raising a gang of zombie girls from the dead to solve their murders – I was hoping for a little more. I'm bummed that the mystery got lost in a lot of the stereotypical high school drama and caricatures (which slowed down the plot for me). Good book, not great. Thank you to Penguin's First to Read Program for providing me a review copy.
Profile Image for Trina (Between Chapters).
852 reviews3,760 followers
November 14, 2018
4.5 stars

A very fun read that I could not put down! It was exactly what it claimed to be. I really loved the group of enemies-to-friends and the discussion of bullying, not knowing all sides of a person, and opportunities for growth. I also really liked the fat rep (main character is fat and Latinx).

Audiobook: 5 stars. Rebecca Soler delivers another great performance full of emotion and humor. I'd suggest the audio over the print if you can because I think that this format largely contributed to my enjoyment.
Profile Image for Zoraida.
Author 34 books3,896 followers
January 13, 2018
My love for witches is fed by this wonderful book. Themes of letting go, friendship, and love.
Profile Image for Joce (squibblesreads).
228 reviews4,930 followers
Read
July 24, 2018
Listened on audiobook with my husband on a road trip which always colors my views (in a positive way because it helps us connect and we talk about it) so no rating.

Really entertaining and fun, definitely a book that knows when to take itself seriously and when NOT take itself too seriously. Protagonist identifies as Latinx and fat. Genuinely really funny and I laughed out loud in some places which is a gold star because it’s hard to get me to laugh when I read.

However, also suffers from MAJORLY absent adults (one of my pet peeves) and some convenient “all characters are totally oblivious to this VERY OBVIOUS AND OFF THING” which are two of my pet peeves. The writing was neither here nor there, nothing offensive but nothing special. Overall enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net.
242 reviews549 followers
June 3, 2019
See this review and more like it at www.bookbastion.net!
_______

I had every good intention of reading and reviewing this book last October as one of my Halloween reads. Unfortunately, that was right about when my life was fully turned upside down, so I had to put this one on hold for awhile. But it's always been my intention to come back to it and do Lily Anderson justice and get this review up - though it wasn't until recently I got the chance to jump back into this book.

Once I did, I was hooked! There's something about YA Supernatural/Paranormal genre that just draws me to it. YA Horror inspires nostalgia in the old school Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan in me. Teenagers messing with forces beyond their perception and then dealing with the fallout of their choices has always been a plot bend that I can get behind.



Anderson does a great job of keeping the plot chugging along at a rapid clip by situating the whole murder-mystery within the challenge of only giving the characters 7 days to solve the case. This allows the plot to bounce back and forth between the two subplots, presenting Mila and her friends with new and interesting challenges along the way.

I also really enjoyed the dynamic between Mila and her friends. Riley and Mila are both wonderfully drawn women. They felt realistic to me, and I believed in their friendship even when they were at odds with one another. June and Dayton weren't as fully developed, but they provide necessary comic relief like a pair of undead mean girls. 



Of all the characters, Mila was challenging in that she really rubbed me the wrong way. A lot of her motivations seemed selfish, and she was petty and judgmental of everyone around her. The supporting characters were fun enough though for me to forgive any issues I had with Mila.

One other thing this book has going for it is the diversity - and the respect that is paid to that diversity by Anderson. Mila is Latinx, and defines herself as fat, and unabashedly confronts racism, sexism and fatshaming in this novel. It's very progressive in its dialogue, which I think is important given our era.

I was only a little let down in that I wish the final act of the book had packed a bit more punch. There's a whole romance subplot that seemed forced to me, and the way the mystery plot concludes sort of fizzles rather than sparks and explodes the way it could have. There's an aspect of the ending that rubbed me the wrong way, but to discuss it more in depth is sort of to engage spoilers, which I'm not going to do. 



Still, this was an enjoyable read for me, and it grew on me even more in the days since finishing it. For those concerned about the scare factor in this book - have no fear. Anderson doesn't set out to scare her readers. This is more black comedy with a paranormal bend than it is scary. The supernatural context of the character's dilemma allows them to examine their situation: sometimes laughing, sometimes crying, but they remain stoic against it as they search for answers.

If you're looking for a quick read that moves at a quick pace, then look no further. I'm sure you'll find a lot to appreciate here.

★★★★ = 4/5 stars! 
_______


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Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,636 reviews449 followers
June 20, 2018
This was fun! I was initially drawn to this book by its awesome cover and when I read the book's summary, I knew that I needed to have this book in my life. This book had so many elements that I love including witchcraft and undead characters. This ended up being a really quick read for me and I found myself liking the book more and more as I worked my way through the story. I found this to be a really entertaining and original novel.

This book hooked me from the very start as it opens with Mila attending her best friend's funeral. The story is told from Mila's point of view and her internal dialogue really made it easy to like her character right away. Mila believes that her best friend, Riley, was murdered but everyone else is calling it a suicide. Mila is a really low point as you would expect. She misses her friend and is angry that nobody seems to think her death is a result of murder. When a book shows up with a perfect spell, Mila decides to take action.

Mila and Riley practiced witchcraft together. Mila decides to cast a spell that will bring her friend and two other girls back for a short window of time so that they can solve their deaths. It was so much fun to watch this group of four girls try to figure out what to do with their time. I thought that all four of them showed a lot of growth during the story. The mystery at the core of the story had a few surprises and kept me guessing until the end.

I would recommend this book to others. I found this book to an entertaining look at friendships, zombie, and learning to move on. This was the first book by Lily Anderson that I have read but I will definitely be reading more of her work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Penguin Publishing Group - Razorbill via First to Read.
Profile Image for preoccupiedbybooks.
439 reviews971 followers
October 17, 2019
A fun, entertaining, and darkly humorous audiobook, which I listened to quite quickly

Camilla Flores, a witch brings back her best friend Riley, and two mean girls June and Dayton back from the dead after they all die in suspicious circumstances because she doesn't believe that Riley would really end her own life. The trouble is that they have no memory of their own deaths! With only seven days before the spell wears off, the girls need work together to stop the killer striking again...

This was such a fun audiobook! The narrator Rebecca Soler was great! She really brought the sarcastic teen girls, and their witty banter and dialogue to life!

I was thoroughly entertained, and would recommend this as a fun Halloween read! Witches, murder, a mystery, spells and the undead..what more could you want?! It was also a really diverse book, so that was great 👍

I have to say that the main character did annoy me at first with her unrelenting sarcasm, but she really grew on me throughout the story, as did the other girls. I also found the ending a bit predictable and it felt a bit rushed. BUT, I loved the theme of friendship, between Mila and Riley, and eventually with the other girls! Girls supporting girls, and helping each other out is amazing to read about!

If you're looking for a fairly short, funny and entertaining Halloween audiobook, then I would recommend this!
Profile Image for Stacee.
2,670 reviews701 followers
April 29, 2018
Zombies are my jam and when I saw Lily was going to do something zombie-like, I was 1000000% here for it.

I loved Mila. She’s snarky and maybe a little hardened, but she was a genuinely nice person and super easy to root for. The girls who come back are interesting and proof that you can’t always judge a person by what you hear about them. I won’t go into more details because spoilers and all that.

Plot wise, I was instantly hooked. I loved that the entire story was just 7 days and nothing felt repetitive. The magic was easy to understand and the consequences were interesting to read unfold. And I was definitely intrigued at the hows and whys.

Overall, it was a quick read and a captivating story. I can’t wait to see what Lily does next.
Profile Image for Claude's Bookzone.
1,460 reviews182 followers
October 23, 2020
CW:

I just read another review that reminded me of how funny this book actually is! Am upgrading to 4 Stars and will write a proper review eventually. I have so many to back fill 😳
Profile Image for Kylie Amber.
167 reviews74 followers
September 7, 2018
"I know that the color of his eyes is the same color that I think shivers would be if you could see them"
I LITERALLY CANNOT EVEN RIGHT NOW This book was so damn good.

To start, I think the idea of this story was absolutely phenomenal!

Mila's best friend, Riley, dies suddenly during the funeral of another student from Cross Creek High School, making her the third death claimed to be suicide. Because Mila and Riley were Wiccan, she knew she had to find the truth about her best friend's death, no way could it be a suicide she knows her too well to believe that! Bringing back the girls causes a WORLD of chaos. Be ready for plot twists, many many plot twists.

If you read this, PLEASE COMMENT OR MESSAGE ME TO TALK ABOUT IT BECAUSE I DONT WANT IT TO BE DONE.
If you haven't read this, GO BUY IT RIGHT NOW AND THEN COME BACK TO TALK ABOUT IT.
Profile Image for Faith Simon.
191 reviews164 followers
February 5, 2019
3 1/2 stars.
When I first read the synopsis for this book, I couldn't have added it to my TBR fast enough. This was the witchy teen dramedy of my dreams. I do not read enough novels featured around teenage witches, and we all know how much we all love Sabrina.
I initially got to read 73 pages of this before it was published, and from what I read I was hooked. I could already tell Milla was a fat, feminist icon, and so, of course, I knew I would absolutely love this book. However, I haven't actually gotten to reading the rest of the book until now.
This book at first glance seems funny and quirky and while it is at some times, that isn't all it is. This book is sad, hella sad. I felt so much pain and grief while reading this, and the characters are so incredibly lovable. This book has what I refer to as a prime example of character redemption, who'd have thought you could be redeemed after you've already died?
There were a lot of twists and turns in this book, a lot of which I never even saw coming. It's kind of weird that Riley remembered her death but Dayton and June didn't, she did and the others didn't simply because it benefitted the plot, so I found that a bit eyebrow-raising, but it wasn't really a big deal. And the plot twist, I literally gasped when I read it, because up until then I had literally no idea. I suppose maybe I should have picked up on the clues, but maybe being surprised made the book more enjoyable.
But like, when Milla’s trying to sneak out the window with the other girls and Exander grabs her leg to pull her back, she literally gets him completely unguarded enough to stab him, he’s like “I knew you wouldn’t leave me” even though he just caught her trying to get out the window?? And yet he believes her and is dumb enough to be unguarded to let her stab him?? This makes literally no sense, some things in this book were so obviously just for the benefit of the plot running smoothly.
This book has lots of diversity besides witches, which is always nice to see.
At the end of the day, I'd love to see this book become a movie, I think it's perfect material.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kiera.
318 reviews116 followers
November 4, 2018
3.5 stars.
I'm going to have to be honest and say I didn't really like his book as much as I wanted to. I was reading Undead Girl Gang for LALATHON. This is not something I would usually read. It had a really cool concept but he story just wasn't written well.
While I did enjoy the majority of this book it wasn't amazing or really entertaining either. I didn't really enjoy the characters and felt the book fell flat about 2/3 of the way through.
Profile Image for ambsreads.
656 reviews1,403 followers
June 5, 2018
Trigger Warnings: death, self-harm, murder, suicide, descriptions of the dead, depression, grief, one joke about PTSD that made me iffy

THIS REVIEW OF UNDEAD GIRL GANG WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED HERE

I, unfortunately, was incredibly excited for Undead Girl Gang. The cover is amazing and I was so excited by the premise of the main character being unlikeable – and she was, she was sarcastic and not a ‘typical’ MC. I really hate the fact that I had been excited about this one, I was incredibly let down by this one. Undead Girl Gang did not fulfil my expectations in any way. I am not sure I will even be able to put into words why I didn’t like Undead Girl Gang.

What is Undead Girl Gang about? Lily Anderson weaves a tale of Mila Flores who lives in a small town and relies on her best friend Riley, who lives in a funeral home with her family. All is relatively well for the pair until one day Riley ends up dead just after two girls have supposedly committed a suicide pact in the small town. It is a tragedy for three young girls in such a short period of time and Mila is mourning the death of her friend. She is sure that Riley was murdered; Riley wouldn’t have been at the creek otherwise. Which means that Mila decides to dip into the dark side of Wicca. She decides she’s going to bring Riley back from the dead in order to get answers. She needs to know who killed Riley or else Mila won’t be able to rest. Accidentally though Mila rises the two other dead girls, girls that Mila and Riley hadn’t been friends with, girls that had actually bullied Riley despite being friends with her super cute brother. As the four girls now try to figure out who the murder is they will face problems, mainly the fact that three of them are meant to be dead.

It sounds like such an amazing book, honestly. With magic, ‘zombie’ girl and a murder mystery. However, the mystery element is incredibly lacking. It is one of the most predictable books I have read to date and I was so disappointed. Maybe I’m just a crime expert or this book really was easy to guess, I don’t know. This isn’t me not saying to pick up this book.

Anyway, I should get into what I didn’t like about this book and what I did like about Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson.

L I K E S
✗ THE WORD FAT IS NOT SHIED AWAY FROM

This is obviously really important and not my lane to talk about anything in terms of representation. I do believe it is own voices though? I’m not a 100% sure though. However, I did enjoy that the word fat wasn’t treated as a negative thing. Mila knows that she is fat and doesn’t want any other descriptor used when talking about her. Again, this is something I feel is super important as being fat is not a bad thing.

✗ UNLIKEABLE MC

Mila was unlikeable. If you know me, you know that I love unlikeable characters. I really enjoyed the fact that she was sarcastic, bitchy and petty. Mila wasn’t afraid to share her opinions and she was definitely someone who not everyone would like. I like that so much, not that I liked Mila herself but I did enjoy the way Lily Anderson decided to write her character, especially her interactions with the other cast, it all felt so incredibly raw.

D I S L I K E S
✗ PREDICTABLE AS HELL

As soon as the murderer was introduced I knew. I called it straight away. I was sincerely hoping that I would not be right but unfortunately in this case I was. It was also one of the most boring people of the entire book as well.

✗ THE REASONING WAS RIDICULOUS

The person is revealed, the reasoning is explained and I am rolling my eyes the entire time. It was some of the most boring reasoning ever. I just wanted more. Especially with who the author chose as the murderer.

✗ PACING ISSUES

The book was slow. It needed to be faster. There is something that is sincerely lacking about a story in which drags the normal conversations of four teenage girls out for way too many pages. It made the story incredibly tedious to get through. I feel the ending should have been longer and the book shorter as a whole, it would have really fixed this particular issue in the book.

✗ SELF HARM IS NORMALISED

Now, this is a weird thing to explain, I think. But, Mila is given a hair tie/rubber band by her sister to wear around her wrist and snap against her wrist when she is feeling numb. This is really uncomfortable and it never mentioned again. It wasn’t viewed as a bad thing and it really wasn’t addressed. Obviously, this is a self-harm symptom and it is really uncomfortable to see it in the text and not have it discussed in depth and shown that one needs to get help in these situations.

Overall, I think this will be a great and enjoyable book for others but it just wasn’t for me. I definitely understand the importance of the fat representation and unlikeable characters but this plotline was not for me. I just wanted more, instead of a predictable story with two friends in which I didn’t feel a connection between. If you want a book about the importance of friendship this is for you, but if you want an exciting mystery element this is a hard pass, honestly.
Profile Image for Krystin | TheF**kingTwist.
448 reviews1,711 followers
January 19, 2023
Book Blog | Bookstagram

|“Nothing says “fuck off” like eyeliner as dark and heavy as my soul.”

FINALLY! It’s been 84 years… Okay, no it hasn't, but I have finally found a YA novel that I genuinely LOVED.

Thank you, Lily Anderson. It’s been a fucking struggle to get here.

This novel is part murder-mystery, part witchy supernatural fun and part teen drama, but with none of the cheesy dialogue or after-school special bullshit that is usually the reason I’ve disliked every YA novel I’ve ever read.

This is mature in the writing. It has relatable plot points for every reader, with a mystery element that takes the spotlight instead of things like “we held hands once, are we dating now?”

This is a passionate, fun, interesting and original YA story that everyone should be reading. Maybe everyone already has and I’m late to the party, but whatever! Read it again, if that's the case!

In the small town of Cross Creek, not much ever happens until three high school students die of apparent suicides. But when the third girl to die is Mia Flores’ best friend Riley, she just knows it was murder. Using her fledgling Wiccan powers, Mia tried to raise Riley from the dead to find out who killed her. But things go a little off the rails and she unintentionally raises the other two dead students as well. Mia has to wrangle three zombies, find a serial killer and still keep up with homework.

The whole thing is fun as hell.



It’s dark, it’s witty. It’s the right combination of sweet, dramatic and supernatural without seeming overwrought or silly. A pretty good accomplishment considering we’re dealing with teenage zombies. There are a lot of body-positive and socially-conscious moments running throughout the plot that doesn’t come across as preachy or soap-box delivered. It's all presented as simple truths worked into the dialogue and scenes that hit a natural moment at the right time.

Honestly, being a teenager fucking sucks, but the friendships you can develop are unlike any others you experience in life. Making friends as an adult is different and doesn’t exist in the same isolated bubble that a teenage friendship does.

The special quality of those friendships, at that precise moment in time, was perfectly captured here, giving the novel a little something extra that resonated with my cold, unfeeling heart.



If you want to read a spooky YA novel that won’t make you roll your eyes, then this is the book you need in your life. It’s literally got everything, from zombie girls to boy troubles, representation and twisty twists. What more could you want?

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | 5 stars
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