ambsreads's Reviews > Undead Girl Gang

Undead Girl Gang by Lily  Anderson
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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.
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Reading Progress

April 9, 2018 – Shelved
April 9, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
May 9, 2018 –
50.0% "honestly this is super predictable"
May 10, 2018 – Started Reading
May 10, 2018 – Finished Reading
May 27, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
May 27, 2018 – Shelved as: urban-fantasy
May 27, 2018 – Shelved as: mental-health
May 27, 2018 – Shelved as: mystery
May 27, 2018 – Shelved as: on-hold
May 27, 2018 – Shelved as: not-for-me
May 27, 2018 – Shelved as: annoying-female-leads
May 27, 2018 – Shelved as: best-covers

Comments Showing 1-10 of 10 (10 new)

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message 1: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Oh no


ambsreads it was just so predictable Sarah 😩😩


message 3: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah This makes me so sad 😭😭


message 4: by chloe (new) - added it

chloe oh, so not good then? the cover is so pretty


Elle (ellexamines) awww, I’m so sorry you weren’t a fan of this, Amber! I really enjoyed this, but I can definitely understand not feeling as positive 😊


ambsreads I’m so glad you enjoyed this one Elise! 💕


Kate Hey there. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this book. Even though I did, I totally feel you on the points about who the murderer is. I just wanted to comment on one thing. The rubber band snapping isn’t self harm. It’s actually a common cognitive behavioral therapy technique sometimes called thought stopping (though thought stopping isn’t always used with a rubber band, sometimes other methods to stop the thought are utilized). Its effectiveness is debated but it is still used by many therapists as a technique to help treat anxiety and even self-harm—it’s not self harm in and of itself.


ambsreads Hey there! This was speaking from my own personal experience. I did this with hair ties unconsciously during my worst stages of depression and anxiety. I told my therapist and she told me that it’s actually a form of self harm, she explained it but this was almost four years ago so I’m unsure of what she told me. I guess speaking from my personal experiences it is self harm, but thank you for your comment!


Kate I should have considered that a healthy coping mechanism for some could be harmful for others! Perhaps the book could have made it a bit more clear which it was for Mila.


Nicole Yeah I was weirded out by the rubber band as well. That was an early expression of self harm for me and it was odd that they didn’t discuss it more. I would say Mila digging her fingernails in her palms would also be a form of self harm. I was hoping they’d mention it at the end with her therapy sessions


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