This review is spoiler free.
“Spells are just prayers with more steps and a name that scares people.”
Published: 2018, by Razorbill.
Format: Paperback (Physical ARC)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Witches, Mystery, Contemporary
Contains: Strong Language, Death, Murder, Suicide, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Blood/Gore, Hanging, Drowning
‘Undead Girl Gang’ follows the life of Camilla ‘Mila’ Flores after the sudden death of her best friend, Riley. Convinced her death was not intentional, regardless of what the professionals say, she decides to take matters in her own hands and consult an ancient grimoire. Mila successfully raises the dead, bringing back her best friend. However, she’s not alone, managing to raise the two people she never wanted to see again also; June Phelan-Park and Dayton Nesseth, the most popular girls in school and recently deceased in a supposed suicide pact.
Anyone who knows me knows that this book was one of my all-time most anticipated reads of the year. Finding this book on sale at YALC a few months back was the highlight of my weekend, and I couldn’t wait to get started. Needless to say, I cannot recommend this book enough.
As someone who religiously reads anything involving witchcraft, I was already slightly biased. However, this book excelled on its concept, following the journey of a young wiccan suffering in her grief. Mila’s character is expressed beautifully through the narrative voice of the novel. Told in the first person from her perspective, the story is full of personal character description, humorous anecdotes and angsty profanity. I loved it. With this well-written technique, Mila’s character shone through the pages, making me feel as if I was resurrecting the dead alongside her.
June and Dayton were not people I expected to like, however, getting intense Mean Girls ‘The Plastics’ vibes from them. However, as the chapters progress, they came alive and developed a beautiful friendship between them and Mila. It was somewhat predictable, but realistic and wonderful to read.
The story itself was fairly fast paced, moving through the mystery of resolving the teenagers deaths while drip-feeding clues to stimulate our own minds on the killer. Personally, I realised it around halfway through, more with who I expected it to be rather than with the information given. (I think I was more hoping it wouldn’t!) However, it didn’t obstruct my enjoyment in the slightest, Mila’s character and the magical elements to this mystery story were enough.
Overall, I love this book so much. It had everything you expect from a perfect novel; a gripping plot, lively characters and a twist to make you take a break in awe.