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Bullying, Fatphobia, Girl-on-Girl Hate, Depression, Racism, Gore, Death, Murder, Believed Suicides, Reference to Sexual Assault
Latinx, Black, Fat
What a fun, Halloween-y read this was!
Honestly, this was such a short, quickly paced story that I don’t even feel like I have that much to say about it other than that I enjoyed it a lot.
Undead Girl Gang was pretty much everything that I thought it would be… and more! It isn’t often that a book meets all of my expectations so well, so when it does happen, I feel like I just must point it out.
The plot is basically exactly as you read in the synopsis. Besides the final reveal of the actual killer is, there aren’t any mind-blowing plot twists or confusing story lines to follow. This is your typical contemporary… with witches and dead girls being brought back to life.
The story moved along really quickly and never spent too much time dwelling on any one thing. The book starts with the three girls -Riley, June, & Dayton- already dead, and Mila already grieving over Riley (although she truly doesn’t feel a bit of sadness toward the deaths of June & Dayton since they were your typical mean girls). Anderson didn’t spend too much time focusing on Mila’s grief; instead, Mila got straight to the witchcraft that brought her friend (and two not-friends) back.
I actually think that my favorite part of this book -aside from how perfectly Anderson set up the spooky-yet-fun atmosphere- was the girls themselves. Although there was a lot of girl hate in this, the friendships that Mila forms with June and Dayton was a highlight for me. I know that these girls were far from perfect when they were alive (especially June and her incessant need to make everyone feel inferior to her) but when they are brought back from the dead, it was just really fun to read about the friendship they formed with Mila. Dayton was, without a single doubt, my favorite character.
Mila herself was not a favorite character of mine, just because I felt like she was sometimes unnecessarily rude and distant from people who were trying to be nice to her. I absolutely loved that Anderson wrote Mila as a fat Latinx girl who isn’t ashamed of who she is. We so often read books with fat MCs who are constantly fretting over their weight, so this was a really nice change. However, Mila could have mellowed out a little bit instead of thinking that everyone was always out to be mean to her. I didn’t like the way she treated Aniyah at all.
The one thing that I absolutely hated about this book was the gore. And OK, I knowingly picked up a book about dead girls being brought back to life, so yeah, I should’ve known to expect the gore. But some of the details in this (although wonderfully written!) were just so… gross. I don’t even know what else to say about that other than don’t eat anything will reading this book. It won’t go over well.
While I didn’t foresee the final reveal of the killer, I did have some suspicions of that character, so I wasn’t entirely shocked. I thought that Anderson did a spectacular job keeping the reveal a secret and building up to it in a clever way. There were a couple of very small holes that I’m left a little confused by… but they were honestly so small that most readers probably wouldn’t have even noticed them.
Altogether, I really enjoyed this very seasonal read and I think that anyone looking for a fun, spooky read filled with comedic teen girls and witchcraft would really enjoy this!