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.
This book has been on my desperate to read shelf since the moment I saw it, and it was not in any way a disappointment. This book was everything that I wanted to be, and I’m just so impressed with this morbidly hilarious feminist book.
One critique of this book? It got a little slow in parts, but once you make it past the first half of the book, it gets desperately twisty and fun and tense and amazing. But it has a few slow moments.
Other than that, this was amazing. Where to even begin with the amazing traits of this book?
Okay, the characters. Mila was amazinggggggggggggggggg. Omigosh, I loved her so much. She was so ridiculously relatable, and I just want to read all of her stories and more about her life. Can she narrate everything? She was so realistic, and I got her. She’s sassy, hilarious, forever kicking butt whether it’s with her wit or strength, and she is incredibly supportive. I loved being in her brain, and she is the perfect YA heroine (although, I mean, please don’t follow her as a role model and raise your dead friends up from the grave – that would be not good). She is certainly going to go down as one of my favorite YA heroines of the year and maybe of all YA history.
As for the rest of the undead girl gang? Riley was good, and her and Mila’s dynamic was great. To be honest, though, June and Dayton – former popular mean girls – kind of stole the show for me. They felt a bit like Regina/Gretchen combo and Karen from Mean Girls, but nicer and funnier. They were such a wonderful supporting case, and Dayton easily became a favorite with her exuberant excitement for the most random things. This honestly might be a contender for third favorite gang that I’ve read in YA under Six of Crows and TLC. They had this amazing dynamic together, and were just so witty.
Even all the other supporting characters were great. Toby, Dr. Miler, Caleb, Xander, and Aniyash had complexities to them. They had interesting characterization, and I found myself either liking or hating them depending on the situation.
Also, CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT HOW MANY GREAT MESSAGES THIS BOOK HAS. It has amazing diversity (our main character is fat and Mexican), and it was body positivity in the best way. This book has so much feminism that I’m just sitting here cheering so much. I mean, not only is this book women supporting women but it’s women totally owning everything and saving their own selves. It’s so much female empowerment, and this is exactly the book that I needed in my own teen years (lol which was only like 4 years ago, but apparently I’m ancient now) to make me want to take on the world. There’s a lot of subtle feminist statements and outright feminism in here, and it was just great.
The writing is fantastic as well. This is Anderson’s third book that I’ve read of hers, and she always delivers a fantastic writing style. Her books aren’t laugh out loud funny to me, but they’re just so full of wit and sass. It’s so amusing and leaves me so impressed each time.
Overall, this was a fantastic read, and I’m just in a lot of awe. It’s not often a book that I have high expectations of actually works out (lol, actually it literally NEVER works out), and I’m so glad to say this one did. It was witty, feminist, and full of heart. The characters were amazing along with the writing and so much more. This is definitely going to be one of my top reads of 2018, and I’m definitely pushing this at you right now. It was a bit slow at parts, which is making me pause from giving it an outright spot on my favorites, but it’s quite close. Therefore, 5 crowns and a Tiana rating!
(P.S. I would probably say this is upper YA.)
What do you think? Do your high expectations for a book usually work out or now? How epic does this book sound??? Are you feeling the new to get some enamel pins now? Let’s discuss in the comments below!