Undead Girl Gang by: Lily Anderson

Summary:

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. 

The Review:

This book was on my TBR for a long time, ever since last year and I finally got it at the bookstore, with the much better soft cover.

The book is very  much a zombie murder mystery novel which reminded a lot of the 90s movie The Craft, especially when dealing with the supernatural.

The story begins with the “suicide” of Mila’s friend Riley, and Mila obviously believes that it wasn’t a suicide, even when two other girls; June and Dayton who also have committed suicide much earlier. Mila using Wiccan powers brings them back to life to try to find out who killed them, but they don’t have any memory of their murders.

Mila is very sarcastic and snarky, and a lot of her light dialogue adds a lot of humor throughout the book.

The resurrected girls provide a lot of the humor throughout the book, especially when they find out that they are in fact dead. Some of my favorite scenes included the “mean girls” June and Dayton haunting their friends in order to find out who killed them. While June and Dayton are the stereotypical mean girls but they become a lot more fleshed out as the story goes on.

Another highlight was the relationship between Riley and Mila. As they are best friends, you really get a sense of how much Mila missed Riley after she died.

As a murder mystery book, it does cover a lot of the mystery formula in which Mila and other girls would have to find clues about their murder. There was a couple of red herrings, in which when you meet this one character you would think that he is the killer, but it turns out to be false.

My one main issue with the book was the rushed ending. The real killer’s identity I felt was not as fleshed out as I wanted it to be, while it sort of was hinted at the beginning of the book, but it was way to rushed. Also with the rushed ending it didn’t give enough time for me to really sink in what has happened.

In the end, I did enjoy Undead Girl Gang. It was a nice supernatural story with lots of humor throughout. I did enjoy the characters a lot, and even though it was a stand alone I kinda want to see more of Mila.

Grade: 4/5

Skyward by: Brandon Sanderson

Summary:

Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul. 

The Review:

I was always a fan of Brandon Sanderson, I loved Mistborn and the Reckoners series, and while his writing may seem very dense but he is very good at world building, and I always wanted to read this book ever since I got a sample at BookCon 2018.

It was also nice to see Brandon Sanderson write a space opera, since he has done a lot of fantasy, most of which I would highly recommend to readers so it was a nice change of pace.

The main character is a girl named Spensa, who wants to be a space pilot like her father. She also has to tend with the the fact that her father was branded a deserter and coward and has to live with the fact everyday since she entered the academy. She was always told by her grandmother how she was descended from people such as Beowulf, Sun Tzu and Genghis Kahn, while she may have known it was obviously fake it have Spensa something to look up towards and the learning of Old Earth.

The main setting is on a planet called Detritus, which is inhabited by humans who live underground because of the Krell who keeps attacking. It seemed like an odd setting for the book, but I like that it was very different and using an underground city made it a lot more cramped and added a lot to the characters.

One of the main highlights was the relationship between Spensa and M-Bot an AI -driven ship. M-Bot was very snarky and I really liked it. I liked that she would confined in M-Bot, especially when dealing with everything that she is going through at the academy.

When Spensa is at the academy, while still being the daughter of a coward, she begins to learn more about what happened when her father died. It takes a lot of good twists and turns, and it kinda begs the question of what makes a hero and what makes a coward, with the consequences that come with it.

A lot of the supporting characters are also well developed. One of my favorites is Jorgan, and there back and forth is amazing, and I like how it kinda grew into a friendship between them and learned to respect each other.

In the end, I really liked Skyward, it of course has the same Sanderson style. Spensa is an amazing character and I really want to follow this series and see where it goes.

Grade: 5/5