Young Delight: Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

Posted July 1, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Audio Book, Reviews, Young Delight / 42 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Young Delight: Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
Undead Girl Gang
Narrated by Rebecca Soler

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two-flames

Genres: YA Paranormal Romance, YA Romantic Suspense
Published by Penguin Random House Audio
Released on May 8, 2018
Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher

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The Delight

I took one look at the title and blurb and thought this would be a fun one.  An amateur teen witch brings her BFF and a few others back to life to help her solve their murders?  Yep, my speed of zombie shenanigans.

Review

Undead Girl Gang starts at the funeral for Mila’s best friend, Riley, who supposedly committed suicide just like two other girls at the school.  Mila isn’t buying it and not because she’s in denial.  Nope, she knew her friend and nothing about this added up.  Happening upon a spellbook mysteriously left for her to find  is a game changer and Mila goes for it and brings the dead back to… well undead life for a short period of time.  Not without a few issues.  They are nothing like real zombies so long as they stay close to Mia, but outside the tether range and they are stinking, rotting corpses.  The other girls are taking this in their usual stride, but Riley is more contemplative and distant.  Mia thought they could solve the murder quickly, but the zombie girls have memory loss for the more recent events.

Mila plays detective, negotiates high school where her suspects are, and tries to figure out what to do with her long time crush on Riley’s dreamy brother, Xan.  She’s outside of the usual teen groups and has a wry, jaded outlook average girl thing going as her armor against getting hurt in the cut throat teen ‘verse.  Mila had a reason to be somewhat defensive as a Latina Wiccan on the husky side.  I liked Mia’s voice in this one even if she comes across as angry and her snark goes over the line a few times for me.  She shutdown other people at times and wasn’t exactly fair, but I didn’t feel she was vicious about it.  Though, yes, I wanted to give her a shake now and then just like I did with a few others, at times.

There are some good twists to the murder mystery, but I had to adjust to the fact that this book is only somewhat a YA murder mystery with a unique paranormal twist, but a lot of it is also YA contemporary in feel as Mia and the other teens negotiate high school, teen life, character flaws, emerging maturity, friendship, and love.  I can get impatient with this sort of thing, but the way the author wrote the flawed yet engaging characters and the humorous plot kept me pulled in so I was interested in all of it together and not just the paranormal murder mystery.  The ending got exciting and I was all wrong with my guess.

I experienced Undead Girl Gang in MP3 format and it was my first jaunt with Rebecca Soler as narrator.  She was a great match for this book.  I loved her work from the start when she’s voicing Mia’s inner thoughts at the funeral and then goes on to capture the others, too.  She got the teen voices down pat from both genders and the adults.  She hits the comedic pacing and also the moments that got serious just right.  I was right in the middle of this story and fully engaged as a result of her excellent work.  I’ll have to watch for more of her work.

All in all, this was a great first outing with author and narrator.  I loved the fun and clever take on zombies and witchcraft, teen life, and a good mystery.  I’ll have to watch for more by this author.  Those who might hold back because of the zombie element, no worries.  Its mild and not even the most important focus.  Actually, I think this will have broad appeal with paranormal, mystery, and contemporary YA elements.

My thanks to Penguin Random House audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #196 YA
New Release #97
Audio #42

Recommendations

 
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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • My introduction to Rebecca Soler was the Lunar Chronicles, and I didn’t think I liked her. As it turns out, I just didn’t like the books, and even she couldn’t save them for me. When I listened to Caraval, though, I really enjoyed her narration.

    I’m glad you enjoyed this book. It popped up on a lot of ‘most anticipated books’ lists this year!

    Great review, Sophia.

    • Oh man! Audios can be a two-edged sword b/c both book and narrator have to work for enjoyment to happen. I’ve had a few where I finished and had to think about if it was the book or narration work that put me off. Glad you gave her another try and ended up liking her.

      Yeah, it was funny, but I’d not even heard of this one or knew it was an anticipated one for several folks. It was an impulse grab after the title and then the blurb caught my fancy.

  • My introduction to Rebecca Soler was the Lunar Chronicles, and I didn’t think I liked her. As it turns out, I just didn’t like the books, and even she couldn’t save them for me. When I listened to Caraval, though, I really enjoyed her narration.

    I’m glad you enjoyed this book. It popped up on a lot of ‘most anticipated books’ lists this year!

    Great review, Sophia.

  • Oh yes I heard about this one on some blogs and it looks quite good so why not one day!

    • It does pose something a little different in YA. Hope you enjoy it when you get the chance, Melliane! 🙂

  • I don’t usually like zombie stories but this is unique and sounds interesting.

    • I’m slowly getting into a certain demographic of zombie fan-ship like when they are in UF or mystery style stories like this.

  • Northwomn

    I’m so glad you liked – great review. It sounds great except the YA part which might or might not work for me. I’m fussy about YA. Anne – Books of My Heart

    • Same here, but I do better when there are other elements like the paranormal and the mystery to offset the YA. Though, that said, I did want to shake all of them several times. LOL

  • I’m not really sure how I feel about this one… I think the combination of witches and zombies is a unique premise, but I wasn’t sure it would work well. It seems like most people are enjoying this one, so I might have to give it a shot.

    L @ Do You Dog-ear?

    • It’s probably going to depend on how much you can suspend your believe and tolerate teenage antics. Maybe try a library borrow of it to make sure.

      • I’m not a huge fan of suspending my belief or teenage antics, lol. Definitely a library read!

        • That’s what I do when I’m really not sure if a book is going to do it for me. That said, I hope its a good one for you, Lindsi! 🙂

  • I am so glad you liked this one! I have it and plan to read it once my semester is over and I am really looking forward to it! Great review! =)

    • I am doing a bit of a happy dance as this is the first review I have read for this one! =)

      • Ha! Glad to give you a boost of enthusiasm for the story, Mary! Hope you have a good time with it.

  • I am so glad that you enjoyed this one, Sophia Rose! I thought it was a really fun story with just a bit of zombies. I think she did a great job with the characters and I loved the lighter tone of the book. Great review!

    • It really was, Carole. I found myself smiling and shaking my head on a laugh a few times. The mean girls amused me for some reason. 🙂

  • Wow there is a lot to this story..yes to murder and zombies!

  • This sounds like a fun read! I love mystery/crime novels with paranormal elements. My usual such reads tend to focus more on the crime and paranormal elements, but reading one with a more contemporary feel sounds fun for some lighter summer reading 🙂

    • Yes, you got it exactly, on this one. The focus leans harder on their contemporary world, but the other elements are there and it has a lighter feel that is perfect for a lazy summer day.

  • The choice of narrator can totally make or break an audiobook so I’m glad that Rebecca Soler was so well suited to this story for you 🙂

    • Agreed, Stephanie. I almost didn’t stick with audios b/c the second and third ones I tried were not a good match for their books, but that first one sure was and kept me trying.

  • The choice of narrator can totally make or break an audiobook so I’m glad that Rebecca Soler was so well suited to this story for you 🙂

  • Karen

    I’ve had my eye on this one then it started getting a lot mixed reviews. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I have an Amazon GC so I might give it a go.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth

    • I can guess why it wasn’t a complete hit. There were some annoying moments with the kids, but there was a ton I did like so I found those minor things in comparison. Hope you end up liking it if you do give it a go.

  • Well that does sound like an interesting take on things. I’d not seen this one before.

    • Yeah, it caught my eye when I saw that title. I had to investigate. 🙂

  • Wow! I love the sound of this. It is the first I am hearing of this one.

    • Really? Cool! Glad to introduce it to you, Nadene. It caught my eye when I saw the title and it lived up to the quirky fun factor with some serious layers.

  • shootingstarsmag

    I’m glad you liked this one. I like the sound of this – and I’ve been hearing good things. It sounds like a really cute and enjoyable take on zombies. 🙂

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    • I’m not a Walking Dead style of zombie fan, but this sort of zombie element worked just fine and I had a good time with the story.

    • I’m not a Walking Dead style of zombie fan, but this sort of zombie element worked just fine and I had a good time with the story.

  • How did I miss this book??? It sounds like my kind of book for sure!

    • Oh boy, you are in for a treat. It is a quirky fun one, Christy!

  • How did I miss this book??? It sounds like my kind of book for sure!

    • Oh boy, you are in for a treat. It is a quirky fun one, Christy!

  • This one sounds fun! I get impatient at some of the high school stuff too, but I’m glad that you were able to enjoy the story as a whole. ❤️ Great review Sophia Rose!

    • Exactly! I have a low tolerance for the teenage shenanigans, but there are several things going on so it was diluted. 😉 Thanks!

  • Eeee, sounds like a fun one! Got it on my to listen list.

    • Yes, Velvet! I think you’d have a good time with it. I was thinking of you often as I know you love your zombies. 🙂