17-year-old Esme Pearl needs cash, and she’s got a babysitter’s club to make that happen. When the new girl at school wants to join the club thanks to the mysterious note left by her mother, the two girls must take on something they’ve never faced before. Fashion, toddlers, and a whole lot of fun ensue in this book that’s definitely one of my new favorites of the year!
This book was not what I expected it to be — and it turned out to be the best thing for me.
Let me just start by saying that I’ve never seen the comp titles for this book. Yes, I’ve never seen Buffy. I know, I know. I’ve also never read The Babysitters Club as a child, though this one was definitely something I wanted to get my hands on (does watching one episode on Netflix and thumbing through the graphic novel reincarnations while handing them to customers count?)
Despite knowing, albeit vaguely, what those series entailed, I still expected this book to be much darker, akin to the reboots with dark twists we’ve been seeing lately. Folks, if you’re picking up this book expecting that, you’ll be disappointed. Instead, the book is a whole lot of campy fun. The spells are quite silly and the ingredients are made from every day items you can find around the house. The main character and her best friend are fans of 90s and early 2000s movies (am I that old), and there are tons of references to faves peppered in — yet not enough to annoy me. There are lots of descriptions of outfits, following the girls’ thrifting trendsetter attitudes.
Basically, don’t take the book too seriously and you’ll have a good time!
Every scene was full of just the right amount of silliness. Esme was just the right amount of awkward. I found myself laughing a lot and highlighting my favorite lines (“They said I’d never need this PowerPoint,” he said under his breath, almost as if he were talking to himself. “But I knew it would come in handy.”)** I kept thinking about how much fun it would be to watch this as a movie!
I also think it skewed a bit towards the younger side of YA, which is actually pretty nice to see. We’ve been getting so many hard-hitting and dark books, and they’re great, but it doesn’t hurt to have fun books like this to help teens transition into the older reads. It’s already pretty hard finding books that fit this category, but I’m hoping this will ease the struggle!
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and loved every time I picked it up to read more. If you liked the fun of Undead Girl Gang, I think you should give this book a try!
**A big thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an digital ARC of the book! Any quotes included may be changed in the final publication.