She's no longer on her own against demons... For Better or Cursed by Kate M. Williams (Review & #Giveaway) #yalit @favouritepages

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For Better or Cursed
YA Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Hardcover & ebook, 384 Pages
September 15, 2020 by Delacorte Press


Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this funny, action-packed sequel about a coven of witchy babysitters who realize their calling to protect the innocent and save the world from an onslaught of evil.

Esme Pearl's life used to be all about bumming rides and babysitting. Sure, it wasn't glamorous, but it was predictable. All that changed when Cassandra Heaven came to town, and they discovered their complicated, and connected, legacy: Esme and Cassandra are Sitters, supernaturally-gifted teens armed with an ever-changing grimoire of Sitter witchcraft to help them protect the innocent and keep evil demons at bay. You know, the typical teenage stuff.

But just as Esme is starting to adjust to--and maybe even like--her new normal, life lobs another glitter bomb her way. The Synod--the Sitterhood's governing circle--has called a Summit, a once-in-a-generation gathering that promises training, education, and whole lot of ice-breakers.

Esme should be excited--a Summit might mean she can finally get the answers she desperately wants--but she can't shake a building sense of panic. Especially since Cassandra's not acting like herself; Esme's dad is MIA; Pig is out of dog food; Janis is scared to be alone; and there's a guy who seems too good to be true, again. Worst of all, it soon becomes clear, there's no one watching the kids. It's obvious the Summit is a haute mess, but will it be a deadly one, too?

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My Review

FOR BETTER OR CURSED is a story of two girls, or "sitters," who are still new to protecting their world against demons. With great characters and a story full of snark, friendship, action, and a touch of romance, YA fans will find much to like about this story. Fans of book one will definitely enjoy continuing the series.

This book picks up about a month after the last book, which ended just after Halloween. Now December is approaching and the sitters, Esme and Cassandra, are dealing with regular life and continuing to protect their city from demons. They both have their own challenges with their parents, but are at least getting better at what they do as sitters. I definitely prefer Esme over Cassandra, so I was glad that this book is all from Esme's perspective. I thought the author did a good job of developing both characters and the overall plot of the series in this book. It doesn't feel like a filler book, but gives readers more answers along with setting up plenty for book three. I have some questions and there are a few loose ends that I'm looking forward to being tied up in the next book. I also like how the action ramps up towards the climatic ending and the hint of romance between a certain guy and girl that happily didn't take over the story. I'm not sure if that will go anywhere, but I like that there's friendship with the possibility of more. This book is also cleaner than the first, which I appreciate.

There are few things I didn't like as much. I didn't like the drug and drinking references that felt a bit blatant to me. I also wish Cassandra was a bit more open. She's such a locked box and sometimes a bit one dimensional, so I'm hoping for a bit more character development in the next book. I didn't like the situation with her brother. I'm not sure how that should be fixed, but it felt wrong to me. And of course, I'd like it cleaner since there are crude comments and references that just seem like they're thrown in for shock value or as crass humor.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This is an entertaining read. YA readers will find likable characters, an interesting storybook world, and an engaging plot. If you're into Buffy or similar stories, I'd recommend this series.

Content: Some crude references and language, violence, brief references to LGBT relationships.
Source: I received an ARC from NetGalley through Favourite Pages Book Club, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

The Babysitters Coven
(The Babysitters Coven #1)
By Kate Williams
YA Fantasy, Witches
Hardcover & ebook, 368 Pages
September 17th 2019 by Delacorte Press


Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this funny, action-packed novel about a coven of witchy babysitters who realize their calling to protect the innocent and save the world from an onslaught of evil.

Seventeen-year-old Esme Pearl has a babysitters club. She knows it's kinda lame, but what else is she supposed to do? Get a job? Gross. Besides, Esme likes babysitting, and she's good at it.

And lately Esme needs all the cash she can get, because it seems like destruction follows her wherever she goes. Let's just say she owes some people a new tree.

Enter Cassandra Heaven. She's Instagram-model hot, dresses like she found her clothes in a dumpster, and has a rebellious streak as gnarly as the cafeteria food. So why is Cassandra willing to do anything, even take on a potty-training two-year-old, to join Esme's babysitters club?

The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra's mother left her: "Find the babysitters. Love, Mom."

Turns out, Esme and Cassandra have more in common than they think, and they're about to discover what being a babysitter really means: a heroic lineage of superpowers, magic rituals, and saving the innocent from seriously terrifying evil. And all before the parents get home.

Read my review here.

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About the Author

I’m the author of the YA novel The Babysitters Coven.

I also write for magazines, including Cosmopolitan, NYLON, Elle, Women's Health, Shape, Time Out New York, Monster Children, Russh, Oyster, The Fader, NME, H&M, Smith Journal, Gather Journal, KnitWit, Popular, and more.

I have ghostwritten New York Times bestsellers, celebrity tell-alls, memoirs, how-tos, and beauty bibles (Shh…. I was never here, and you haven’t seen me.)

And, just ‘cause we’re still talking about me, I’ve also written windows, billboards, emails and captions, captions, captions for brands such as Urban Outfitters, Nasty Gal, Vans, Calvin Klein, Nike, Lively, BAGGU and more.

I love to write about witches, teenagers, girls behaving badly, palm trees, and other forms of magic. Teenage girl witches behaving badly under the palm trees is my penultimate subject. 

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Are you a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan? Have you read the first book in this series and will you be reading this one?

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