Thank you to Netgalley and Delacorte Press for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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.
I remember reading The Baby-Sitters Club books as a kid (I wanted to be Claudia), because of their adventurous yet responsible spirit. The Babysitters Coven revitalizes the series for the 21st century, adding elements of magic and high school life. The main similarity between the two series is the group of girls who form a babysitters club. Other than that, The Babysitters Coven is completely different, and I love it.
Esme is a fun narrator: she babysits, she's learning how to drive, she's awkward in front of her crush, and she's got a lot going on at home. Her narration was funny and quirky, which I appreciated. It set the tone for the rest of the novel. I also liked reading about her friendship with Janice, who is the other member of Esme's Babysitters Club. Love female friendships! The girls went thrifting together, planned out outfits, and hung out after school. It’s so refreshing to see characters commit to a friendship and make it work, even when it’s not a main focus of the story.
Cassandra was a great character. She was chaotic to Esme’s rational, which was a good balance. She did get the pair in trouble a couple of times, but I thought she was fun to read about and her actions moved the story along nicely. I don’t necessarily think she’s a good person all the time, but I liked reading about a character in a contemporary setting who makes those same mistakes, and has good intentions that don’t always help everyone.
I had a great reading experience when I stopped taking the plot seriously. It's not a grave high fantasy, but a campy, witchy book about high school demon-fighters that's perfect for Halloween season. Watching Esme and Cassandra learn about their powers was hilarious, because of the specificity of some spells. There’s a spell for everything—even bad hair days!
My main fault with the book is that I wanted to know more about the Sitters: the history and structure of the organization, and to meet other members, for example. Basically, I wanted more world-building.
Overall, The Babysitters Coven is a fun fall fantasy that makes a great read for anyone—even if you’ve never babysat before! 4/5 stars.
Hey, I'm Shreya! I love to read, write, travel, and drink coffee.