The Babysitters Coven

The Babysitters Coven

by Kate M. Williams

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Overview

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 cooking. 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.

"The Baby-Sitters Club...but spooky."—Cosmopolitan

"A high-energy series starter that's plenty of fun."—Booklist

"Combines everything you love."—Man Repeller

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525707370
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 09/17/2019
Series: The Babysitters Coven Series , #1
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 20,674
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: 860L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Kate Williams has written for Seventeen, NYLON, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, Urban Outfitters, Vans, Calvin Klein and many other brands and magazines. She lives in California, but still calls Kansas home. The Babysitters Coven is her first novel. To learn more about Kate and her books, go to heykatewilliams.com or follow @heykatewilliams on Twitter and Instagram.

Read an Excerpt

The devil was an artist. Her medium varied, from crayons to Magic Markers to finger paints, and she had coloring books, construction paper, giant pads of newsprint on a tiny plastic easel. But today she’d ignored it all, in favor of the hallway and a marker. Previously pristine white, the wall was now permanently adorned with black squiggles, dots, shapes, and lines, all drawn at eye level. Well, her eye level—a little less than three feet off the ground.
 
How did I know this art was permanent and not the water-soluble kind? Because Baby Satan—known by some as Kaitlyn—was still holding the Sharpie in her hand. As I surveyed her work—which was impressive in its own way, because she’d done all of this damage in only the time it had taken me to pee—she smiled sweetly up at me, topless underneath a pair of very dirty OshKosh overalls. She held the Sharpie up to her nose and inhaled deeply, a look of intense contentment on her face. “Give me that,” I said, grabbing it from her. Two years old, and already into graffiti and huffing.
 
She was on one tonight. It had started with dinner, which was dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets and bunny-shaped mac-n-cheese. She wouldn’t eat any of it, not even when I insisted that the nuggets were actually made from real triceratops. When I got up to go get a paper towel, she managed to transfer most of the mac-n-cheese to her seat and sit on it.
 
She thought this was hilarious and wiggled around, etching orange cheese stains that would probably never come out into the butt of her overalls. “Squishy!” she squealed with delight, and I was sorry that I’d taught her that word last week. After dinner, we played with blocks, which mainly consisted of me building the tallest stack I could and then cheering as she ran at them, full speed, from across the room to knock them down. It was right after this that I made that fateful decision to use the bathroom. I should have known better.
 
Now I placed the cap back on the Sharpie and put it on the kitchen counter, far back against the wall and safely out of her reach. “All right!” I said. “It’s bedtime.”
 
Bedtime started with a bath, complete with fizzy dye pods—two blue and one yellow—to make turquoise “mermaid water.” She drank some of it. Teeth were brushed, sorta, and pajamas were donned. I usually allotted the devil three bedtime stories, which was enough to have her nodding off, her chin coming down to her chest, but tonight her blue eyes were still wide open and alert. Each time I’d finish a story, she’d climb out of bed, run across the room, and come back with a new stack. “More!” she’d scream, slamming them into my lap with a surprising, and almost impressive, violence.
 
In this moment, I saw my future stretching out before me.
 
Kaitlyn never goes to sleep.
 
Her mom never comes home.
 
I read bedtime stories until the world ends.
 
It was times like these that I wished I could tap out and have another babysitter come in and take over. Baby Satan had a million stuffed animals, and my eyes settled on a floppy dog that was nearly life-sized. Couldn’t he read a story for once?
 
His ears twitched, as if he were responding to my mental plea.
 
I blinked and rubbed my eyes.
 
Babysitting was making me hallucinate.
 
I sighed. Kaitlyn was still wide-awake. Not a hint of sleepiness anywhere on her admittedly cute face.
 
I picked up another book. “Okay,” I said. “This one’s about a bunny who runs away. It’s called The Runaway Bunny.” She smiled, all cherub cheeks and dimples, and something in me softened. “See what they did with the title there?” I said. “The people who wrote this book must be pretty clever, huh? I bet they were geniuses.”
 
“Smart bunny,” she said.
 
I nodded, reaching over to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear. “A very smart bunny. You ready?”
 
It took seven stories before she finally fell asleep, her blankie pressed against her cheek. I gave the wall a few half-hearted scrubs, but the thing about permanent markers is that they’re permanent, so I admitted defeat and went into the kitchen. After everything I’d had to endure tonight, I deserved a snack. I mean, the number one perk of babysitting is OPP—other people’s pantries.
 
I opened the pantry to what could have stocked a vending machine: potato chips, Chex Mix, Cheez-Its (Kaitlyn’s mom, Sharon, had even started buying the white cheddar ones, just for me), pretzels, Doritos, jumbo-sized bags of M&M’s, Twizzlers, gummy bears, you name it. None of this had anything to do with the fact that it was almost Halloween—this was just what Sharon ate all year round.
 
I grabbed what I wanted, found a big bowl, and poured in a layer of Frosted Flakes. I smashed up a few pretzels and added them, then a handful of Corn Chex, some potato chips, and a generous layer of M&M’s. Then I sprinkled the whole thing with sugar, poured some milk on it, and stood back to admire my specialty: Babysitter’s Crunch, the perfect mixture of salty and sweet. Kellogg’s should market this stuff.
 
It looked so pretty and delicious that I thought for a second about posting it, then remembered that would just announce to the world (or at least my 398 followers) that I was spending yet another night with Tony the Tiger and a human who thought “potty” was a dirty word. I’m not ashamed of babysitting, but I know it’s not what most people think of as a “cool job.”
 
I took my crunch and sank into the couch in front of the TV. OPTVs are also serious babysitting perkage, and Sharon had every channel and subscription imaginable. I finally settled on a reality show where a girl with breast implants, hair extensions, acrylic nails, and a spray tan cried to the camera about how she couldn’t stand fake people.

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The Babysitters Coven 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Sleepy 11 days ago
I never read the original babysitters books, so I can't say how this compares. But it definitely matches the Buffy vibe it aims for. It took a while to get to the magic and action parts. The beginning did a good job on tree setting, plot, and characters. The MC, Esme, is very relatable and uses lots of pop culture references and texting lingo. The story was really good. I liked all the magic and how spells worked and the whole secret Sitter society idea. I was very happy with the way the little romance went. It was an unexpected turn that really added depth to pretty boy's character. Warning: I thought this book was geared towards younger readers. Like middle school age. But there's a lot of explicit language and dirty talk that should give this a PG13 kind of rating. I would definitely not give this to a kid unless they clean out certain lines. For a teen, maybe. But even so, those lines don't need to be there and can easily be whitewashed. Altogether, I really enjoyed the plot and magic and the characters. I highly recommend this book for Buffy fans. I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
WishEnd 13 days ago
3.5 Stars THE BABYSITTERS COVEN is, as the book summary states, a mash-up of Adventures in Babysitting and Buffy. These sitters don't know what is going on, but they know something is and do their best to protect those they're supposed to. YA fans who like their stories full of friendship, complex family dynamics, some magic and a little danger will enjoy this one. I liked the protagonist, Esme, from the start. She's one of those girls who just wants to keep her head down and get through high school as best she can. She's got a good head on her and good instincts. I also really liked her friend Janis and Esme's dad who was trying to raise a teenage daughter as best he could. Cassandra bothered me from the time she enters to almost the very end of the story. There were some other characters, but most of them were fairly one dimensional. I was mostly curious on what the plot would be and the reasoning behind the girls' powers. Not all of it was explained, so there weren't a lot of details. You kind of have to go on blind faith here. It was interesting though, how things were presented (without spoiling anything I can't give much more than that). The ending definitely builds to a climatic ending with some action and a few twists. I'm definitely curious to see how things turn out in subsequent books. I can see the girls not quite sticking to the rules, especially with some parents involved in the outcome. I just had a few qualms about the book. There were some really blatant comments and crude descriptions. Obviously a lot of it is the norm in high school, but I don't really want to have to read it in my books, especially in having to deal with it in real life too. At least not quite to the extent here, especially as it really had nothing to do with the story. There's also a lot of acronyms and labels (as an example, Esme's dad was stated as being nerdy for being a Tom Cruse fan and liking Dave Matthews), so depending on the audience they may not even know some of the references or might be offended by them (my daughter doesn't know who Dave Matthews is, but she does love Tom Cruise in the Mission Impossible movies and she shouldn't feel like there's anything wrong with that). Sometimes it's dangerous to be so specific with your audience, particularly if you're attaching a negative connotation to a label or even labeling at all, and using slang too much. In the end, was it what I wished for? Overall, I enjoyed the story. More so the friendship and family dynamics, as well as the second half of the book where it's fairly clean in content. The magic and the way the sitters' system works is interesting, and I'm looking forward to more details about how it all works as the series continues. Content: Some crude and blatant gestures and references. Some swearing. Some violence. Source: I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher through The Fantastic Flying Book Club, which did not require a positive review nor affect it in any way.
Take_Me_AwayPH 19 days ago
I'm not a fan of witchy books, but after reading two in a row, I can definitely see the appeal of them. And though this one wasn't my favorite, I did like certain parts of this very much. Witches are fun and that's exactly what this was: fun. Esme knows she'll never want to get a job, so she did the next best thing... Become a baby-sitter. She even formed a club for it. Then a beautiful new girl Cassandra Heaven came and she joins the club with a mysterious note from her mom. As it turns out, they become friends, bonded by the fact that they have superpowers..... The best thing about this is hands down the way the magic is portrayed. I loved the way it was done. I'm not a fan of witchy books, but if the magic and spells were done like this, I totes would be. It just seemed pretty cool to me. And the way it was written in the funny style Williams possesses, it took some of the creep factor out of it. As for the writing style, there were some things I liked and some I didn't. For instance, I liked the humor. Most of it was literally laugh out loud funny. Normally it's pretty hard to get me to actually laugh. However, I didn't care for the the text abbreviations. I get that teens use them, but in a book I feel like they should be used sporadically. They were used way too much in this one and I it got a bit annoying over time. As for the plot, I don't feel like much happened throughout most of the story. As it got to the end of the story, it all tied together. Normally that would make me DNF a book, but I think the fact that I was laughing and I was fascinated by the magic made me want to keep reading. But the plot twist at the end was fun. And the end definitely leaves us open for another book in the series. I can't wait to see what is in store next for these sitters. I hope their coven grows! I surprised even myself by reading two witch books in a row, but it seems the fall is all about witches. And I'm not even mad about it. Bring on all the spooky, witchy, fall-y (?) things!
MIthahReads 21 days ago
Thank you to Netgalley and Delacorte Press for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I was so excited to get an arc of this book, and man. It did not disappoint! This was such a fast, intriguing debut novel. Esme and her bff, Janis, are fashion queens. I loved the descriptions of their outfits and the names for them. They’re just trying to get through high school then make their way out of their small town. Then something crazy happens. Esme learns she has telekenesis and things.get.cray. I was a babysitter when I was younger, so I loved that so much of the book revolved around that. I loved the magic and spells. Cassandra was iffy at times, but in the end I really liked her! The friendship between Janis and Esme reminded me of me and my highschool friends. We still talk to this day, and I feel like that’s the relation ship they have! This is a perfect fall/Halloween book! Curl up with it, a PSL, and a nice blanket and you’re in for a good time! This was a super fast read that kept me intrigued the whole way through. I can’t wait to see what happens to our Sitters in book 2! (Coming fall 2020. SO FAR AWAY!)
ruthsic 25 days ago
The Babysitter's Coven definitely has a Buffy influence, but with much more snark about the concept and a bit of humor. Esme is part of a small Babysitter's Club, which is mostly her and her friend Janis hanging out, and the occasional gig. She mostly lays low, so when the new girl Cassandra goes out of her way to join her, she is surprised. Pretty soon, she discovers that they both have powers, powers that seem to be connected to their mothers and powers that give them responsibility in an old Sitterhood (no that isn't a typo). For now, though, they have to catch a child abducter who may or may not be a demon. Firstly, I loved Esme as a protagonist, because she is entertaining in her descriptions, and also there's the fact that she and Janis both 'theme' their outfits daily. She is the tempering presence to Cassandra's brash confidence and recklessness, though she herself undertakes risky things later on in the book. The first half was slow and there was no 'Sitting' going on, but the second half makes up for the slack, delivering us action, some nice plot twists (predictable if you have read a certain other similar witchy book) and some nice stakes for future books. I love the occasional gag like their Counsel being too busy with his 'cover job' to take their education seriously, but there were also times that they were comically not funny, like the villain face-down in the ending (why would he even come back there if he got what he wanted?); overall, though, it is entertaining enough and is a quick read, nevertheless.
KarenfromDothan 28 days ago
Outsiders Esme and Janis have a babysitters club. It’s not the most popular club in Spring River as they’re the only two members. When hot new girl in town Cassandra wants to join, they’re more than a little suspicious. Then when someone keeps trying to kidnap their charges, and Esme and Cassie discover they have magic powers things get really weird. First time novelist, Kate Williams, has written a captivating story centered around seventeen year old Esme Pearl. Esme is a complex character. She’s avant-garde when it comes to fashion choices, loves kids, is a bit of a klutz and is surprisingly brave. There’s a hunky guy, magic spells and plenty of action to keep you entertained. I thoroughly enjoyed this first book in a new YA series and am looking forward to the next installment.
WHarris 29 days ago
I’ve been extremely excited about this book since I first heard about it. Describing it as Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer was the best way to suck me in because who doesn’t love both of those things?! I admit that I think I had preconceived notions about this book, which is probably why I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I think I expected more elements of adventure and less daily life and outfit references. I appreciated laying down the foundation and backstory, but after awhile, even once the powers were discovered, everything continued to move slowly. I kept reading though because the premise was still pretty cool and of course I wanted to find out what happened. The mystery of who the hell was showing up at these babysitting jobs was too juicy to give up. It wasn’t until about the 60% mark that everything started to pick up and from then the story snowballed and everything moved very quickly. I think that was my major drawback with this book: the pacing. I did absolutely love the story behind Esme’s mom. I had been wondering if my theory around that was right and it partially was, so that was great. The true villain, not the pawn, was a surprise which was also great. Character wise, Cassandra was not my cup of tea, but I did like Janis and Esme. Their friendship was so cute and I hope to see more of that in the next installment. Overall, despite the pacing, once I adjusted my expectations I actually enjoyed this read. Were there some flaws, yes, but not enough to make me give up and definitely not enough to miss out when the sequel is released next year. Hopefully, that read will be even better.
Charles Templeton 29 days ago
Thank you so much to NetGalley for this ARC! I am always down for a novel with a Chosen One, witches, or anything set around Halloween, and this book gave me all three! It had heavy Buffy the Vampire Slayer Vibes with The Craft undertones, yet made a lore all its own that was so original and fun! We follow Kate, a babysitter. She and her friend Janis comprise the Babysitter’s Club, so named after the popular book series. There were more to the group, but as the other girls grew up and found high school interests, they drifted apart. Kate and Janis are the only two left, until Cassandra Heaven moves to their school. She pushes her way into the club and into Kate’s life, and we soon learn that the two have supernatural powers that neither one can explain. They set out on a mission to find the reason for their powers and to solve the mystery of their parents: Kate’s mom is in an asylum, and both Cassandra’s mom and dad are dead. It doesn’t take too much snooping for them to trace Cassandra’s mom’s spells and odd occurrences back to an unlikely ally who reveals themselves to be the Giles to their Buffy. They show the two their responsibilities as Sitters, and just in time. There is an evil force at work that they must stop, and before innocents are lost. I loved the magic usage in this, and how spells were easily cast with items you might have around the house! It felt so much more accessible rather than tracking down a Black Market seller of toad’s livers or the back tooth from a mastodon. The lore was also so inviting, with the inclusion of why the Babysitter trope is so important in horror movies. The Halloween setting gave it that spooky and unpredictable vibe, and let me wanting the smell of fake blood in the air! I can’t wait to see what awaits us in the sequel!
SkyeWright 29 days ago
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher I was able to read this book in exchange for an honest review. *** The Babysitters Coven is the first in a series that follows Esme as she discovers that not only does she and new girl Cassandra have special powers but they are part of a select few chosen to guard the world from evil. They are... the sitters. Esme and Cassandra are interesting, fun characters with general, witty banter. (Best friend Janis is the gift that keeps on giving and did not get enough appreciation, she is the true MVP.) Sounds like a fantastic and fun read and for some it most definitely will be but it took well over half the book for anything to really happen. The book really drags in the beginning and could have had more set up for what is going on in the background. There could have been more hints or something to keep me interested. When it really does start in on the action it just keeps on going until it hits a brick wall that is an ending that isn’t really an ending because, this is the first in a series. Esme is a smart capable teenager who is really, really into fashion, and as someone who is not the talk of it and description of outfits got a little old and tired after the first couple times. Cassandra is a take no bull kind of character, the kind who stands firm in front of people and yells “you’re not the boss of me” which I like, no lie. Maybe it’s my age though but she could have done with learning tact though. Part of my overall, personal issue with the book is it is first person, which is my least preferred pov in a book so there is that. The book is fun enough and there is potential, hopefully the second book will get more of that.
TheBakersBooks 30 days ago
The first two acts of The Babysitters Coven were good in a nostalgia-mixed-with-modernity kind of way. I enjoyed that the story didn't take itself too seriously but also didn't undervalue the teen characters' emotions and stresses. However, the final third of the book deteriorated into an unapologetic copy of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in a way that felt boring at best and like a cheap knockoff at worst. Older readers who enjoyed Buffy and/or The Baby-Sitter's Club books when they were younger might like this for the throwback value, but I can't see it appealing greatly to today's teens.
Anonymous 30 days ago
The Babysitters Coven reads like a love letter to 80’s and 90’s cult classics. It’s entertaining, funny and engaging while remaining fairly self aware. It’s pitched as Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which I can see 100% and is mainly the reason why I decided to pick it up, along with the cover art. Let’s take a second to admire that amazing cover. The plot does read a lot like a Buffy half-season arc with the promise of more “Big Bads” but the ending kind of wraps itself up in a pretty bow without much wiggle room. I’d be interested to see where the series goes from there. I did enjoy Esme and Janice’s friendship even though there were points in the book where it did dip into the whole “these three girls are cool, all the others are kinda mean.” trope. Cassandra was just enough of a Faith-like character without going overboard. Her personality really added to the story, she was my favorite character by far. There were a lot of older pop culture references that might fall a bit flat on the younger generations unless they were heavy into the 80’s and 90’s. I understood all of them, but I’m also in my early 30’s. All in all I did enjoy it and found it entertaining once the plot began to pick up. I don’t know if that was just a pacing issue or a character development issue, but I felt like there was a bit of a lag where the second act and third act kind of bled together. I think it’s pretty fun and modern. Something a little more tongue in cheek for the Riverdale/Sabrina crowd with a 90’s twist.
The-Broke-Book-Bank 30 days ago
The first half of the Babysitters Coven is all about Esme's life and its downward trajectory as mysterious things keep happening and Cassandra integrates herself inside it. It takes that long to get past the blurb & into new territory but there's always something happening so I honestly didn't notice until I wrote this review. The we get some training, a PowerPoint demonstration, and a racing against the clock show down on Halloween. Here's the rundown: >Cute. >Snarky >Vintage fashionistas BFFs >BFF is the one local black girl who's too cool for her >Not an angel heaven & demon hell set up >Doing the right thing is innate feels simplistic and naive to this jaded adult but I understand the appeal. Hopefully this will be fleshed out later, especially given the differences between Esme and Cassandra >Stupid boys are stupid >Mean cheerleaders >Small town football >Unexpected ending. >Old spellbooks >Hot older brother love interest >Single dad >Horror movie fans If there's any negative, it's that I would've gone with different explanations for pop culture "coincidences". But there's a lot more going on here obviously and that opinion of mine might change with the next installments The Babysitters Coven is a fun romping adventure perfect for fans of YA paranormal like Undead Girl Gang and A Blade So Black with content recommendable to the younger end of the YA readership.
Anonymous 3 months ago
3.75/5 ★ The Babysitters Coven is an average, if not a mediocre book at best. The writing was not great and it seemed like the author was trying really hard to appeal to teenagers. But, most teenagers don't talk the way the ones in this book do. Nobody says LOL or AF out loud. This was written like a bad 90's movie and not even in a good way. There were also points where it seemed like the author was trying to name drop every young person reference they could so that it seemed relatable. But it wasn't. And I know this is Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer but they were practically ripping Buffy off at certain points. There were Sitters and their Counsels, aka Slayers and their Watchers. This sounds like I'm just being nitpicky but it was super obvious that the author just took elements from Buffy instead of basing it off Buffy. And then tried to make it okay by actually name dropping Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the book. I don't know, this book didn't turn out okay until like 70% in and that's because of the major twists that the author threw in there.
aelily 3 months ago
I was really excited for more witchy ya books but this just wasn’t what I expected in any way and it ended up being really disappointing. The writing is clunky and yes, I know this is a paranormal/fantasy, but it was super unbelievable at times and made me cringe with the exaggerated slang. The premise is that Esme has powers and meets a new girl at school who shocker ALSO has powers. They find out they both come from a long line of “sitters” and have to save the world. It’s cute in a way and reminds me a lot of Buffy which the synopsis boasts. The thing is though, it just wasn’t good. It was cheesy and mostly a headache to read. While I am sympathetic towards Esme I also could not stand her at the same time. Apparently this is part one of a series so maybe the next book will be better. Points to the super cute cover and also Esme’s dog Pig. The true hero of the series. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC. All opinions are my own.
TinKitchenBooks 3 months ago
The Babysitters Coven doesn’t have the story to back up its fun hook. A shallow series-starter that might have been more successful as upper-Middle Grade. I received an advance review copy of this title from the publisher in expectation of an honest review. No money changed hands for this review and all opinions are my own.
Caroles_Random_Life 3 months ago
I thought that this was a fun book! I really didn't know too much about the book when I picked it up but I just couldn't seem to look away from that gorgeous cover. Once I picked it up and started reading, I was completely sold. This book did a lot of things really well and made for a very entertaining read. I am so glad that I decided to give this book a try. Esme and her best friend Janis are members (the only members) of a babysitters club. When they aren't babysitting, they are busy looking for clothes at thrift shops or just putting together that perfect outfit. When a new girl moves to town and wants to join their club, they are shocked. Did I mention that there are some strange things happening to Esme? Let's just say that Esme has a whole lot on her plate and more than a few things to figure out. I loved Esme. She hasn't had it easy but she is strong and seems to deal with everything pretty well. I loved Esme's sense of humor. I liked the fact that she doesn't always know what to do and is sometimes uncertain as I think anyone in her situation would be. Janis was a pretty amazing best friend as well. She was there when Esme really needed her and seemed to be the best kind of support for her. I did have to warm up to Cassandra a bit. I wasn't sure of her but a big part of that was probably due to the fact that Esme wasn't sure of her either. This was a really quick read for me. I really liked the humor that was a part of this story. I didn't expect this to be such a funny book but I think that the humor really helped to set the overall tone. I liked the paranormal elements that were a part of the story as well. I thought that everything from the spells to the more action-packed scenes had a nice balance of mystery, humor, and magic. I did feel like the story slowed down a bit in the middle but I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a very well done introduction to a promising series. I look forward to future adventures with Esme and her friends! I received an advanced copy of this book from Delacorte Press.
kozbisa 3 months ago
Esme was content with her babysitting gigs and planning her daily fashion statements, but the winds were a-changing. First, there were the inexplicable babysitting events, as well as chain of strange accidents that occurred in Esme's presence. With the arrival of a mysterious new girl, Cassandra, she began to discover more and more about her mother's past and how it affected her present. Together, Esme and Cassandra assumed their roles as babysitters, but would they be able to fulfill their destiny? I have a thing for books featuring present-day witches. Maybe it's all the episodes of Charmed I watched back in the day or it could be my love for The Craft, but I always tend to enjoy these witchy stories, and I can say, I had a fun time reading about Esme's adventures. Initial Impressions I adored Esme. I am all for the snark (as long as it's not directed at me), and Esme was well-versed in the art. Her observations and musings were quite amusing. I laughed a LOT as I was being introduced to her and her world. What I Liked • I had a great time getting to know the ins and outs of Esme's daily life. Her dad and her dog were top-notch. Her father had a lot on his plate, but he tried to be as present as possible for Esme, which was a challenge given their situation. And, you know, the way to my heart is via the pet. Piggy was a great sidekick, and Williams let the dog shine quite a bit. • Janis was a delight. She was a good friend, and she really surprised me later in the story. • Esme and Janis' passion for fashion was too much fun. I loved waiting to hear about their daily outfits, which were so outrageous, and I had the best time shopping with them. • The spells used to activate their kinesis were rather amusing. They often had to gather quite an interesting array of items, and I got a hoot of trying to figure out the connection to the power. • There were a few interesting reveals, and I thought the idea of the babysitters, the lore, and their mission was pretty cool. • I liked that Williams acknowledged the Buffy vibes head-on. I remember reading a part, and thinking, "This reminds me of Buffy," and on the next page, Esme directly drew the comparison. I am a huge Buffy fan and was not sad to see those allusions, though there were these "vibes, I felt like this was still very much its own story. • When I read a series, I like when there is an overarching story arc, and one that is exclusive to each book. That was how this story was structured, and I am always grateful for any amount of closure I can get. What I Didn't Like I wouldn't say there was much I didn't like. As far as criticism goes, it did take quite a while for the whole idea of the babysitters to be revealed, but once we delved into that world, things really took off. Overall I think it's important to understand, that this is the first book in a series, and I didn't expect to learn each and everything about the babysitters in this book. With that said, I am looking forward to learning more about Esme and the other sitters and seeing them restore order to their world.
Anonymous 21 days ago
It seemed like most of the excitement happened at the end of the book.