Wattpad. Jul. 2021. 356p. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9781989365342.
Gr 8 Up–Mildred’s life stinks. She is relentlessly bullied for her weight, her pockmarked skin, her lack of fashion sense, her average brain, and, most of all, her inability to stand up for herself. When adults fail her, Mildred is desperate for any escape. She uses dark magic to turn herself into the conduit for a demon who can give her everything she ever dreamed of—as long as she helps fulfill the demon’s hunger. Soon Mildred finds herself committing haunting, grotesque murders and quickly losing control of her soul. This book is not for the faint of heart or anyone uncomfortable with gore. While readers may be desperate to know how the story ends, the book takes too long to get to the point, dragging at the beginning and emphasizing Mildred’s hopeless state before bouncing between viewpoints to give side characters some minor dimension before killing them off just pages later. While the violent murders are described in gruesome detail, the logistics of Mildred’s world aren’t as clear, including parents who are absent for weeks at a time, extreme bullying ignored by school officials, and teenagers with endless freedom even as a serial killer wanders their town. Mildred has a half Japanese great-grandmother but is otherwise described as white and possibly asexual. Almost all other characters are cued as white.
VERDICT An uneven novel that may appeal to fans of Riverdale and gore-filled high-school horror films.

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