The Babysitters Coven
Author: Kate Williams
Publication Date: 17 September 2019
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: 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.
Esme Pearl and her best friend Janis are two high school BFFs that have a passion for quirky fashion and babysitting. Each day presents a new opportunity for this duo to show of their wild style, but they tend to keep to themselves rather than immerse themselves in stereotypical high school cliques. The babysitting club originally started as an excuse to hangout, but they do still get babysitter requests (even on an old school burner phone).
Things start getting really weird for Esme. One night while babysitting one of her regulars, the little boy ends up outside on the roof in the middle of the night and swears that something akin to The Goblin King was after him. To make matters worse, whenever Esme gets remotely upset, things magically start moving…like a certain dodgeball incident that goes awry.
Next thing we know, in comes Cassandra Heaven. She’s the new girl who’s desperately trying to be a part of Esme and Janis’ babysitter club even though she has no real babysitting experience. She seems oddly focused on Esme, and finally reveals to Esme that she knows that Esme is telekinetic and that she is pyrokinetic (firestarter anyone?!). Now it’s up to the girls to figure out where their powers come from and what they mean…all without dying from the dangers lurking in the shadows, of course.
This was such a fun and fast read that was a fresh take on the whole teenage witch trope. I loved the snarky banter, the humor, the Buffy the Vampire references, the bonding over babysitting, etc. This book brought me back to my 13 year old self. That being said, this is definitely one of those YA books that is meant for a younger YA audience and bridges the gap between MG and YA. However, don’t think that those of us older folks can’t enjoy it as well.
Overall, if you’re looking for a fun, witchy read this upcoming spooky season, definitely pick up this wonderful debut by Kate Williams. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!
Thank you to Delacorte Press and NetGalley for providing an eARC. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.