Tuesday, January 7, 2020

The Babysitters Coven by Kate Williams-- Barely any babysitting, no Coven.

The Babysitters Coven

Esme is just hanging out and doing her babysitter's club thing when weird things start happening.  Things she's thinking start becoming reality and she cannot control it-- disaster ensues.

When new girl Cassandra forces her way into Esme's life, she's kind of taken aback... but then she meets Cass's hot brother.... and finds out that there's a connection between Cass's parents and her mentally-ill mother.

Powers, magic, spells, super-secret organizations, world-saving.  Esme's dull life is about to get wild.

I have A LOT to say about this book, and you may not want to hear it because it's not a bunch of good things.  I had high hopes for this book (I mean, just look at that cover!!) and it just did not live up.

First off, the potential for this story is SO high.  I feel like every reader I know would start salivating over a Baby-sitters Club + Buffy + The Craft mash-up.  Just the idea of it makes me want to get up and do a dance.  And I so wish that I could say this book made me feel that way too, but it just didn't.

The Babysitters Coven is about Esme, who babysits for extra money and may or may not be discovering new powers.  It isn't until a new girl at school comes around that Esme learns what is truly going on-- she has telekinesis!!  And new girl can make fire.  It seems there's a complicated family history that connects the girls-- and they're about the find out that it's so much bigger than just them.  They're being tasked to save the world... and the kids!!

I don't even know where to start with this book, so I think I'll make a list for you:

  • Teen Talk.  It's the bane of my reading existence.  Do author's think that teens actually talk this way??  This book is so full of abbreviations (GTFO, AF, BRB, WTF, IDK...) and they happen during dialogue AND when the character is talking in her own head.  Who actually SAYS GTFO??  Texting-- fine.  But the way this was written it felt like the author was trying to be "cool" and it took me right out of the story.
  • The Outfits.  At first I really really liked this aspect.  After a while though, they got so costumey and over-the-top, that it started to feel like a gimmick rather than a fun part of the character's personality.  It was pretty unbelievable that Esme and her BFF Janis dressed this way everyday and none of the kids at school even batted an eye at it.  Sometimes they dressed low-key, but more often than not they were full on Halloween costuming it.  I tend to think someone who wants to design their own fashion line would have a specific aesthetic and style rather than to just dress up like other people all the time.
  • The 90's.  If you know me, you know I LIVE for the 90's.  BUT-- I kind of hate when I read a YA book and alllll the references are to the 80's and 90's movies and music.  It reeks of an older person trying to write younger people.  I don't think teens today are running around talking about all the stuff that I grew up loving.  Is there a 90's influence today? Hell yes!!  But I think teens have their own pop culture too.
  • Buffy.  I was still with the book until the Buffy-stuff came in.  Unfortunately, this was also about the time that book's action started picking up, so it was a Catch-22.  The thing is, when Esme and Cass find out what they're actually apart of (AKA- the world building), it ends up being exactly Buffy.  Just no.  It can have a Buffy feel, but you can't just legit steal Buffy's world.  That's lazy.  The Watchers, the Council, the training, the Hellmouth-- it's all present and accounted for.
  • BSC. Once we're let in on what exactly this whole Sitter thing is-- the reason behind having them be babysitters became so THIN to me.  There should have been a link to babysitting beyond the name Sitter.  There should have been a club with the connections like the BSC had.
  • The Coven.  Where was it??  They did some spells, and they actually were pretty cool, but it wasn't near witchy enough for me.  I wanted "Guardians of the Watchtowers of the North" and shit.  I wanted there to be 4 girls in an actual Coven.
  • Convenience.  I don't think there's anything I hate more in books than when things happen conveniently.  The character needs to know how to do something??  Oh, here's a book to tell you!!  The book is just full of lists of things and no one really knows how it works??  Well, the character magically just KNOWS what to do with these lists.  I won't even get into how convenient the ending is-- but it's basically ridiculous.
  • Dion.  NO.  Of course the love interest is the most beautiful guy to ever walk the planet.  And the girl is the "I don't know I'm pretty" girl.
  • No Mystery.  I knew who the bad person was.  Everyone who reads this is going to know who the bad person is.

Basically, the only thing I did like was the best friend, Janis.  She was cool and deserved better.  Also, I thought it was super readable-- like even though the bullet list above was happening, I was still flying through it-- so it was doing something right with the writing flow.  And it was rather refreshing for the book to almost feel like a Middle Grade book.  I like edgy, but I think there's a definite place for the younger style YA.

OVERALL: Nope.  So sad to say that I can't do it with this one.  With such HUGE comparisons (BSC, The Coven, Adventures in Babysitting, Buffy), it's going to have to be better than this.  I think I would recommend this to early YA readers.  It skews towards Middle Grade in feel, and that's who I think should be reading this.

Date Published: 9/17/2019
How I got this book: Thanks to Delacorte Press & PRH for providing me with an advanced copy to read and honestly review.
Publisher: Delacorte Press

Add it to your To-Read List!!

My Rating: 2.5/5

Character: Esme & Janis
Book: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

  • Esme and Janis would like and appreciate Lola's style (she liked to dress-up in costumes too).  AND I think they could both use a Cricket in their lives.


  1. I was kind of disappointed by this as well - part of it I chalked up to it being the first in a series, so the author had to kind of lay all the groundwork. I too thought the dialogue was ridiculous, and it always kind of bugs me when the characters describe what they're wearing, like they're trying too hard to be cool, different, or edgy.

    1. Yeah... this just wasn't great. It had a great premise, but not original enough for me to like it.

  2. I agree. I had super high hopes for this one. I did like Esme as a character - she was truly funny at times. But nothing happened until the very end. The middle seemed to be a lot of thrift shopping and changing clothes. Sob!!

    LOL yes! I definitely got a Lola vibe from Janis.

    1. It's so sad when you are really excited about a book and then BLAH. I just did not think this one did enough-- it totally could have, but I think it needs reworked :(