Scout's Honor / Lily Anderson / Book Review


The Mission of Ladybird Scouts is to promote peace, prudence, and public good.

For Prudence Perry, being a legacy Ladybird Scout was a point of pride. Born into a family of monster hunters sworn to protect humanity from interdimensional emotion-eating grubs, being a Ladybird was her destiny. Masquerading as friendly neighborhood girl scouts, bake sales and tea parties included, the Ladybirds were her whole life. Until her best friend, a fellow Ladybird, died on a hunt. That was when Prudence quit the Ladybirds. She's been trying to forget--the blood, the death, the multidimensional monsters that still pop into her life--for the past three years, without success.

hat's what the Tea of Forgetting is for, and she doesn't have access to it--plus, her mom won't let her throw away her legacy. But when a night-out-gone-wrong results in Prudence being pulled back into the Ladybirds for one last summer, this time as a Scout trainer, she finally sees her chance: if she succeeds this summer, she'll get her own access to the Tea and her chance to move on from that dark past. Forever. But things have changed since her time in the Ladybirds, for the worse. The Baby Birds she has taken under her wing don't stand a chance, and Prudence's fighting instincts are hard to ignore now that she's been pushed back into the field. She doesn't just need to make it through the summer. She has to help these girls make it, too--before it's too late.



This book is absolutely delightful. Lily Anderson does a great job with the super campy and super fun proper-ladies-turned-killer trope . At the same time, this tried-and-true trope has been updated for a modern audience. The impact of blood, violence, and the death of friends on young minds--the true toll of living such a life--aren't left unsaid. The price of being the Chosen Ones is heavy--and that helps to balance out the silly fun of this book to make it something great.


Campy This book, as I have already said, is over-the-top and exaggerated in the best way possible. It embraces its tropes. It's all fun concept and better execution. The multidimensional emotion-sucking monsters are extra campy, some good gruesome fun, and the Ladybirds are just as over-the-top in their rituals, though they're grounded in their persons--the perfect balance. This girl gang is pure fun (and not gender-exclusive).

Mental Health Rep A lot of stories featuring monster-fighting teenagers have emotional backstories involving violent and gruesome deaths at the hands of monsters. These brutal backstories add emotional impact and high stakes, of course, but a lot of writers neglect the impact such experiences would have on mental health. Not so here. Prudence Perry, witness to her best friend's brutal end, struggles. She suffers from PTSD. Her anxiety, already a factor before Molly died, has only increased since. And, in training the new scouts to take up the gauntlet, she doesn't let this experience fall to the wayside. She teaches them to fight monsters, of course, but she also teaches them to care for themselves and for each other--because self-care is important, even in a world of volatile monsters.

Female Friends A lot of books featuring high school girls in a contemporary setting have these girls pitted against each other. Jealousy, cat fights, and the silent treatment with a heavy side of manipulation is kind of the norm--and I hate that. Here, these girls fit the demographic, but they actually like each other. They support each other as friends and as people. They have fun together without stabbing each other in the back. And their ultimate friend group isn't ladies-only. Their group expands to include a handful of others as well--and without including any sort of unnatural romantic tension.


The beginning here, before I as a reader knew exactly what was going on, was a little rough. Prudence, obviously, knows more about the world around her, and she doesn't explain everything outright. The narrative, necessarily, jumps between what she knows (to help readers make sense of her fears and concerns) and what is happening right now. These jumps, between necessary worldbuilding and immediate action, were a bit discombobulating. I wish the worldbuilding had been fitted in a bit more seamlessly at the very start. Cognitive Jumps

Of course, there's got to be a training montage here, right? If there was one part of this book that I think didn't embrace "camp" enough, it was the training. What existed was good, but it wasn't enough. I wanted more--which is perhaps a pro also wrapped up in a critique. Lackluster Training Montage

It's a good build, but it's a slow build. If you're wanting monsters left and right--with lots of gratuitous stabbing--this one probably isn't for you. I like it. I thought the pace was almost-right. But it's not constant action, lots of fight scenes, or anything like that. It's all about character with a side of monster fighting. Slow Build



Those looking for the fun of Gail Carriger's Etiquette and Espionage in an updated setting will enjoy this new group of monster hunters. Anyone who appreciated the socially-anxious main character of Tricia Levenseller's Blade of Secrets will love these new girls and their focus on self-care.


Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Date: April 5, 2022
Series: N/A
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Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own.


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