Title: Croak (Croak #1)
Author: Gina Damico
Release Date: March 20th, 2012
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Read: April 2nd, 2012
Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure.
He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.
Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer.
Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?
What I thought:
I absolutely loved this book, and will be getting my own copy pretty soon, as well as pre-ordering a copy of the second book which is due out in September or 2012.
But now onto the review! One of the things I loved the most were the characters. Not only were they full of emotion, but they made me laugh a lot. Lex’s humour and witty attitude, Driggs and his love for Oreos, her Uncle Mort and his weird ways, and the friends she meets there, I loved reading about all of them.
The story centers around Lex, who is very close to being expelled from school. Once an A+ student, she finds herself filled with such rage that she can’t control. She takes it out on anyone she can at school, beating them up. Her only friend is her twin sister.
Her parents decide that to shape up her attitude, she’s to spend the summer with her Uncle Mort, whom she hasn’t seen since she was a little kid. He supposedly lives on a farm, and she will be working for him, taking care of cows. After a huge fight, she arrives in the town of Croak, a tiny town with weird shop names and just as weird people.
When she gets there, she realizes there is no farm, and no cows, but she will definitely be working. Her uncle is a Grim (reaper), and she will be joining in on this business. After the initial shock, she becomes a natural, she makes friends, and she becomes more happy. Then it appears as though someone is murdering others, when they weren’t supposed to die, and they can’t figure out how. They start to wonder if it was an inside job, someone they may know. And the Juniors of the Grims want to take it into their own hands and figure it out.
Aside from the characters, I loved the story for this, the aspect of Grim Reapers, along with the little bits of comedy, I just could not put this book down, I finished it pretty quickly too. The writing was so good!
I suggest this book for anyone looking for a great read, with some paranormal elements, humour, and young adult fiction fun.