Review: Croak

Croak (Croak #1) by Gina Damico

Release Date ~ March 20, 2012
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN13: 9780547822563
Signed ARC received from author in charity auction

Goodreads Synopsis: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?

Croak is a fantastically fun and hilarious new book, and one that I am so happy is breaking through into the YA scene, because I haven't read anything quite like it before!

There's nothing typical about this read; you'll be pleasantly surprised (as I was) when you pick it up and instantly be drawn to it's many characters, especialy Lex, Driggs (swoon!) and Lex's uncle.
  1. Fun, quirky take on paranormal:

    Croak isn't your typical YA paranormal read; it isn't filled with brooding, mysterious boys AND there's a parental figure (which I love). I love that Croak doesn't limit itself to stereotypes, but instead branches out and proves that a fantastic book doesn't have to stay in line with all the trends. The take on grim reapers was refreshingly creative, and I loved reading about this new world!
  2. Sarcastic sense of humour:
    I loved Lex as a narrator and MC because she had such a fantastic sense of humour! I kept chuckling to myself while reading, and loved the banter between Lex and Drigs and even her Uncle Mort. Croak features a cast of great characters, and I liked how Gina really brought a sense of humour into the mix. I loved Drigs, and Mort, they were wonderful characters that really balanced out Lex.
  3. Some deeper issues mixed in:
    But I also appreciated that Gina didn't shy away from incorporating some more serious aspects to the story. It isn't all fun and games, and there are some real problems to be addressed and dealt with. And she doesn't make light of death either, but instead brings it into a whole new perspective.
Croak is one of those books that every fan of YA should read: it's unique and a whole lot of fun, one that I think is really going to have widespread appeal regardless of age or gender. There's easily something for everyone in this read with it's mix of paranormal, romance, wit, adventure, and mystery! :)

I will say that I think the book could have taken some of its deeper themes a bit further and really fleshed them out; but I think we're going to see a bit more of that in the sequel (fingers crossed!) so I'll reserve judgment on that front until then.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery



Christina Kit. said...

I've been drooling over Croak for such a long time! I saw the book trailer a while ago, but when I saw that it's a completely unique concept (a town full of reapers called Croak? Names like Uncle Mort? moral and ethical dilemmas about pre-emptively going after killers?) I was totally sold!

But I also keep reading about the main character's voice and humor, which is just so important when it comes to really connecting with the character. This whole book sounds like a really great read:)

And the main character sounds like she's been having a tough time in her "normal" life, as if she needs this move to Croak - which also whispers of character development. And there's a romantic storyline:)

Thanks for this review, because it really reinforced everything I hoped the book would be. I love that although the story is dark and can be serious, there's a fun vibe throughout, beginning with the cover:) That's such a refreshing take.

Christina Kit. said...

Eep, forgot my email ccfioriole at gmail dot com

bookworm105 said...

Thabks for the review. Now I'm more excited to read Croak!

miki said...

i don't know why but i'm a bit afraid it will be too dark

miki said...

oups sorry forgot the email


Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

I'm definitely more excited to read this one than I was when I first heard about it. I like the idea that it is unique from all the other YA books out there. Great review!

Lexie said...

Awesome, awesome review. :D I've wanted to read this one for ages now. It just sounds so very different, not a book to rely on the many stereotypical YA tropes of today. I love the concept, and I love that everyone seems enamored with Lex's narration. It's always fantastic when an author manages to include some humor in an otherwise morbid storyline.


Angkarina said...

Ah, I've read this one & I must say that your review is spot on. I'm definitely going to buy the sequel!

angkarina_angkasuwan at hotmail dot com

SacredmOOn said...

I've read a couple of author/guest-post interviews and loved them in the last few weeks! I'm excited to read this book. Hopefully soon. *crosses fingers* Great review!
DeAnna Schultz

ChristasBooks said...

So happy you liked this one! It was so funny and you're right there are definitely some more serious issues lurking here. A great read :)

Criss said...

This is a new one, never read a Reaper book before, I loved your review and stepping out of the norm with parenting skills can be a good thing. Lex sounds sort of blood thirsty, although the darkness this book contains is definitely peeking my interesting.


Stella Chen said...

I love the concept of this book. I liked how you pointed out the humour. I can't wait to read this now.


Brenda Demko said...

Thanks for the review. I am definitely adding this one to my wishlist. :D

franchie15 said...

The idea of this book creeps me out. Seriously. But I definitely find it amusing! Like you said, I think it goes out of the comfort zone of YA paranormal books!


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