Croak (Croak #1) by Gina DamicoRelease Date ~ March 20, 2012
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
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.