Croak by Gina Damico
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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?
**This book was provided to us by the publisher and we were in no way paid for our review.
The review was done simply because we support the author and their work**
The whole concept of this book is what drew me to it. Having to learn that your life is forever changed because your destiny is to be a grim? No, not a “Grimm” from the t.v. show. A grim as in…Grim reaper! In this tale woven by Gina Damico, we are fully immersed into a world of death. (As a grim, what else would you be doing?)
Dark and delicious, Croak tells a story from the eyes of 16 year old Lex Bartleby who is forced to live with her Uncle Morte for some good old fashion hard work, due to her reckless and destructive behaviour. Little did Lex know that her time at the town, Croak, would not consist of heavy duty farm work, but rather coming to grips with her destiny as a grim. It was very interesting to see how Lex’s life and attitude changes as she lives her new life, and it is equally interesting to see how she struggles with how to deal with her old life, back at home. Although we see how tough and damaging Lex is at home, we see a softer side of her when she talks about and interacts with her twin sister, Cordy.
Damico’s writing style is so addicting. The descriptions she provides in relation to the deaths that Lex deals with throughout the novel is so great that the reader will be able to picture the various forms of death found, as well as seeing the impact each discovery has on Lex. Not only do we get to read about how Lex learns to deal with her new found life, we are also thrust into a mystery where a fellow grim has turned into a Vigilante and has taken it upon themselves in determining the fate of lowlifes and criminals, by their own hands.
With that being said, the many characters that we are introduced to in Croak are an unforgettable crew, and a favorite will be found. I couldn’t help but find myself crushing on Lex’s partner and sidekick, Driggs. His sarcasm and his quick comebacks made him easily crushable. It was very entertaining to read the interactions between Driggs and Lex. Their witty back and forth banter was hilarious and was something that I was always looking forward to reading. There were many points throughout the book that I found myself literally laughing out loud! I am seriously loving Damico’s sense of humour, and I loved seeing it in the book. Those of you who follow her on Twitter or her blog will see that her humour extends beyond just Croak, and that most of her tweets consist of the same humour. Damico has taken her time in developing all the characters and has breathed so much life into them.
Fans of a darker read, with a hand full of humour will completely fall in love with Croak. This is one book that you definitely do not want to miss out on.