Tuesday, January 8, 2013

You'd better be Dead if you don't read this one!

TITLE:  Croak
AUTHOR: Gina Damico
PUBLISHED:  March 20, 2012
LENGTH: 320 Pages
RATING:  Young Adult 12 and over
GENRE:  Paranormal

My Rating:
Fed up with her wild behavior, sixteen-year-old Lex’s 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 shoveling manure. He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach Lex the family business. She quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. But Lex can’t stop her desire for justice—or is it vengeance? Whenever she encounters a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. Will she ditch Croak and go rogue with her reaper skills?


This story is full of dark humor! What I absolutely loved about this book is the fact that the main character of this story is an interesting mix of anger and confusion. Lex is a 16 year old Junior in High School. She continually gets into fights, lashes out at everything that upsets her. What is so unique is that she truly doesn’t understand why she gets so angry or why she reacts the way she does. She has a twin sister and a loving family and none of them can understand what has happened to the straight A student and loving family member.

Lex’s parents finally decide to send her to her Uncle Mort for a summer away, hoping that when Lex returns she will be back to the sweet girl they once knew. Lex reluctantly agrees to go and finds out that her Uncle Mort is far stranger than they knew and far more fun.

This book is about being a Grim, a reaper of souls. Gina Damico has created such an interesting and intense world. The amazing thing is that Lex “fits in”. She grows in Croak to be a confident teenager, secure in her abilities. Yet fearful of just how strong some of them are. The other thing I loved about the world creation is the Damico made a town where when people leave or enter the number on the sign changes. I also had to laugh at the names of shops and streets. Such wit in naming her business’s and I could see a town named Croak having street names and business names all about death.

Damico spent an immense amount of time in character creation and it shows. Lex is loveable and funny and the narration is perfect. The supporting characters such as Driggs or any of the other teens are all amazing. I loved that she didn’t put in the whole teen romance stuff that a lot of other YA authors seem to do. Uncle Mort is amazing and I hope she goes into a bit of his past. Other characters such as Pandora will make you laugh and Norwood will make you want to reach out and smack him.

Now his was a true coming of age story, where Lex finds out who and what she really is, and realizes what will make her happy. I can hope that Damico continues this story and tells us more about some of the background characters, especially Uncle Mort, he has peaked my interest so deeply.

Considering this is a Teen book and I am 45 you wouldn't think that I would personally recommend it to other's my age, however Croak is unlike other Teen books and I cannot recommend it highly enough! It was a fabulous read which kept me turning the pages and when I reached the end two hours later I immediately went online and looked for Scorch. I think that alone tells you what I think of this Author's talent in writing a story that sucks you in.

***I’ll give you the main reason why I ran out and bought Scorch, it’s because Croak ends on a cliff hanger! Now while this cliffhanger is subtle it is still there. It is a complete story as it stands and you could leave off reading there and be quite happy but I can see the larger story arc that is happening and I want to know more. So if you’re like me and hate ending a book before its completely finished grab a copy of Croak and Scorch because that way you will be happier in your reading endeavors.

I have to be honest here and say if I could give it more than 5 stars I would!

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