Author: Gina Damico (@ginadamico)
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Series: Croak #1
The Other Books: Scorch
Challenge: Debut Reads of 2012
Seek: Amazon, Goodreads
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?
The ether was giddy and fun, but this–whatever it was–this was excruciating.
Both body and mind were racked with an electrical current the likes of which Lex had never experienced–an almost otherworldly sensation pulsing up and down her twitching nerves, tearing into the very depths of her–
Teen Reapers? I have never read a book about Reapers or seen anything like it. So, when I heard about this book, I jumped right on it. It has everything I want in a book. An interesting premise, a funny trailer, and it had me hooked from the very first chapter. This book was purely awesome. Only thing I didn’t like was, I guessed who killed people before anyone else did. But everything else in this book I enjoyed.
Lex was an interesting character from the beginning. You don’t meet a lot of characters that are truly bad, and then end up liking them. Lex is a very feisty, bad girl. You don’t want to do anything to get attention from her. She isn’t afraid to beat the crap out of anyone, even if you are an adult. Her parents don’t know what else to do but send her to her uncle’s in the country. Maybe some fresh her will change her behavior. At least, they hope.
When she arrives, she can’t force her uncle into anything because well he’s no normal adult. And Croak, where he lives, is no normal little town. Her uncle is a grim reaper and he brought Lex there, to learn how to become a Grim. Lex has finally felt like she belongs somewhere but being a grim reaper has some conflict. Like her watching a killer get away with murder.
Lex doesn’t think they should let the killers get away. However her job isn’t to justify these crimes, it’s to collect souls to send them into the Afterlife. But when people start dying from an unknown cause, she and the other junior grims start investigating.
I really enjoyed this story and characters. There were so many parts that I couldn’t stop laughing or smiling. I love the group of Junior Reapers. I especially love the partnership of Driggs and Lex.
The ending was a little hard on me, that I did not see coming. However, I can’t wait to continue on with the next novel. I am really glad I don’t have to wait a year!