Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Croak by Gina Damico
Graphia, 2012
311 pages
YA; Contemporary; Paranormal
4/5 stars

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was drawn to this book due to the giant scythe on the cover. Was the plot about a teenage grim reaper? What would be the rules governing the world? My attention was definitely captured so I requested, received, downloaded, and read.

Happiness began when main character Lexington explained how she and her twin sister Concord were named after the beginning battles of the American Revolution due to their mother's obsession with history (more about this history thing later). But it was mingled with confusion as Lexie's violent tendencies have physically harmed almost everyone at her school-how was she not expelled earlier? Still she is informed that she will be visiting her Uncle Mort for the summer in order to hopefully release some of her anger. Leaving her town and especially her sister sounds awful but Lexie has no choice.

Almost upon arrival, Lexie discovers that she is a Killer; no, not like that but someone who releases the soul of a dead person, sending them on the way to the Afterlife, neither hell nor heaven but neutral. A Killer works with a Culler to handle the souls. Lexie is paired with Driggs, a very young Culler who lives with Mort as well. They pretty quickly develop a rapport with strong underlying sexual tension. But not all is well in their little town of death as someone among them is using their powers to go against their code of conduct, causing many mysterious deaths and setting everyone on edge. Lexie is one of the first people to realize this and thus begins searching for the culprit.

This was actually a pretty humorous book. Lexie is snarky and not at all pleased to be shipped off to nowheresville and her humor continues throughout the book. My personal favorite touch was seeing dead Theodore Roosevelt hassle others and haze newcomers-this is absolutely hilarious to imagine. But while the plot has plenty of suspense and the world is fun and imaginative, I felt a lack in the characters.

Mort is somewhat of an enigma, which actually for the story because he is not supposed to be well-known. He is just Lex's weird uncle. We get to see a little bit about him but I would like to know more.  I also would have liked more of the parents as mom's characterization was very vivid based on her love of American history and especially its weaponry but we don't get very much about them since they are at home. More Concord would have been good too given that she is Lex's closest friend.

And the romance was disappointing to me. Not because it was obviously forecast with Lex lusting after Driggs and their proximity solidifying their connection but because the banter between them did not speak of flirting to me. I read a lot of romantic comedies where the banter between the romantic leads seems to be leading to romance and love but most of Lex and Driggs' conversation seemed kind of the way I'd talk to my brother, if I had one. In theory, I understand the romance but after reading, I don't really buy it.

Overall: A funny book introducing a great world of Grim Reapers with lots of potential-excited for the sequel, Scorch!


  1. I have to admit that I wasn't certain about reading this one but I like finding out that it includes humor and history (two things I love). Maybe the second book will develop the characters more. I will have to make sure this is on my TBR list now. Great review!

  2. It's almost like you read my mind -- this is a book I've recently found out about and absolutely loved, so it makes me really glad that you loved it as much as everyone else seems to! For one thing, as a Rachel Vincent fangirl, reapers have always been one of my favourite supernaturals, and for another, the premise for this sounds like so much fun! Lex sounds like a character I'd love from the beginning! ;)

    Really amazing review, B!! You just got me even more excited to read this book! :)

  3. Awesome review! I've been wanting to read this but I like having an idea of what I'm getting into. Thanks for sharing! ^_^


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