By Gina Damico
Release Date: 3/20/12
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre(s): Urban Fantasy, Romance, Adventure
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MY RATING: 4 Stars
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?
Croak was unlike any book I’ve ever read. The one thing that stands out among the entirety of this book as a whole was the unique concept. I mean c’mon, this book is about GRIM REAPERS. Seriously, that is like the coolest thing ever, and even better, teenage grim reapers. Croak was recommended to me by a friend of mine and while at first I was skeptical, Croak quickly became an amazing interesting young adult novel that had light funny moments even though it was about grim reapers.
Let’s start with the characters. The characters of Croak weren’t character glory like the ones you see in Six of Crows or The Raven Cycle. The characters of Croak were well written, not amazingly spectacular, but well written enough with aspects in them that made them feel human. What I mean by this is they weren’t perfect. Lex our main character is flawed, she’s frustrated, she acts like a teenager, and she’s afraid. I loved Lex, she was probably my favorite character, but there was another character that held something that I loved even more. Driggs. Driggs was our main male character. And let me tell you, he wasn’t unbearably hot, he wasn’t super sexy and unrealistically sultry. He was a normal dude. His character is a dude that has an obsession with oreos and the Titanic. Yeah, the one with Leo and Kate in it. Driggs is such an awesomely amazing normal yet badass and funny guy. The characters of Croak amazed me with there humanity.
The plot of Croak was sweet, it was funny and light but had several serious plot points that were pertinent to the later books and well – the basic end of the story. I couldn’t stop reading Croak because of the well layered and paced waves of action, romance and comedy.
Croak is a backlisted book that really shouldn’t be. It was amazing. Well aware that is a pretty lame term to explain such a great book, but Croak was just that. Overall, Gina did a fantastic job weaving together a unique and creative story with well written characters and some points of well written humor. Something funny to know is Croak sparked my need to wear black baggy cheap Target sweatshirts for the entirety of my 7th grade year in middle school! That was a sad gothic year xD. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a funny yet serious book, also to those of you who like a dark spark of death in a YA novel!