Croak by Gina Damico
Release Date: March 20th, 2012
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 311 Pages
Source: ARC via ALA 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Series: Croak #1
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?
I will admit that I was wary of picking Croak up at first because the cover didn’t really grab my attention…and I just thought the premise was a bit weird. [Now, I actually really enjoy the cover! No girls in pretty dresses. Ha!)
But that’s the best part. The premise is weird! And I really actually liked it a lot. [Weird is good here.] Grims, or Reapers in other words, are split up into groups of two…a Killer and a Culler. It sounds super morbid, but when you get into the details that explain how and why Croak exists, you’ll understand that Grims are doing souls a favor.
I love that the premise is so fresh and original. I was so thrilled to find a book that didn’t concentrate on a love triangle or romance…it was a lot more than that. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads because it was a “light” darker read. There is some humor (however dark it might be), but there’s also plenty of touching moments that really bring home the entire message of the book.
I highly recommend this to anyone looking for something original, with wonderfully developed characters, and a heart-wrenching ending.