- Publisher: HOUGHTON MIFFLIN
- Format: Paperback | 311 pages
- Dimensions: 137mm x 206mm x 30mm | 318g
- Publication date: 20 March 2012
- Publication City/Country: Boston
- ISBN 10: 0547608322
- ISBN 13: 9780547608327
- Edition: 1
- Illustrations note: black & white line drawings
- Sales rank: 96,722
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?
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By Suzanne Finnegan 20 Feb 2012
This is an awesome book. While not what you could call action packed, the narrative was funny and enjoyable throughout while also having its serious moments.
Lex's behaviour has taken a serious downturn in the last couple of years. She has gone from being a straight A student to constantly being angry and beating people up, much to the bewilderment of her parents, her twin sister Cordy, and herself. She doesn't know why she acts this way and she doesn't want it to continue. She is on her last chance in school so when her parents say they are sending her to stay with her uncle Mort and help out on his farm for the summer, she goes without too much of a fight.
But it turns out, her uncle doesn't live on a farm. He lives in the town of Croak and he is a grim reaper. Lex is about to join the family business.
Lex is a great protagonist with a smart ass attitude that I enjoyed. She can stand up for herself and doesn't seem to be afraid of much. There was great banter between herself and her partner in reaping, Driggs. He doesn't take any of her crap, they are great fun together. There is a great team of secondary characters too. They are well written and we can get an insight into them all. Uncle Mort is awesome, and he interacts really well with the teenagers. The world building is done really well.
While I feel that some people will have a problem with the whole "I've kind of been in love with you since the day I got here", I don't. I liked it. This book is not all mushy and romantic and I thought it was sweet. I could see how Driggs could be in love with the idea of her, and of her happy life, with the past that he had endured.
Overall, Croak is imaginative, funny, interesting, unpredictable and surprising. One of the funniest books I have read in a while. There is no cliffhanger ending and I can't wait for the sequel. This is a fantastic first novel by Gina Damico and I would have no hesitation in recommending it.
"No ****, jerkwad," she said with a grimace, wiping it off. "What's next? Will you be setting me on fire?" "Don't be ridiculous, Lex. The flamethrower shoots forward." Lex couldn't take it anymore. The madness had to be stopped. "Okay, wait a minute. You are my Uncle Mort? My father's brother? A certified biological member of the most boring family on earth?" "Guilty as charged. And I'm ecstatic to see you, kiddo."
"All I know is that I had never seen anyone like you, and your stupid smile was infectious, and I fell in love with it, and ever since you got here I've been falling in love with the rest of you, and now I'm so far gone there's not a damn thing I can do about it."
Praise for "Croak""Go ahead and die laughing, knowing that the safe transport of your mortal soul will be the summer job of a sweetheart teen with godlike power and discipline problems. A lot of books make me wish I could live within their pages, but I wouldn't mind dying in this one."--Adam Rex, author of "Fat Vampire""Creepy and hilarious."--"VOYA, "4Q, 5PPraise for "Scorch""An amusing blend of whimsy and humor with serious drama and blood."--"Kirkus Reviews""Characters are always as clever as we wish we were. . . . An irresistible blend of impending doom, irreverent humor, hormone-fueled make-out sessions, and creative world-building make this sequel stronger than its predecessor and will leave readers dying for the next book."--"School Library Journal"Praise for "Rogue""A gut-wrenching, laugh-out-loud, gritty, honest and brave ending to an appealing trilogy."--"Kirkus"