May 17, 2012

Croak by Gina Damico {Review}

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publish Date: March 20, 2012
Source: ARC from contest
Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her upstate 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 capping 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, crazing 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 at 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?

Croak started off pretty slow, but I found myself really enjoying it by then end. At first everything seemed really predictable. I just thought the story would end up being about Lex’s adventures as a Grim over the summer but it ended up being a lot more exciting than that.

This book is definitely an acquired taste. If you’re not a fan of sardonic characters then you should probably resolve to never read Croak since it’s chock-full of them. I find these types of characters to usually only be okay, but everyone really grew on me as I read, especially the side characters. Lex was good and all, but I really like Uncle Mort, Driggs, and the rest of the lot. Maybe I just admire the way they were able to put up with Lex’s crappy attitude :P

And let me just warn all you spider-haters out there (myself included) there is one chapter that will have you wanting to run in your room, stuff all the cracks and crevices, and hide under your covers. Even touching the book gave me the willies after reading that part!

I really liked all the eccentricities that made up croak and working in the death business. It was unique and, though morbid at times, enjoyable to read about.

The Nutshell: If you’re a fan of dark humor you’ll probably really enjoy Croak. There’s a bit of mystery thrown in so it’s not just all about how Lex spent her summer as a Grim, and of course, there’s a little romance as well. Though I wasn’t able to connect with Lex I found all the side characters rather enjoyable and complete. I’m looking forward to the sequel!

Pages: 311
Series: Croak #1
Rating: Hit


  1. This is the third time I've heard of this book in the last day... I think I need to see if my library has a copy!

  2. Hehe, yeah, I like dark, sardonic humor, so I think that I'll really like Croak and have been wanting to check it out. Even though that's not usually your thing, I'm glad you ended up liking it!


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