Monday, October 1, 2012


Croak (Croak #1) by Gina Damico, 2012. 311 pages. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Source: Publisher for review.

Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her 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 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 zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer.

First Sentence:
Lex wondered, for a fleeting moment, what her principal's head might look like if it were stabbed atop a giant wooden spear.
Croak, while it sounded good I actually did not know whether or not I was going to like it. But in the end it ended up being quite the read and now I cannot wait to read Scorch, the second book in the series.

One of the reasons I was excited to give Gina Damico's debut a whirl would have to be that the premise, grim reapers. I was intrigued to say the lest about the world that she would put together and how she would play out the whole grim reaper aspect. While the characters were a little hard to like at first, I loved the world of Croak and Lex's Uncle Mort. It was especially interesting to see how the majority of the reapers themselves thought about the role that they play, their outlook on it was definitely different then what I was expecting-glad they weren't all doom n' gloom.

The writing was definitely one of my favorite things about Croak. I really liked Ms Damico's writing style and how she portrayed the characters...even the ones that annoyed me at first. While I liked her writing, what really stuck out was the dialogue between characters and that you actually got to know them and their stories. I think she did a great job of balancing out the big reveals in the story, even the ones I figured out.

Even though I liked the pacing and the subtle reveals in Croak, I was way ahead of the curve when it came to figuring out what was going on and who was behind the big mystery in the book. While the plot line was easy fairly easy to follow and make conjectures, it did not take away at al from the book.

The end of Croak was absolutely sad and heartbreaking. What really made the end sad was that it was kind of unexpected, but it definitely added to the story line and will definitely be something that will impact Lex and her decisions in the next volume of the series. Odd as this might sound, I am looking forward to seeing how the death at the end of the book will influence Lex in Scorch and if we'll see justice brought about.

I admit, that had Lex spent more than half the book being a pain I would not have finished Croak.Lex was just one of those characters that at first will annoy you to know end because of their attitude, but as she starts to find her place in Croak she because more tolerable and dare I say it funny. While my first impression of the character was not favorable, by the time the book was half gone I liked her and how she blossomed and took on the role that was given to her.

Surprisingly enough, the thing that I liked most about Croak would have to be the humor. I love books were the main character has a dry sense of humor. I really liked that the humor did not feel forced and that it came across as unplanned, which is my favorite kind of funny. It is very rare when the humor of a book actually makes me laugh, so that was definitely a welcome change.

It has been quite some time since I read Croak, like before I moved long time, so I'm a little hazy on the one or two things I did not like about this book. But the one that I do remember is that Lex was a little pain in the  beginning of the book. It took me some time to warm up to her as a leading character since she seemed to have a chip on her shoulder.

Final Verdict: Croak was an absolute treat.

Croak earns 4 out of 5 pineapples.


  1. I felt the same way about Lex. Had she not become tolerable, I never would have finished the book. In the end I liked it so much I bought Scorch yesterday!

    1. Ooh, lucky you on buying Scorch! One day I plan on getting my hands on it.

      Glad to hear I wasn't the only one annoyed by her at first. =)

  2. I liked reading your review. I just finished this book and had mixed feelings about it -- I liked it, but Lex got on my nerves through most of the story. I also though the bits of offhand narration were odd -- it's like it's Lex's story, but every so often, there's something thrown in that would make the pacing a little bumpy. I'm a huge fan of Dead Like Me, so I wanted to see how the author would handle the whole "reaper" idea --- and I'm curious enough now to pick up the sequel. :)

    1. I haven't read Dead Like Me, so the concept was new for me. I'll have to look in the book you mentioned.

      I've read a few books with 'offhand' narration, so it didn't bother me.

      Thanks for stopping by. =)


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