Review: Croak

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: CroakCroak by Gina Damico
Series: Croak #1
Published by Graphia on March 20, 2012
Genres: Humor, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 311
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

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?

Damico has a really interesting writing style; she definitely has a cadence of her own. She also puts a unique spin on things. For example, due to Lex’s extreme violence, her mom ties her up in jump ropes to have a serious talk. Lex’s mom also is obsessed with American history, particularly military history, so much so, in fact, that she named her children for Revolutionary War battles; Lex is short for Lexington.

For example, here’s a pretty typical quote from Croak: “She wished, as almost all kids wish at one point or another, that she could turn into a pterodactyl and fly away and never come back.” Obviously, Damico’s really funny, but it’s definitely a quirky, dark humor. Her whole style definitely took some adjusting to, but I really appreciate the snarkiness of her writing.

My initial thought, and why I was attracted to this one (aside from the fact that Gina is an Apocalypsie) is because the premise sounded very Dead Like Me. If you haven’t seen the show, I highly recommend you go watch at least the first episode, which is one of the best things I have ever seen ever. Anyway, they do have some things in common, like the grim reapers and the sarcastic heroine and the dark sense of humor. However, I also got a bit of a Eureka vibe from Croak, since the town is full of such strange, intelligent people. How can those things not add up to be some brand of awesome?

Thought your 9-5 job was bad?

So yeah, it’s pretty freaking awesome. Lex is a cool character, strong, sarcastic and sassy. Plus, she’s so not the typical heroine. For one thing she’s as violent as Ashline from Wildefire. Also unlike most YA heroines, she really doesn’t want anything to do with all of that stupid teenage hormone-driven love stuff. For that reason, she is not pleased at having to share a domicile with the unfortunately super hot (and often annoying) Briggs. All of the characters are vibrant and quirky.

If you like dark humor and stories out of the norm, do not miss Croak. Another stellar debut from the Apocalypsies! I am so excited that there’s going to be more of this series!

10 responses to “Review: Croak”

  1. I’ve had this one on my wishlist since I first saw the cover and read the blurb. Thanks for the review! I loved Dead Like Me and was so disappointed when it was canceled.

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

    • Christina says:

      Me too. The show was amazing. However, I will warn everyone out there in the interwebs to not watch the Dead Like Me movie. It was one of the worst things I have ever seen.

  2. Christina Kit. says:

    I love that style!

    How quirky:) Actually the whole town of Croak sounds quirky, which is a great irreverent take on reapers:)

  3. Nori says:

    Did I tell you I bought this one because of your review? I still need to read it, and I’m so looking forward to it!

  4. Steena says:

    I just got this from the library last night and will probs be buying it and it’s sequel as soon as I can get to the book store. I just wanted to say the one thing I missed is that this cover is reflective and it looks freaking sweet. I’m almost half way through now but, as it sits on my desk at work, I keep being distracted by the shiny.

  5. […] picked up this book because of a 5 star review¬†from Christina at A Reader of […]

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