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 byreapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. But Lex can’t stop her desire forjustice—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?
When I first came across Croak, I was immediately drawn to it. I wanted to read it ASAP. However, I expected to get the normal “girl learns she’s the grim reaper and then you know, reaps and stuff” and I would’ve been happy with that! However, I got A LOT more than I expected!
Let’s start with Lex. She’s a wild child. For the past year or so she’s gotten into tons of fights – and she doesn’t even know why she has such rage. Her parents are at a loss and finally decide that it’d be best to give her a quiet summer in the country with her Uncle Mort.
Little does Lex know she’s in for more than just kicking around cow pies. Her uncle is anything but what she expects and she soon learns that Croak is not your everyday small town. Lex adjusts quicker than she thinks and soon finds herself at home among the other reapers.
I have to say the world of Croak is fascinating and genius. I don’t say that lightly. Gina Damico BLEW ME AWAY. The world building had me re-reading passages just to make sure I understood how things work. I loved every minute of it and I loved how we got to explore and experience everything from Lex’s perspective, because she’s an interesting character herself her wormed her way into my heart from nearly the first page. I want to go into detail about everything I loved about Croak, but I don’t want to spoil that adventure for any readers either! I will say one of my favorite parts is the “atrium of the after life” where Alecia (one of Croak’s residents) keeps tabs on who checks in every day, and also keeps her eye on characters like Edgar Allan Poe and his raven (who he likes to sic on other people) and Teddy Roosevelt among other well known people. The interactions they have with each other had me laughing out loud.
Really, for a book whose main focus is death and the job and responsibilities it entails – Croak was very funny. I think I could easily move to Croak and enjoy my days there.
One thing I loved about Croak is that there was a little something for nearly everyone. There was mystery (I’m a big mystery fan of course) because people are turning up dead in mysterious ways – and reapers are suppose to be able to detect how people died without fail. There’s also the suspense and tension with Lex. She sees the victims of crime and abuse and she wants to go outside the bounds of her job and seek justice. There’s also the tension between Lex and her family – who are expecting her to come home after the summer but if Lex wants to be a reaper, she’s got to keep everything secret and stay in Croak.
There was one huge twist that I totally didn’t expect. It gave the book a more serious tone than it had had previously and I think that was good (even though the event itself made me sad.) It gave the book a little more depth, and I’m already pining for the next book!
I can’t really recommend Croak any less than this – GO OUT AND GRAB A COPY ASAP. It’s creeptastic; it’s magical and will leave you wanting more.
*Review Copy provided free of charge by the publisher in exchange for a fair review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.