Croak by Gina Damico
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.
Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving 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 as 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?
------Okay, from when I first heard about this book, I knew it would rock. Because, seriously, reapers? Love them. (This might have something to do with a certain sarcastic blonde reaper from a different series, whose name rhymes with "Cod," but that's irrelevant.) Really, though, the whole idea of reapers is awesome. The concept of an entire town devoted just to the profession is very cool to me.
Very quickly after I started reading I was sucked into the world of Croak, and I didn't want to put the book down. I instantly loved Lex, Mort, and of course, DRIGGS. Oh my gosh. That kid...yeah. Add him to my list of reaper crushes ;)
But all of the characters were great! Ferbus, Elysia, Dora...they rocked. Of course, there were a few exceptions--some REALLY annoying characters--but in a good way!
Then there was the mystery. Someone--a Grim--is killing people who aren't meant to die. And not just people, but bad people. There's a scary kind of "justice" system going on behind the scenes, and it is very much not good. Yet...Lex can't help but be intrigued by the idea of bad guys getting what they deserve. Throughout the whole book, everyone is trying to figure out who the Grim is who's gone bad. No one wants to believe it could be one of their friends, someone they've known forever...but the truth is that's the most likely possibility--because the only other suspect is Lex.
One of my favorite parts of this was Lex's and Driggs' chemistry. Seriously, they were always bickering, and always hilarious.
"Scheming leads to crazy ideas. Crazy ideas lead to trouble. I get dragged into your trouble, we both get kicked out of Croak, and the next thing you know, we're freezing to death in the waters of the North Atlantic."
"Dude, you are way too obsessed with Titanic."
"Jerk!" she screamed at a hysterical pitch, punching him.
"Ow!" he rubbed his back. "Kidneys again? Ever feel like changing things up? Maybe go for a non-vital organ?"
"I see no need to mess with tradition,"
Of course, they weren't the only funny parts. Ferbus had his moments as well.
"It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye," Ferbus said too loudly. "Then it's one-eyed fun."
(Here's another one, but I'm blanking it out because sometimes it's funnier to read things in the moment instead of before hand. But, read it if you want, I won't stop you ;D)
"Seriously?" she said with a glance of skepticism. Driggs and this nerdlinger? "You guys are best friends?"Anyway, I really loved this book, and altogether it gets <*><*><*><*><*>
Ferbus looked up briefly to give her a smug look. "We prefer the term heterosexual life mates."
(Oh, and if you're interested, this is my 100th post. So YAY!)