Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Croak by Gina Damico

Title: Croak
Author: Gina Damico
Narrator: Jessica Almasy
Series: Croak #1
Length: 8hrs & 16 mins/320 pages
Publisher: Audible Studios February 28, 2013
Rating: 4 1/2 STARS

Description from Goodreads:

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?

My Thoughts:

               Lexington Bartleby is a juvenile delinquent. Her delinquent behavior and out lashes find home to all those around her without prejudice. In a last ditch effort her parents and twin sister hogtie her to the dining room chair with jump ropes and inform her she is going to spend the summer in the-middle-of-nowhere Croak with her estranged Uncle Mort at his farm. This is unacceptable, but Lex doesn’t really have a choice. When she first meets Mort she knows something is off and when she really takes a look at small-town Croak, Lex knows something is different about her new home. She soon learns that she has been sent to a town that is home to Reapers…yeah as in the Grim Reapers. Lex becomes a Grim in training, but it soon becomes apparent that Lex is no like everyone else. Her differences make her stick out and eventually make her a target. Something is wrong in the Grimsphere and Lex and her partner Driggs are on the forefront. Will she be able to avert disaster or will she join in the chaos?

               The first chapter of so of Croak didn’t really impress me. However, my opinion quickly turned around. Lex is definitely a unique character by any standard I can think of. She is rough, violent, mean, sarcastic, and I absolutely adored her. She says the kind of mean things I say to my siblings, but would never let anyone outside of my family know. Her fierce independence and tendency to follow her own beliefs makes her pretty awesome in my book. Other than Lex, what made this book so special was that each character truly had a life or spark of their own. Croak is the quintessential mash up of personalities that you will find in the not quite outcast, but fringe high school groups. Everyone couldn’t be more opposite, but the all have that one thing that ties them together. Think of Croak as a morbid updated version of The Breakfast Club crew. The last thing that truly sets Croak apart is the macabre subject matter and the way it is handled. This book deals with teens and adults literally being in the moment that first moment of death. As you know and can imagine many people do not go peacefully and Damico doesn’t shy away from these scenes. In addition, when dealing with these deaths the moral dilemma of bringing justice on your own terms to murders… is it the right thing to do? Along this same note, this subject matter can be pretty heavy. They are tastefully done, yet show how brutal death can be. Gina Damico balances everything out with a slightly morbid sense of humor that is absolutely hilarious.

               The narrator Jessica Almasy did a phenomenal job voicing Croak and all of it’s characters. One of the key things when it comes to audiobooks is if a narrator is reading as a 16 year old he/she not sound like they are in their 50s. Ms. Almasy was spot on and was able to convey the perfect level of amped up sarcasm and contempt for Lex. She is definitely a narrator I look forward to listening to in the future. Overall I absolutely loved Croak by Gina Damico and cannot wait to dig in to the next book Scorch. I give this book a 4 ½ STAR rating.


1 comment:

  1. I love Grim Reaper stories and Croak is one of my favorites :) I really need to get to Scorch soon!