Source: Barnes and Noble (also known as the land of butterflies and magical unicorns)
Rating: 4 and 1/2 stars
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?
Contrary to what the cover and synopsis might suggest, Croak is not a hide-under-your-bed-the-grim-reaper-is-coming kind of book. Its not even a I’m-kind-of-scared-let-me-cuddle-with-a-puppy-for-awhile book.
Not even close.
Croak is hilarious. It’s one of those will-get-you-strange-looks-in-public-because-you-are-laughing-like-a-mainiac books.
So, Lex starts off the book like Dug from Up.
Except, instead of seeing squirrels and wanting to chase them, she sees people and wants to punch them.
This made me squeal with happiness because, anger issues are not your typical heroine behavior. So, after almost getting expelled from school because of the said anger management problems, her parents decide to ship her off to her Uncle Mort’s farm, which obviously means that she will be scooping horse poop and milking cows all summer. Nopedy nope nope.
Uncle Mort is actually a Grim Reaper, and so is pretty much everyone in his little town, Croak. They “kill” and “cull” souls and take them to the “afterlife”. Throw in a milky-eyed murder mystery, an insufferable yet undeniably hot partner, death jellyfish, Edgar Allen Poe, black hoodies, a Titanic poster, and a dash of awesome sauce and you’ve got yourself a book.
And not just any book, but a book without insta-love (praise the lord), with witty death puns, and with characters that actually are not cardboard cutouts.
Excuse me while I go explode with happiness.
Witty quotes that I must share with all of you:
“Should she go on? Or drop it? Maybe this was one of those things that people should keep to themselves, like a hatred of baby pandas or a passion for polka music. Everyone needs a secret or two.”
“The list of scars my students have sustained at the hand of your daughter grows longer each week. Poor Logan Hochspring’s arm will forever carry an imprint of her dental records!”
“You bit him?” Lex’s father said.
“He called me a wannabe vampire. What was I supposed to do?”
“Oh, I don’t know–maybe not bite him?”
“There comes a time in every young girl’s life when she is instructed by a complete stranger to scale a tall ladder for dinner atop a roof, and in almost every case the best thing to do is refuse and run home to call the asylum from which the stranger escaped.”
“It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye,” Ferbus said too loudly. “Then it’s one-eyed fun.”
I could go on, but I’ll leave some of the book for you to read.
Speaking of you reading, why are you still here? You should be frantically racing to the bookstore to go buy Croak. Go now my minions.