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Croak by Gina Damico follows a pretty standard plot — teenager in trouble is sent to a distant relative as punishment. There he or she has a life-altering experience with his or her amazing, not-at-all as described relative. In this case, the troubled teen is an angry girl named Lex who likes to sucker punch her classmates (among other things) and her relative is Uncle Mort, who as his name implies, is a grim reaper.
The book is roughly divided into thirds: Lex being bad ass and grumpy, the wacky town and the equally wacky job of being a grim reaper, and finally a murder mystery with THE BIG BAD. It's a by the numbers coming of age / paranormal. As a starter book for someone not familiar with this type of story, it's fine but it could and should have been better.
The problem is, bad ass young ladies as grim reapers has been done before and so much better. The bar is set high and Croak tries to limbo under the bar, rather than to jump to meet expectations. Reaper girls who come before Lex of note: Susan from The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett and Georgia (aka George) of the tv series Dead Like Me. Even the moral heavy Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler has a more interesting and believable reaper-like character in Lisabeth.
Read via NetGalley
Comment #1: Saturday, November 24, 2012 at 10:50:02
Sorry this one didn't work for you! I really liked the humor in this one and I'll admit that I have a weakness for reapers with a sense of humor so I can read their stories over and over again.
Comment #2: Saturday, December 01, 2012 at 17:32:05
I'm glad you liked it. Lots of reviewers did.