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I wrote the first draft of Croak when vampires were really getting their day in the sun HA , and so I thought it might be fun to throw in a line about how Lex was decidedly not a vampire. Nothing against our bloodless friends, of course. Because grim reapers are alive. The Tyrannosaurus Lex nickname came to me fairly late in the writing of this book, and to this day I am mortified that it almost went to print without it.

Lex lives in Queens because, well, I was living in Queens at the time. The houses in my neighborhood were all squished together as described in the book, though none of them were as ratty as the Bartleby abode. Or maybe I just liked the idea of a vat of money. It fit perfectly with the characters of Lex and her mom, so I put it in.

I just thought it would be funny, especially since their mom is a history buff—for reasons that are explained much, much later in the series. And yes, I had that planned from the start. I suspect she does not, not even at that moment. I have a sister. We are not twins, although sometimes we creepily text the exact same thoughts to each other at the exact same time.

The fights were endless. They somewhat continue to this day. Captain Wiggles was not a real toy from my past, but rather a composite of all the stuffed animals I had when I was a kid, threadbare and obsessed over and loved well into my teens. Review: Funny and original, it is difficult for fans of the young adult genre not to instantly fall in love with Croak , the first novel in a witty new series for teens by Gina Damico. From start to finish, Croak is well-written, entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable. She is foul-mouthed, rude, violent, and just plain irritating.

She has no reason to be as angry as she is, and, like her parents and sweet twin sister, the reader hopes that Uncle Mort will literally knock some sense into her. After she arrives in Croak, however, and begins working as a Grim, she begins to transform into someone readers can root for.


In addition to this, there are loads of other things readers will love about Croak. The town itself is interesting, with all of the shops having morbid names and equally morbid owners. The mechanics of the Grim system of collecting and transporting souls from those who have died is also very original and not confusing, something that often happens when novels for teens get a bit too scientific in their descriptions of how paranormal things actually work.

Overall, a fast-paced and fun start to a series that is easy to recommend to both teen and adult readers alike. The sequel, Scorch , was released in September Also posted on Seeing Night Reviews.

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Fun, witty, snarky, and lighthearted, this book was just what the doctor ordered for my busy and stressful week. See, my escape is reading. Nothing else relaxes, elates, and motivates me more than reading. I strive for those peaceful and not so peaceful moments where I finally get to sit down, grab a drink preferably soda if its not too late , and dive into my latest story.

My point? This book, after many long and stressful work days, was just what I needed.

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  • Picking up this hilarious story was effortless, and I am so glad I randomly chose to pick this up and read it. Another heavy smack echoed into the sky. A spasm of pain ripped through her face, her vision bursting into stars. Driggs was gaping in disbelief at his own hand. Slowly, he recovered and looked into her good eye. This is a story about Lex, a snarky high school girl who has recently turned delinquent for no reason at all.

    They just signed their daughter up to spend the summer killing people. Ha ha. Or parental instincts. Or decorating skills. Did you see that hideous display of girlish vomit that was supposed to be my room? Titanic is a timeless classic. On purpose? I mean…come on. How fun could that even be? I have skipped over this book on numerous occasions without even a backward glance and then all of a sudden this week I thought…ya know, this looks like perfection right now. And it was. He was maybe even funnier than Lex…which is a hard thing to accomplish. Humor leaped off each and every page, no matter how serious the situation, and it was due to every single character that contributed to this story.

    Sweet, adorable, protective, and…. That went over well. It was hate at first sight, and their shenanigans were off the charts funny. And I absolutely adored his affliction for sweets. But as the story progresses, we begin to see a deeper and more emotional Driggs, making his witty and bantering behavior all the more appealing and escalating it into something worth obsessing over. And as we begin to see gradual feelings surface between these two, we might just learn something that will melt our hearts…I know I turned into a puddle of goo. Crazy ideas lead to trouble.

    Just quit it with the evil plots, all right? He poked his head out. I hope it works for you like it did for me! A snarky heroine with the ability to back it up, a beautiful boy in which she bickered-fought-argued-was attracted to, and a hilarious uncle that brought her into a world she never knew existed.

    I'd say this was a pretty big win Review to come! View all 15 comments. Aug 21, Giselle rated it really liked it Shelves: audiobook. Murders, Grim Reapers, Scythes! Oh my! This was the perfect book to listen to on my way back from a 9 hour road trip. Its sarcastic protagonist, charismatic secondary characters, and entertaining plot made the drive feel like 30 minutes.

    Ok maybe a couple hours. But still. Lex used to be a perfectly good student, except lately she's been a bit of a delinquent. This is what gets her shipped to her uncle Mort's place in a bizarre small town of population This is also where she learns who, or w Murders, Grim Reapers, Scythes! This is also where she learns who, or what, she really is: a grim reaper. Grim reaper books have always been a favorite of mine and I loved what Gina did with this one, especially with the constant humorous tone.

    She's created a whole reaper world with hierarchies and distinct reaper roles that I found so imaginative. Some of it is cheesy, I admit, - the presidents in the Afterlife bit especially - but it is amusing which, I believe, is the purpose of this book as a whole. In the midst of all the Killing, there is also someone or something murdering Reapers which adds a suspenseful mystery to the story. This part is more predictable than I was hoping, but it did work to put some emotional depth to the novel. When a character dies or gets targeted by this unknown killer, it stings a little!

    I also liked how Gina dealt with the topic of death; she doesn't let the dark humor go too far. The plot is entertaining, the pacing could have been a little faster for my taste, but what really stands out in this book are the characters we meet. Lex's sarcastic, violent nature will have you chuckle and snort throughout.

    Though she's also intelligent as well as thoughtful. She's the anti-heroine we all love to root for! Uncle Mort will also be a fan favorite with his compelling personality coupled with a badass demeanor. Then Lex has a partner, Driggs; the two, mostly through bickering, develop a quirky relationship that I enjoyed seeing grow and evolve as the book progressed. There's also a hint of romance, of course, and it's as sweet as it is awkward - a perfect fit for this book! Really though, each and every citizen in this town adds their own dash of crazy to this story. A note on the audiobook: the narrator imitated Lex flawlessly.

    Her voice was perfect for her character. However, I did find her inflections over the top at times. Like, she would sometimes end sentences in an exaggerating manner as you would when reading to a child. Full of laughter and witty personalities, Croak is the perfect read to brighten a gloomy day!

    View all 8 comments. October reread Honestly, I can't come up with any reason why this only got four stars instead of five the first time around. Rereading this was like coming home. Almost the same way rereading Harry Potter feels like coming home. I read books two and three this past January, and only read Croak for the first time in December, so it hasn't even been a whole year apart yet but I missed this town.

    Thankfully the other two books are already in my Amazon cart. The whole premise is so imaginative and completely different from any other magical-ish world I've encountered in my literary travels; I've never really read anything that dealt specifically with death until now: having just finished Croak and currently reading Sabriel, which deals with necromancy , so it was a bit Everything just seemed to fit together so well.

    The Afterlife, the jellyfish, Yoricks -- although I was disappointed that no one started waxing Shakespearean when they all got drunk. Ah well, there's still two more books to go! And Poe. Holy cheese. If he wasn't already my favorite poet and he's held that position for over ten years now this would have definitely cemented it. Ms Damico's writing, especially the dialogue, just came out so clever and witty. I literally sat here and cackled out loud every couple pages.

    I instantly loved Lex's character and we need more Uncle Morts in the world. Driggs proved to be a worthy companion as soon as he started dishing things right back at Lex. Let's be clear: I don't advocate violence, but if she's gonna be a little shitbag then he's got more than enough right to stand up for himself. Although the name was a bit odd, I'll admit; I kept thinking of Drix from that old KidsWB show Ozzy and Drix-- Things got a little predictable when it came to unmasking the villain but I thought it was okay because the details were handled really well -- with the scars and whatnot.

    And I got on my own nerves because I made the idiotic mistake of saying "let's check the end and see if they include a snippet from the next book" before I was done -- well, they didn't and I wound up piecing things together a wee bit earlier than I would have liked and spoilering myself. Upon discovering the book and its gorgeous cover: She looks like Jack Frost with a reaper's scythe instead of an ice staff. First impression is a good one! View all 6 comments. Right from the very first line, where Lex - our delightful MC - was contemplating how her headmater's head would look like decorated on a spike, I knew I'd like this one!

    I liked that the story follows not-so-nice, snarky, unapologetic female protagonist. One day, her parents get fed up with her attitude and send her away for the summer. Away to her strange uncle Mort and tiny strange town he lives in. What follows is a crazy, slightly morbid, but fun tale of friendship, finding your place in the world and some Killing.

    Croak By:Gina Damico by Sylvie Ellis on Prezi

    Next to it, a desk made from spotless white oak. Pink bedding, curtains, and rugs, as if a flamingo had exploded. And worst of all , looming on the wall across from the frilly, perfectly made bed: a Titanic movie poster. Lex shrieked in horror and slammed the door. Starting with Lex's uncle Mort, who I just loved from the very beginning. As well as Driggs and the rest of Lex's friend group. There's a tiny bit of romance thrown in the mix - it starts out as an uneasy friendship frenemies, if you will - and I enjoyed hella out of the little we got here!

    Though hoping for more of these two in the sequels! It was so fun and morbid and strange. And we got a lot of details about how 'the job' functions, so I thought the world building was very well thought out. Loved it! The storytelling element was also very strong in this one. It was written in third person POV, in such an engaging, light and fun way. View 2 comments. Oct 21, WhatIReallyRead rated it it was amazing Shelves: fantasy , kindle-unlimited , series , audiobook , fiction , funny , read-in-english , ya.

    If you're looking for a Halloween read, Croak is perfect. It's a breath of fresh air. It was fun and funny and bad ass, I loved the characters and the story, and Lex spoke to my former-pissed-off-teenager-self on a spiritual level. My faith in YA is restored. As they say, a GIF is better than a thousand words, so let me sum up my thoughts ans feelings while reading Croak:. View 1 comment. She could feel his breath on her face. Little do they know that Uncle Mort is actually a grim reaper better known as a Grim and helps souls move on to the Afterlife, and he thinks his niece is perfect for the job.

    This book blew me away from the get-go with its originality. As a main character, Lex was a dream come true and I immediately liked her. She was tough, sarcastic, hilariously snarky, but most of all, different. Take a look at this: "I'm sorry, but the list of scars that 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! I'm gonna go cry into my locker. I loved the dynamic between the three. I only wish Uncle Mort had been more present in the book. I was so pleased when he came to pick her up, and all of a sudden he was moved to the background and we barely saw him, only as the mayor. More of this, please! I also really liked the relationship between Lex and her twin sister Cordy. They were very close and insulted each other constantly, which was awesome. The world-building was absolutely spectacular. There was also the Afterlife, a place where most souls go to spend the rest of eternity.

    Their cameos were beautiful. I fell in love with the sense of humour. All the conversations and the banter between the characters had me smiling like a moron most of the time. It was absolutely hysterical. The fact that Croak relied so much on its humour made me appreciate it even more. However, I did find some faults. The ending was quite predictable — I called several things way in advance. The events were logical though, which is probably why I had anticipated it in the first place.

    Like I said, not enough Mort. All I have to say is that Croak was like a great breath of fresh air. View all 11 comments. Mar 19, Mimi Valentine rated it really liked it Shelves: finished-copy-for-review , pure-awesomeness , boys-i-wish-were-real , reviewed , best-of , adorable-favourites. Sometimes I think I read so many books that finding an original and captivating gem in the bunch gets harder by the day, but Croak reminds me why I love to read.

    It's knee-slappingly fun but still dark at the same time! As a huge Soul Screamers fan, I already have a weakness for reapers but Gina Damico still brings something new to the table! These reapers carry actual scythes and only have the job of carting souls off to the Afterlife, where quirky ghosts like Elvis and Edgar Allan Poe can wallow in peace. Lex has to be one of the most spunky, temperamental, and stubborn heroines I've ever met — but she's also one of my favourites! She doesn't take crap from anyone, not even her twin sister Cordy, but her fair heart still makes her wince when she has to reap the soul of a murdered victim.

    Along with her swoon-worthy partner Driggs and a whole group of misfit apprentice reapers, they will make you want to move to Croak ASAP! The mysterious murders in the novel add a serious undertone, along with how Lex is wholeheartedly against unfair deaths. And that twist at the end Break my heart, why don't you, Gina??

    Chapter Analysis of Croak

    Intense is only the beginning of this amazing debut! With a hilarious cast, a mysterious plot, and creativity packed to the max, it's safe to say that I love Croak to death! Like Adam Rex said, there are so many books with worlds that I would love to live in, but dying in this one doesn't sound like such a bad idea. I usually don't pre-order books this far in advance, but I'm already planning on buying the sequel, Scorch! View all 24 comments. Recommended to Aly by: Inge.

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    • Shelves: young-adult , fantasy. Lex dropped her hands. Unfortunately, Driggs followed suit, affording her the perfect opportunity to kick him in the crotch. Which she did. Lex blew a tuft of hair out of her face. That was awesome! I don't fangirl over a book much if ever , but Croak was a beautiful little surprise gem that popped up on my newsfeed one too many times and then casually strolled into my basket on Book Depository and hurled itself int Lex dropped her hands.

      I don't fangirl over a book much if ever , but Croak was a beautiful little surprise gem that popped up on my newsfeed one too many times and then casually strolled into my basket on Book Depository and hurled itself into my arms when it arrived. And I haven't put it down since. Usually, it takes me a day and a half to finish a book.

      ways to croak for the book "how they croaked" by Lindsay and KC

      Croak took me three days because I was trying to savour every little tidbit. View all 9 comments. Jan 11, Rose rated it it was amazing Recommended to Rose by: Meg. Shelves: awww , love-the-characters , read-on-kindle , why-did-i-wait-so-long-to-read-you , because-pizza , heartbreaker , put-a-smile-on-my-face , book-boyfriends , mysterious-dude , cliffhanger. Before I say anything else about Croak , let me admit this: I read it because pizza.

      Let me explain. If you know me a little, you know I have one big, all-consuming, forever love affair with pizza. So there was definitely no stopping me from reading Croak. The TFS Trusted Food Source live-tweeted her binge read of the series and while I did not read it all forgive me for I plan to do so after I've binge read the books myself , what I did read made me believe: the sequels are soul-crushing painful, but book one is safe.

      There will be pizza. There will be shippy feels. And that's it. But I was wrong. But then I ate candy and started forgiving the part of the human race that I felt has lied to me. Then I was in denial because NO. And then I was mad. And then there were tears forming in my eyes. Mad tears. But also sad tears. And then I just couldn't hold it together anymore. This book, you guys. I can't write coherently about my feels for this book. I mean, you have to understand, I liked Croak okay when I started it but then put it on hold to read other books and when I picked it up again, I fell madly in love with it.

      And then it decides to rip my heart out and stomp all over it. People of the Goodreadsverse, listen to me: If you like books that make you laugh, go read Croak. If you like kick-ass heroines, go read Croak. If you want to meet an awesome love interest who gives the heroine his pizza, then for fuck's sake, go read Croak. And if you fucking adore pizza as much as I do, then just go read Croak. Just be prepared that at some point, your heart will be stomped on. And it will hurt. A lot. And you will know the pain I went through. I will not recover from this.

      But maybe I should because the sequels are supposed to be even worse heart hurt wise. Because Lex. Shelves: ball-busting-chicks , zomg-i-must-have-him , ya-is-dead , evil-horned-ones , yep-it-was-the-cover , a-bit-of-mush , excitement , paranormal-fix , recommended , great-concept. I knew it! I knew this book will be awesome! You hear me evil guy who lives in my head and makes me choose shitty books?? Fair enough?

      But no, first I have to mention that the order has no special meaning. So you can stop psy I knew it! So you can stop psychoanalyzing me. Thank you. So, first stop we have the cover. It bedazzled me since I laid my eyes on its perfection and it is one of the main reasons I got the book in the first place. This and the cool title. Then we have death, Grimm Reapers, scythes, cool hoodies, a rocker uncle, a giant Titanic poster, jellyfish, dead writers, a tremendously hot one eye blue the other one brown piece of eye candy and a self-destructive brat that I loved since page one.

      The final and most important aspect that I loved: the humor. This book made me lol in public, people were staring, and I was not caring. Fun fun fun! Did I make you think of Friday? Did I? Did I mention that I want an adult urban fantasy with this theme? More guns, foul words, carnage and sex please! I was sure it was view spoiler [Zara hide spoiler ] since the beginning! The ending was amazing and heartbreaking. View all 4 comments. Jun 27, Natalie Monroe rated it really liked it Shelves: great-but-not-quite-there-yet , kick-ass-heroines , my-what-a-coincidence , laugh-out-loud-humor , awesome-author.

      Reading this book is like having sex after a really long dry spell. Too much information? Eh, whatever. I've been a bit of a reading slump lately and Damico's tongue-in-cheek writing was exactly what I needed. Croak follows the story of a girl called Lex, who has,er, anger management issues. What was I supposed to do? Also, like Suze, Lex has an affinity for the Undead. You see, Lex's anger issues is puberty's way of telling her that she's a Grim Reaper, in charge of collecting souls from people's bodies after they die.

      Her Uncle Mort soon introduces her to the town of Croak, where she meets other Grim Reapers and the hot love interest , and encounters mysterious deaths that have popping up ever since she arrived. Let me just state right here I don't throw comparisons to Harry Potter around a lot. I mean, that stuff is gold and should be treated with the respect one shows to their national flag. But Croak's world-building is the closer I have seen a YA book come to matching the complexity and originality of the Wizarding World.

      It's not as good obviously, but it's leaps and bounds above the usual tripe you see in YA. Everything, from the Afterlife to how Grims detect death, is explained logically. And like Rowling, Damico takes the most mundane things and turns them into something magical: Spider silk into soul vessels, objects used to contain the Culled soul before it's released into the vault leading to Afterlife. Jellyfish into creatures that detect death.

      Book Review – ‘Croak’ (#1 Croak) by Gina Damico

      Scythes into—yeah, you know the drill. The writing is similar to Rowling's as well. It's third-person with that sly, almost childish, edge of humor. Occasionally, it straddles the middle-grade line with Mark Twain chasing people out of hammocks and past presidents flashing their boxers because, apparently to them, it's a better invention than sliced bread.

      But you know what, I like that kind of silly humor. The unexpectedness makes me laugh out loud and if you can't be an immature kid now, when are you going to be one? When you're old, fat, and have two mortgages out? The MC, Lex, is fantastic. She's the kind of heroine YA needs more: tough, independent, and doesn't take shit from a cute guy she just met: Lex dropped her hands. I would liken her to Meda from Cracked , though Lex would most likely head-butt Chi the moment she saw him, instead pretending to be a simpering little girl to infiltrate their camp.

      Sneaky, she is not. The romance was sweet but predictable. You could tell from the moment she kicked him in the nuts that they'd end up together. Cause, you know, you got his attention, right? I don't see myself actively seeking fanfiction for it, but their conversations did make me laugh. And the part on Driggs view spoiler [ having carried Lex's photo around all along made me "A www.

      Basically, if you're nostalgic for Rowling's Harry Potter days and yearn for a heroine more substantial than I'm-not-pretty-but-totes-is, you're in for a treat. My review of Scorch My review of Rogue Oct 30, Jana My Messy Chapters rated it it was ok Shelves: blog-reviewed , reads , debut-author But don't be mislead by the cover just as I was because I must tell you, this is a book that I did not finish and won't consider continuing or reading the two sequels.

      The concept was interesting, in lack of better word. I devoured the beginning 50 pages or so but something wasn't right. I think it's because of the author's writing. I just couldn't get into it, and there was something wrong. Lex was pretty, umm, weird. I mean, I guess she was written that way, but at times her temper and behaviour just seems forced and it make it seem like Gina Damico just created her to be like that to fall under YA's latest trend - bad-ass heroines.