Title: Croak (Croak #1)
Author: Gina Damico
Release Date: March 20th 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Source: Netgalley in exchange for honest review.
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?
Let's have a look at that gorgeous cover for a sec. The girl's pose, that thing she's holding, what she's wearing, the bold font - everything just screams WHAT AN AMAZING AND PROMISING BOOK THIS WILL BE. 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. I just didn't get it. There was no explanation as to why she acts like that, just that readers are supposed to be on her side even though she got expelled, beat up other kids at school even though they've never done anything to her, played thoughtless tricks on cheerleaders, violated school rules, etc.
The bickering and the fighting (literally, I mean, we're talking about hitting, and black eyes on both parts) between Lex and Driggs. Those two are like unstoppable, the only think that kept me reading about this was to see more of their interaction with each other. But then again, since I gave up on CROAK after 115 pages (halfway through, more or less) I have no idea what happened or blossomed with those two.
I really wanted to like this book. I really did. Maybe that's why I gave it another chance when I was getting bored at around page 70. And it's such a shame because the cover is LOVELY. Too bad the book is not.