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Croak
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Croak
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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...
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...
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Description-

  • 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?

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Gina Damico has worked as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist,
    and movie extra. She lives in Boston with her husband, two cats, and a closet full of black
    hoodies. Visit her website at www.ginadami.co.

Reviews-

  • DOGO Books scungjr3 - amazing book
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 30, 2012
    In this spirited (no pun intended) debut, Damico playfully explores the nature of life and the afterlife. When 16-year-old Lex Bartleby’s anger management issues and violent impulses land her in one fight too many, she is sent to live with her uncle Mort in the Adirondacks for the summer, in the hopes that it will straighten her out. Instead, upon arriving in the tiny town of Croak, Lex discovers that she, like the tattooed and motorcycle-riding Mort, is a Grim, responsible for drawing out the souls of the recently deceased to facilitate their passing on to the afterlife. Initially dubious, she soon discovers a natural talent for the work. Lex and her new partner, Driggs, with whom she has a fiery love-hate relationship, stumble across bodies with no known cause of death, sparking an investigation into one of the greatest, dirtiest secrets of the Grim organization. The morbid subject matter is kept in check by entertaining characters, clever twists, and a sly, self-aware sense of humor that pervades this promising series launch. Ages 12–up. Agent: Tina Wexler, ICM.

  • Kirkus

    February 15, 2012
    A teen hellion realizes her calling as a grim reaper in this derivative but enjoyable novel set in an unusual town in upstate New York. Previously perfectly well adjusted, Lex has spent the last couple of years hitting, spitting, swearing and acting out violent urges that she herself doesn't understand. Her parents decide to ship her off to her Uncle Mort in Croak, hoping that hard farm labor will jog sense into her. Little do they know that Mort is the mayor of a community whose inhabitants are all involved in ensuring the humane transference of the dead into the next realm. Mort pairs her with cute but antagonistic Driggs, and the two grapple comically with their growing feelings for one another throughout. Many of the details here have a distinctly Potteresque feel--Lex is the most powerful Grim in a millennia, but bears similarity to a legendarily terrible villain. However, the central mystery is genuinely puzzling, and Lex's narrative voice is funny and fresh--"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." An unexpectedly (and frustratingly) abrupt conclusion leaves no doubt that there will be a sequel. Fantasy fans who like their tales gritty and filled with irreverent humor will be eager for the follow-up. (Paranormal comedy. 13-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2012

    Gr 8 Up-Lex has recently descended into delinquency, and her parents have had enough. At the end of her junior year, she is sent to stay with her Uncle Mort in upstate New York. She discovers that the people of Croak are dedicated to releasing souls at the moment of death and ushering them to the Afterlife. Lex becomes a Grim, but she isn't like all the others: Killing gives her a painful shock. She also struggles to resist pursuing murderers, making her a suspect when criminals begin dying for no reason. But her partner (and eventual love interest, once Lex stops wanting to pummel him) and the other Grims vow to uncover the real villain. The Grimsphere is creatively detailed-black hoodies are standard uniforms and the bartender pours Yoricks, served in a skull-but this world-building never takes itself too seriously. Silly humor and death-related puns undercut what might otherwise be a dark story. The structure is largely trope and the ending a bit fast, but Damico balances wrapping up loose ends with setting up a sequel (Scorch, due later this year). A formulaic structure embellished with creative details, sarcastic humor, and quick-witted dialogue makes Croak rise above other stories of its type.-Gretchen Kolderup, New Canaan Library, CT

    Copyright 2012 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    HMH Books
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