Jul 5, 2014

Review of Croak by Gina Damico

 Croak by Gina Damico

Rating: 2 stars
Received: borrowed
Genres & themes: YA, death, friendship, urban fantasy, mystery.

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?


I thought this book was so boring that, for the first time in my entire life, I feel asleep while reading a book. I never slept in class or in a plane but succeeded to fall asleep while reading Croak. There are first times for everything, right? Still, I feel pretty lazy in a way and somehow…surprised. Guess this book can be surprising in a certain way.

I had multiple problems with it. First, I didn’t dislike the principal characters but they weren’t how I thought they would be. Lex is supposed to be wild and all but I didn’t feel it. I mean, she says some not very nice things to people but we can see, from the beginning of the story, that she has a heart and that she’s not that bad. She cares about not hurting her sister and putting in danger her new friends, uncle and the community in general. And, of course, she changes throughout the entire story which isn’t bad itself but there wasn’t that much to change apart from her attitude and maybe some other small things. I had in mind that she was going to be similar to Meda from Cracked.

Driggs didn’t impress me. He’s one of the principal characters but, to be honest, I wouldn’t mind him not being one. I have no connection or any normal positive feelings to have for a masculine character towards him. Now what really confused me is the big amount of secondary characters. It reminded me of the book  Nightshade. The problem is that the author presents them when we first meet those characters but then, if I forget who one of those  really are and what purpose that character has, I’m done. I may never know her/his ‘title’ again, if I can’t deduct by myself and what connection she/him has with the others.

The romance…was not very present. There is this kind of love/hate relationship and, even if I usually love those, this one was the usual kind:

Girl meets boy.
Boy wants nothing to do with girl.
Girl wants to ‘kill’ boy.
Girl and boy partner for ‘work.’
Girl and boy learn to know each other.

And you know the rest; girl and boy begin to like one another. It wasn’t exciting because, as I said earlier, Driggs is too immature for his age and he didn’t quite have a ‘charm’ or fun sense of humour that made me like him or ‘fall for him.’ One character I enjoyed reading about though is Uncle Mort because he’s fun and I would love to meet him in real life to see how he truly looks like and, maybe, be charmed by his personality.

The writing wasn’t bad, pleasant enough actually so that’s why I can’t bring myself to give it only one star. I remember reading a book with a story different but with a similar subject and that’s the the Madison Avery Trilogy by Kim Harrion and, even if that story is slow-paced with long chapters, I appreciated the characters and the story more. It was pretty original in fact. So, if you want to read this kind of story, I would recommend Kim Harrison’s trilogy for YA instead of this Croak one. 


  1. I'm sorry you didn't like this one, Lola. I've recently read this myself (review going up tomorrow if I recall correctly), and I loved Lex and the world-building so much! But I see where you're coming from.

    Hope your next read is better!

  2. Thanks,Inge! Yeah, I saw you described it in one of your posts as ''one of your favorite books' and I was like whaaaat?! ;) Glad some people like it though. :)

  3. When a book makes you fall asleep it's never a good sign. I have seen Croak around and it sounded like a really interesting story, but it seems it's not. Sorry that this one disappointed you, Lola! Great review :)

  4. Thank you, Tanja! :D Yeah, that's the main reason I picked it up. Although, I saw that on Goodreads the ratings went a bit down so I was a bit suspicious as well before starting it. It's a bit too young for me, I believe. :P

  5. Oh no! But yes I have had that happened, quite a few times ;) Thought I even fell asleep while reading a good book once too

  6. I'm sorry this didn't work out for you Lola! I don't read a lot of grim reaper books but I'm thinking it's not a good thing when you fell asleep while reading it! I can see how the characters didn't really connect with you that much and the romance was lackluster so I can certainly understand why you ended up not enjoying this. If I ever do read a book with this theme, I would definitely try out the books you recommended instead. Lovely review! :)

  7. YIkes -- I haven't read this but hard to imagine that a grim reaper book could be boring! Hope your next book is more of a page turner!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

  8. BOO. Sorry, Lola. I had this one pretty high up on my TBR too, but now I'm thinking I might shove it back down. I can't recall ever being put to sleep by a book that was my choice to read, but definitely it's not a good sign, LOL. Thanks for the heads-up, dollface! Great review ;)

  9. @Blodeuedd: Hahahahha, really? OK, I admit I was a bit sleepy that day so I was a lot of other days and I still read books and didn't fell asleep. xd

    @Amir: Thank you Amir! Yeah, Kim Harrison's trilogy isn't THAT great but definitely better than this and no with annoying characters like those ones. :P

    @Jen: I KNOW!! I couldn't imagine that either and that cover is amazingly cool so I was sure I was going to like it! xd Thank you, Jen! :D

    @Jess: Aww, but it's a pretty good thing, no? Now you're a bit more free to read Cracked. *evil laugh* Thank you! :)

  10. Awwws, I'm so sorry you didn't like this book! I actually quite enjoyed it!! I thought it was a very fun read! The second book, though... that's something else. I hate to admit, bit it was kinda disappointing =/

    And I LOVED Madison Avery!! I read that series I while ago and I just thought it was fantastic!

    Great review! It might have been not-so-positive, but it's honest :)

  11. Oh, you're actually not the only one telling me the second book is not as good as the first! Guess it the series stops here for me, right? ;) Aww, I'm glad you read Madison Avry! Wow, I bet we have a lot of books in common, Liliana. ^^
    And thank you! :D