Croak by Gina Damico.
Publication Date: March 2012
List Price: $8.99
Review: When you walk into Croak, what is the first thing you notice? Do you notice the strange, peculiar, and dazed look on the blank faces of tourists? How about the population number changing automatically whenever someone passes the sign into the small town? Or maybe you first notice the unexpected truth that every one of the citizens in Croak carries a scythe in their identical black hoodies? Gina Domico presents to the public a story (appropriately titled Croak) that is sure to make you stay on the edge of your seat the entire time. Guaranteed.
As quoted by Adam Rex, the author of Fat Vampire, "Go ahead and die laughing, knowing that the safe transport of your mortal soul will be the summer job of a sweetheart teen with godlike power and discipline problems. A lot of books make me wish I could live within their pages, but I wouldn't mind dying in this one," Croak is amazing. Lex is a regular, common, self-respecting teen who is unfortunately at the end of her line. Her parents are completely fed up with her. She "stole things, she swore like a drunken pirate, and she punched people. A lot of people." Therefore, when her uncle offers Lex to come over to his "farm" for the summer, her parents agreed almost instantly. Meanwhile, Lex discovers more about Croak than she would prefer. Her uncle is not only the Grim Reaper, he also expects her to manage to live on only breakfast and occasionally, dinner. Horrible parenting skills! Oh, and that job of hers? Her job isn't to milk cows or collect eggs, her job is to KILL.
Gina Domico is an absolute GENIUS! Many (including me) have attempted to create another world within the one we currently live in, though not all of them have succeeded (again, me). The word "Croak" is really powerful and entrancing. It hits you like BAM "I want to read this." And then when you do, you're glad you did. Justice is a dear thing isn't it? Lex seems to think so too, especially when some pretty… murderous deaths begin occur. Lex may seem like another reckless teenager but really, she's just acting belligerent because she's a natural grim. NO OFFENCE. Oh, and by the way, Croak has a lot of bad words in it, however, I'm sure you'll be able to handle it. But Croak isn't just about the mysterious "white-eyed deaths" but also of Lex learning even more about herself, just as anyone else should. That would probably take a life-time, but a life-time of learning is something to value, something Lex later learns to value as well.
Review written by Tam (6th grade student).
We would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy of Croak for this review.
Have you read Croak? How would you rate it?