Monday, June 16, 2014

The Town of Croak is Full of Gallows Humor

by Megan S.

Sometimes a mystery is incidental to a novel.  Such is the story of Gina Damico's Croak, the dark and hilarious tale of juvenile delinquent Lex and a town of Grim Reapers threatened by a serial killer.  This kick-ass heroine's journey isn't about saving the day, it's about surviving her personal adolescent shitstorm without destroying everything around her.  And while that may sound overwhelmingly depressing, it's actually amazingly funny.

Lex is a disaster.  After a childhood spent being a model student, she suddenly devolves into a hitting, spitting, rage-fueled mess and she has no idea why.  Her loving family is at their wits' end when they decide to ship her upstate to her Uncle Mort's farm.  Lex gets a whole lot more than she expected when she discovers Mort's not reaping harvests, he's reaping souls and she's a natural when it comes to the family business.  Over the coming months, she finds herself and a home in her uncle's quirky town of Croak.  Think the town of Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls meets the business of Dead Like Me.  It's a wonderful combination.

I have been reading a ridiculous amount of YA lately.  For some reason, the San Francisco Public Library hasn't received many adult ebooks in the last several months, but it's virtual shelves are practically bursting with new YA.  And just like every other genre, it can be hard to find a good book among the multitudes.  I wasted my Saturday afternoon snoring my way through Kiera Cass's The Selection.  (You guys, the supporting characters' found the pathetic one-liners literally knee-slappingly funny.. Meanwhile, I only gawked because I couldn't believe the author would use such a cheeseball cliche.)  So you can imagine how refreshing it was to find a book that made me actually laugh out loud instead of groaning because the author had to tell me something was supposed to be funny.  

Croak deserves to be at the top of your to-be-read pile.  And after you devour Damico's first in the trilogy, you'll be thrilled to learn that the other two, Scorched and Rogue, are ready for you to read next.  I know I am.
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