Daring You To Read is a weekly feature here on Tynga’s Reviews where we dare you to read some of our favorite older releases (at least 6 months old). All the books/series we choose to feature are titles we adored and think you should give them a shot! We think it’s a super awesome way to discover that special book who might have slipped off your radar!
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Can I start off by saying that I can't believe it took me this long to dare everyone to read the CROAK series by Gina Damico? Damico's writing is beyond amazing and has repeatedly made me tear up from laughing so hard.
When I first heard of these books, I was slightly nervous about reading them. It was before I was able to read Darynda Jones's Charley Davidson series, so I was still a little iffy about the concept of grim reapers in young adult literature. But this is the series that easily made me love reapers. Equal parts cute and drop-dead funny, I could not put CROAK down. The humor is dark, sassy, and dripping with sarcasm. Though incredibly immature at times, it fits with the unique characterization of all of the hilarious characters that can be found in the eccentric town of Croak.
Aside from the humor, the characters are really what made this book for me. When Lex arrives in Croak, she quickly befriends the other junior reapers in her age group. All of them bring a different personality to the table, and as different as they are they all managed to mesh together to create one seriously awesome group of friends that go on kickass adventures and have infinite amounts of so-lame-that-I-can't-help-but-laugh jokes.
The other aspect of this novel that I found to be incredibly enthralling was the reaper lore. I'm a huge sucker for things such as this. While I prefer legitimate mythology, any lore that is well-crafted and brings interesting elements to the table to show the evolution of a race through history can easily grab my attention and keep me reading. Croak is no exception to this. When Lex first got to Croak and Mort was beginning to explain everything to her, I was completely awestruck by the creativity of the plot and the imaginative lore despite Lex's character pretending to view everything Mort said as unimportant.
In her debut, Damico weaves a tale of unquestionable hilarity, awkward first love, and the desire to fit in and do what's right even if others think it's wrong. Pick up this book, and you'll be DYING for book two.
Get it? Grim reapers. Haha.
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?