by Gina Damico
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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 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?
Lex wondered, for a fleeting moment, what her principal’s head might look like if it were stabbed atop a giant wooden spear.
Fun, witty, snarky, and lighthearted, this book was just what the doctor ordered for my busy and stressful week. Do you ever just have those weeks where, no matter what you do, how you feel, how much time you make, every time you FINALLY get time to pick up your book you’re too tired to even enjoy or comprehend what you’re even reading? Yeah, well, that’s been me this week. And yes, I make time whereas a lot of people would just use their exhaustion from all day activities to rest and catch up on sleep-but that’s just not me and I don’t know if it ever will be. See, my escape is reading. Nothing else relaxes, elates, and motivates me more than reading. I strive for those peaceful (and not so peaceful) moments where I finally get to sit down, grab a drink (preferably soda if its not too late), and dive into my latest story. My point? This book, after many long and stressful work days, was just what I needed. Picking up this hilarious story was effortless, and I am so glad I randomly chose to pick this up and read it.
“…Poor Logan Hochspring’s arm will forever carry an imprint of her dental records!”
“You bit him?” Lex’s father said.
“He called me a wannabe vampire,” she said. “What was I supposed to do?”
“Oh, I don’t know-maybe not bite him?”
I don’t have a ton of time to write a long and drawn out review (shocker), but I loved this book for so many different reasons and it would drive me ABSOLUTELY INSANE to know that I passed up an opportunity to tell some people about a story they have never heard of. This is the type of story where you don’t have to take it too seriously, but it’s written so damn well that you do take it seriously. It’s not one to be overlooked just because it’s light as air-You care about every moment and you begin to fall for every character, no matter how big or small their part. I think that this is a fun story for everyone, and it’s even better if you just dive right in and don’t overthink it-it’s exactly what I did, and immediately upon opening the ebook I was laughing my ass off.
Another heavy smack echoed into the sky. A spasm of pain ripped through her face, her vision bursting into stars.
“You hit back?!” she shouted.
Driggs was gaping in disbelief at his own hand. Slowly, he recovered and looked into her good eye. “I had a feeling you’d be more insulted if I didn’t.”
Lex stared back. He couldn’t have been more right.
“You can’t hit a girl,” she said, rubbing her face.
“You hit me first.”
“So I was defending myself.”
Lex huffed. This was going terribly. “You cant do that!”
“It seems I just did,” he replied with a stilted laugh.
This is a story about Lex, a snarky high school girl who has recently turned delinquent for no reason at all. Her attitude is through the roof and no one can reach her, so her parents decide to send her off to her Uncle Mort’s ‘farm’. But what they don’t know? They just signed their daughter up to spend the summer killing people. Ha ha. But really…
“Yeah, well, it doesn’t make up for his lack of sanity. Or parental instincts. Or decorating skills. Did you see that hideous display of girlish vomit that was supposed to be my room?”
“Oh? You didn’t like it?”
“Why not? Titanic is a timeless classic. The ultimate love story, one of the most towering achievements in cinematic-”
“Wait a damn minute,” Lex interrupted as his straight face began to crack. “You did that? On purpose?”
“Don’t girls like Titanic?”
I think my largest concern was the fact that she was going to be hanging out at her uncle’s all summer. I mean…come on. How fun could that even be? I have skipped over this book on numerous occasions without even a backward glance and then all of a sudden this week I thought…ya know, this looks like perfection right now. And it was. Her uncle was nothing like I’d ever have expected. He was maybe even funnier than Lex…which is a hard thing to accomplish. Humor leaped off each and every page, no matter how serious the situation, and it was due to every single character that contributed to this story.
“This doctor sure hates zits,” he said. “And this community college has got it all-education, affordability, and convenience!”
“Be quiet,” said Lex. “Where are your Oreos?”
“I ate them.”
“I was excited!”
-Lex and Driggs (looool)
And now for my favorite character: Driggs. Sweet, adorable, protective, and….Lex’s equal? Yeah. That went over well. It was hate at first sight, and their shenanigans were off the charts funny. And I absolutely adored his affliction for sweets. But as the story progresses, we begin to see a deeper and more emotional Driggs, making his witty and bantering behavior all the more appealing and escalating it into something worth obsessing over. And as we begin to see gradual feelings surface between these two, we might just learn something that will melt our hearts…I know I turned into a puddle of goo.
“Yes, you are. You’re scheming.” He got up and walked toward his room. “Scheming leads to crazy ideas. Crazy ideas lead to trouble. I get dragged into your trouble, we both get kicked out of Croak, and the next thing you know, we’re freezing to death in the waters of the North Atlantic.”
“Dude, you are way too obsessed with Titanic.”
Driggs looked indignant. “What is so wrong with having a healthy respect for heart-wrenching filmmaking of unequaled-” He shook his head. “Look, this isn’t about me. Just quit it with the evil plots, all right? If you get exiled, I’m going to be pissed as hell.” He slammed the door.
“Why?” she yelled.
He poked his head out. “I don’t want to have to clean out your room again.” He slammed the door once more and disappeared into a crash of drums.
I don’t know what to say to make this book more appealing, so I will just leave it at this: If you are busy, if you are tired, if you just want a light, funny, mystery book, then this is absolute perfection. I can’t say it didn’t have little flaws, like the lack of description on certain, ahem, kissing scenes and maybe the fact that it was in third person (I think I’d have liked a first person narrative-it would have made it a little more personal), but, aside from that, I really had no complaints. Sit back, relax, and pick this book up-Lex and Drigg’s bitching and griping at each other is sure to lighten even the darkest of your bad moods…I would suggest this to pretty much everyone. I hope it works for you like it did for me!
Ahhhh I absolutely devoured this. A snarky heroine with the ability to back it up, a beautiful boy in which she bickered-fought-argued-was attracted to, and a hilarious uncle that brought her into a world she never knew existed.
I’d say this was a pretty big win….and just what I needed!
Review to come!