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BOOK REVIEW: Scorch (Croak #2) by Gina Damico

BOOK REVIEW: Scorch (Croak #2) by Gina DamicoScorch (Croak #2)
by Gina Damico
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby is a teenage grim reaper with the bizarre ability to damn souls. That makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But after inadvertently transferring her ability to Zara, a murderous outlaw, Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home.

To escape the townspeople’s wrath, she and her friends embark on a wild road trip to DeMyse. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, it feels like a prison to Lex. Her best chance at escape would be to stop Zara once and for all—but how can she do that from DeMyse, where the Grims seem mysteriously oblivious to Zara’s killing spree?


Lex sighed and readied her scythe. “Yeah, well, love doesn’t always beat out fear.”
“Sometimes it does,” he replied with a smile, pecking her on the nose.
“Christ, Driggs. You’re turning into a Lifetime movie.”
“Your defense mechanisms are captivating, as always.”

Aaaah this series. I am so in love with this series. I repeatedly explained in my last review that this series was perfect for when you’re busy, down, or just need a laugh. As it turns out? I’m all three. Which I also wouldn’t shut up about in my prior review. But, and this is a large but, I am beginning to see how this might not be such a light and fluffy series.

Lex smiled and looked up at him. “It was beautiful.”
He smiled back and kissed the top of her head. “It was for you.”


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More and more we are beginning to see the death toll increase (ironically, in book one, despite being aptly named Croak, not that many people really died). And its not even minor characters. We are starting to see main characters hacked and slashed and its getting harder and harder to pretend that something bad might not be coming….because I’m not so sure anymore. Not only are Lex and Driggs continually being threatened, they are constantly getting hurt. It’s beginning to scare me. And, to top it all off, all my wonderful friends and reviewers on GR have written reviews for book three that are nothing if not painfully clear on who or what is knocking on death’s doorstep (again, no pun intended).

Driggs whispered to Lex out of the side of his mouth as they walked, “I never got grounded before you came here.”
“You never touched a boob before I came here either.”
“Touché.” He flashed a goofy grin as Uncle Mort shoved him into his room and slammed the door. “Worth it!”

That’s not to say I don’t immensely enjoy every little bit of these stories-on the contrary, I actually devour these. For as little time as I have to read, this series is like book crack. Driggs and Lex’s banter is still as fresh and funny as ever and I can’t keep a smile off of my face no matter how hard I try. I don’t laugh out loud (much) for books, so, for me to be cackling out loud at the smart-assery that is Lex and Driggs’s personalities, that is truly something.

Three seconds of silence followed, which was way too much time to go without making out, so they dove right back into each other’s faces. But after a minute or so, Lex pushed him away. “Stop.”
“Why?” He looked horrified. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing-”
“Was it that thing I did with my tongue?”
“Um, no. Your tongue and its many talents are perfect. Keep up the good work.”

My favorite character, still, by a landslide is Driggs-duh. His adorable ways of bitching at Lex and inhalation of sweets (most frequently Oreos) make it impossible not to love him. It’s not so much that he matches Lex’s wit, it’s how he matches it-it’s his mannerisms and way of phrasing things that makes him a refreshing (and again, adorable) breath of fresh air.

Lex shouldered her bag and grinned. “I’m not.” She bent over Driggs to kiss him, slipping Bone’s key into his pocket for safekeeping in case she ran into trouble. “See you later.”
“Okay, muffin,” he said robotically, his eyes glued to the screen as he smooched the air. “Be safe and so forth.”

And then, Lex-I still adore her anger and ability to shut out any and all warnings so she can help with the greater good (at least in her mind). Her stupid (and not so stupid) decisions are evened out with her Uncle Mort and Driggs’ levelheadedness and will to keep her alive. I don’t know where her path is leading…but I hope it’s not what she does for a living (cough, dead, cough).


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He did a spit-take as she approached. “Holy shitballs,” he said, scanning her up and down. “You look gorgeous.”
Lex laughed. “Thanks.”
“You’re wearing a dress,” he informed her.
“And yet I haven’t burst into flames. I’m just as surprised as you are.”
“Well, warn me next time so my heart doesn’t explode.” He got up to pull out her chair.
She snickered. “Pretending to be a gentleman, are we?”
“Gotta try at least once a year, or I’ll lose my license.”

So, ya know, there isn’t much to say. It’s a funny series and there is a little bit of something for everyone. Despite what I had originally thought when I saw the cover, that it was cheesy, it’s anything but. The writing is superb and the characters are fleshed out and completely hilarious. Uncle Mort living with a couple of horny teenagers proved to be something of a hilarious main plot point (ever vigilant and on the lookout) and it added some cotton candy to what is starting to become a very dark trilogy. And, I’m just guna come out and say it, because I’ve already eluded to it a million times: I don’t think I could handle it if a certain (adorable) one blue, one brown eyed boy didn’t survive. How could I live in a world knowing he ceased to exist? I couldn’t, I tell you!! So…I am a wimp. I shall wait. And ponder. And pick a better time…because I am a coward who needs to get her gumption up before I finish this series. But don’t worry, Lex and Driggs-


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BOOK REVIEW: Croak (Croak #1) by Gina Damico

BOOK REVIEW: Croak (Croak #1) by Gina DamicoCroak (Croak #1)
by Gina Damico
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

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?”


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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?”
“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.


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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?”
“Hell no.”
“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.”
“Already?”
“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!

 

 

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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!

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