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Croak (Croak #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  10,026 Ratings  ·  1,440 Reviews
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 assimilat
ebook, 311 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Michelle Carrell Well, there are a f times when kissing is insinuated ("eating each others faces") but also there was a scene where two of the characters fight and…moreWell, there are a f times when kissing is insinuated ("eating each others faces") but also there was a scene where two of the characters fight and admit that they really would rather "tear each other's clothes off" but nothing ever really happens. Mostly awkward teen emotions and hormones. This book is all about the action and mystery of Croak not the character's love lives.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
AA The art department at publishing houses get a general brief of what a book is about. The artists rarely read the book; they get an abstract from the…moreThe art department at publishing houses get a general brief of what a book is about. The artists rarely read the book; they get an abstract from the editors. And the authors have very little say over the art.

So, a detail like the small scythe blade was probably NOT included in the abstract, and the fan art is based on the cover art.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Lex turned her scythe over in her hands once more, unable to take her eyes off it. “It’s amazing.”
“And so dark, too,” said Zara. “I’ve never seen one that dark before.”
Uncle Mort rolled his eyes. “So it’s agreed, the scythe is totally dreamy.” He stood up and grinned that unglued smile again. “But it’s nothing more than a butter knife until you put it into action.”
How do you make a different girl, a special girl into a main character that doesn't feel like a Mary Sue?

- Make her a juvenile deli
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I thought this book was pretty good. It's extremely funny and becoming a reaper or grim as they call themselves in this book is a cool idea for a book.


Lex has become a delinquent. She's attacking kids at school, teachers, whoever gets in the way. Her parents have had enough so they decide to send her to live with her uncle Mort for the summer. She doesn't want to leave her sister but it has to be done. So they put her on a bus and her life is going to be changed forever.

"Hey there, cutie," he
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Jun 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Donita Luz :)
3.5 stars

Behind my “gentle and kind” looking face (that’s what most people I meet say and I humbly thank them even though my best friend will probably choke of coughing fits if she reads this), deep inside, sometimes I have this urge, a dark fantasy to hurt really annoying people. Like sometimes, I dream of punching someone’s pelvic bone or kicking someone’s butt so hard they’ll land the top of the neighbor’s roof. Sometimes I imagine lining up all annoying people I’ve encountered in my life i
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
This book was hard for me to rate.
Lex has been acting out. Her Uncle Mort agrees to take her in for the summer on his "farm". Ends up he is a Grim. He helps people die. Lex is perfect for the job.

I did not like the main character. I know she was supposed to be snarky and all. But she just served the purpose of pissing me off. I did like her somewhat better by the end of the book. It could be the fact that she is a teenage girl. Yep. Don't like those.

The land of Croak. Yeah ok. There just wasn'
Lola  Reviewer
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: If you REALLY like grim reapers + mystery in YA.
Recommended to Lola by: TL

That’s me (well, not literally…), still sleepy and a bit annoyed. I thought this book was so boring that, for the first time in my entire life (not that long though), I feel asleep while reading a book. I never slept in class or in a plane but succeeded to fall asleep while reading Croak. There are first times for everything, right? Still, I feel somehow…surprised. Guess this book can be surprising in a certain way.

I had multiple problems with it. First, I didn’t dislike the principal character
May 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
1.5 stars

There's a really good concept underneath it all, but the execution was horrible.
When I read the blurb, I got all excited because I love Grim Reaper stuff. And the idea that a bunch of kids work for some sort of Reaper Agency sounded phenomenal!
Once I started reading?
No. Not unreadably awful, but awful nonetheless.

First, you have the main character who has...what? Some sort of obnoxious personality disorder?
I like MCs with a lot of piss and vinegar running through their veins, but th
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤

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 wee
Aug 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Murders, Grim Reapers, Scythes! Oh my!

This was the perfect book to listen to on my way back from a 9 hour road trip. Its sarcastic protagonist, charismatic secondary characters, and entertaining plot made the drive feel like 30 minutes. Ok maybe a couple hours. But still.

Lex used to be a perfectly good student, except lately she's been a bit of a delinquent. This is what gets her shipped to her uncle Mort's place in a bizarre small town of population 80. This is also where she learns who, or w
Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten*
October 2015 reread
Honestly, I can't come up with any reason why this only got four stars instead of five the first time around. Rereading this was like coming home. Almost the same way rereading Harry Potter feels like coming home. I read books two and three this past January, and only read Croak for the first time in December, so it hasn't even been a whole year apart yet but I missed this town. And these characters <3 I love books that make me feel like this.

17Dec14 Initial Reaction:

“Lex,” he said, “Croak is a portal – one that sits between our world and the next.”
A strange noise escaped Lex’s lips, something between a stupefied gasp and a dubious snicker. “What?”
“That’s why you’re here. I’m going to teach you how to do what I do.”
“And what is that?”
He leaned in close. She could feel his breath on her face.
“I Kill people.”

Lex is an absolute teenage nightmare. She wasn’t always this way, but when she hit puberty, she got into fights for the smallest reasons, served more de
Mimi Valentine
Absolutely 5 SHINY (like this cover) STARS! Sometimes I think I read so many books that finding an original and captivating gem in the bunch gets harder by the day, but Croak reminds me why I love to read. It's knee-slappingly fun but still dark at the same time!

As a huge Soul Screamers fan, I already have a weakness for reapers but Gina Damico still brings something new to the table! These reapers carry actual scythes and only have the job of carting souls off to the Afterlife, where quirky gh
Aly's Bookish Wonderland
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Aly's Bookish Wonderland by: Inge
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy

Lex dropped her hands. Unfortunately, Driggs followed suit, affording her the perfect opportunity to kick him in the crotch.
Which she did.
"That... was... unnecessary," he groaned from the ground.
Lex blew a tuft of hair out of her face.
"I disagree."

Holy crap. That was awesome! I don't fangirl over a book much (if ever), but Croak was a beautiful little surprise gem that popped up on my newsfeed one too many times and then casually strolled into my basket on Book Depository and hurled itself int
If you're looking for a Halloween read, Croak is perfect. It's a breath of fresh air. It was fun and funny and bad ass, I loved the characters and the story, and Lex spoke to my former-pissed-off-teenager-self on a spiritual level. My faith in YA is restored.

As they say, a GIF is better than a thousand words, so let me sum up my thoughts ans feelings while reading Croak:

Before I say anything else about Croak, let me admit this: I read it because pizza.

Let me explain.

If you know me a little, you know I have one big, all-consuming, forever love affair with pizza. So when I heard from a Trusted Food Source that this book not only has PIZZA IN IT (!) but also has the love interest giving the female lead HIS PIZZA (!!!), I mean... THIS IS EVERYTHING I WANT IN LIFE MYSELF (A GUY WHO FULFILLS MY 24/7 DESIRE FOR PIZZA) AND IF I CAN'T HAVE IT (YET), AT LEAST I CAN READ
Anzu The Great Destroyer
I knew it! I knew this book will be awesome! You hear me evil guy who lives in my head and makes me choose shitty books?? DO-YOU-HEAR-ME???

Instead of behaving like a brainless fangirl and squeal my ass off with useless words/sounds like ZOMG BFRRRR AAAA GAAAHHHH and ZIIING I chose to make a list of things that I loved about Croak. Fair enough? I’m trying my best here so cut me some slack.

Ok so, let’s begin.

But no, first I have to mention that the order has no special meaning. So you can stop psy
Natalie Monroe
Reading this book is like having sex after a really long dry spell.

Too much information?

Eh, whatever. I've been a bit of a reading slump lately and Damico's tongue-in-cheek writing was exactly what I needed. Croak follows the story of a girl called Lex, who has,er, anger management issues.

“The list of scars my students have sustained at the hand of your daughter grows longer each week. Poor Logan Hochspring's arm will forever carry an imprint of her dental records!"
"You bit him?" Lex's father s
::: Also posted on:

Let's have a look at that gorgeous cover for a sec. The girl's pose, that thing she's holding, what she's wearing, the bold font - everything just screams WHAT AN AMAZING AND PROMISING BOOK THIS WILL BE. But don't be mislead by the cover (just as I was) because I must tell you, this is a book that I did not finish (and won't consider continuing or reading the two sequels).

The concept was interesting, in lack of better word. I devoured t

Anyone remember Dead Like Me? I flipping LOVED that show, and was so profoundly irate and indignant when dull-witted, moronic executives ripped it off the airwaves after its second season, with so much story left to tell. I will always remember it as an outstanding piece of television where young Georgia Lass is killed quite spectacularly one spring afternoon by an auspicious toilet seat that careens out of the sky after falling from the Russian space station. Smartmouth, antisocial George doesn
Wart Hill
That was so much fun.

So, here's the gist: Lexington Bartleby has been acting out. A lot. So, in hopes of getting her to control her temper, her parents send her off to spend a summer with her Uncle Mort on what they believe is his farm. Turns out Uncle Mort is mayor of a town called Croak, the entire population of which is Grim Reapers. And Lex is about to find out her calling.

Lex is surrounded by a colorful cast of characters, from her partner Driggs with whom she often butts heads, to the othe
Robin (Bridge Four)
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who liked Cracked or enjoy snark
Recommended to Robin by: Melissa Chung
4.5 Stars

The one thing that is almost always the same in the YA genre is that the Heroine is always a good girl or nice person. Rarely does she get to be something outside of the mainstream, so I was so happy when the MC is a misunderstood juvenile delinquent with anger issues.

“The list of scars my students have sustained at the hand of your daughter grows longer each week. Poor Logan Hochspring's arm will forever carry an imprint of her dental records!"
"You bit him?" Lex's father said.
"He call
Taylor Knight
Oct 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'd never heard of this book before my best friend recommended it to me and I'm so glad that she did!
I loved the writing and plot so much! It was really engaging and fun. I thought the characters were really relatable and real. These some really great dark humor from a couple of the characters which I really liked. And Lex was amazing. She's exactly what I look for in a female character.
But the best part of this book is how entertaining it is. I really enjoyed reading it and I'd definitely reco
Wendy Darling
3.5 stars Fun! It took about 20% for me to really get into the book (the narrative voice and humor seemed a little unusual to me at first), but once the story got going it was pretty cute and a very entertaining read. Good for those occasions when you want something a little more lighthearted...but with reapers.
Expected Publication Date: March 20th 2012

Croak was kindly provided to me by Netgalley for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Interested in more of my reviews? Visit my blog!

When sixteen year-old Lex starts to become a problem child, her parents decide to send her away for the Summer in hopes that her behavior will be changed while spending time with her Uncle Mort on his farm.

"I know it's a rather odd decision, but we think that a few months of fresh air could do you some good. You can get in touch with
May 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Really enjoyed this :) A fun tale with action and plenty of humor with a dab of romance put in.

I loved the concept of Croak and the Grims, Killing/Culling... Miss Damico did a great job creating this world and making you fall in love with the characters.

Every one of the characters felt 'alive' to me, I felt like I could walk into Croak and just sit down with Grims in the diner.

Mort was the 'cool uncle' you would love to have, mini crush on him :).

Norwood I wanted to smack.. many times haha... H
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Who doesn't love a story about the Grim Reaper?

I guess the answer is me.

This book had so much promise and it certainly had great moments but it felt a little too overdone. I'm a bit nervous saying this and I'll qualify it by pointing out that 70% of reviewers have rated Croak 4 or 5 Stars...

...but, to me it felt like what you would get if Tommy Wiseau wrote Harry Potter.
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is such a unique interpretation of the Afterlife! I love reading things such as this, but if you are a firm believer in Heaven and Hell and everything of the sort, this is not a read for you. This is an entirely different Afterlife where John Wilkes Booth arm-wrestles Abraham Lincoln on a daily basis while Edgar Allen Poe and Teddy Roosevelt are in a constant battle of pranks that ends when Quoth the bird poops on Teddy's face. Yeah, this is a pretty awesome Afterlife, but one where al ...more
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Armina by: Rhea
Grim Reapers? check.

Mystery and death? check.

Very dark humour? check.

The ending? WOW

Full review to come.

(view spoiler)
Ohhhh that was awesome. A lot of fun, sassy main character and a really refreshing story line. Shame I don't have book 2 with me right now.
Mar 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four stars: A fresh, fun take on the Grim Reaper. 

Lex is an equal opportunity bully.  For reasons that are even unbeknownst to her, she has donned a mega bad attitude that pairs with her black hoodie.  She picks on and punches everyone.  Don't even dare to give her a dirty look, you risk a black eye.  After repeated warnings her parents inform her, while she is restrained with a jump rope, that she is to spend the summer with her Uncle Mort.  Her dad's mysterious younger brother, will take her i
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
More of My Reviews On My Blog: Ageless Pages Reviews

Lex is the hard-edged and foul-mouthed teenage main character of Croak, and if you don't like Lex, chances are that this is not the book for you. Lex takes the stage early and that made Croak's beginning one of the weakest I have come across - I nearly set it down when "retard" came out to play as an insult early on. The reader's immediate, first impression within two pages of starting this is that this 17-year-old hellion is violent, volatil
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Favorite Character 11 37 Dec 12, 2015 05:06AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Croak (Croak #1), by Gina Damico--Starting October 17th, 2015 12 13 Oct 22, 2015 04:20PM  
I am i the only person who read this? why don't we have a fandom? 10 26 Dec 28, 2014 11:43AM  
Uncle Mort 2 16 Jul 15, 2014 07:32PM  
Has anyone read this series yet? 8 24 Jun 06, 2014 08:38PM  
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I grew up under four feet of snow in Syracuse, New York. I received a degree in theater and sociology from Boston College, where I was active with the Committee for Creative Enactments, a murder mystery improv comedy troupe that may or may not have sparked my interest in wildly improbably bloodshed. I have since worked as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist, movie ...more
More about Gina Damico

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“Life isn't fair. Why should death be any different?” 134 likes
“The list of scars my students have sustained at the hand of your daughter grows longer each week. 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. What was I supposed to do?"
"Oh, I don't know--maybe not bite him?”
More quotes…