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There's no way sixteen year old Quincy Amarante will become the fifth grim reaper. None. Not over her shiny blue Mustang. Her Jimmy Choos. Or her dead body.

She’s supposed to enjoy her sophomore year, not learn about some freaky future Destiny says she has no choice but to fulfill.

It doesn’t take long for Quincy to realize the only way out of the game is to play along especially since Death can find her anyway, anywhere, anytime. And does.

Like when she’s reassuring her friends she wants nothing to do with former best friend Ben Moorland, who’s returned from god-knows-where, and fails. Miserably.

Instead of maintaining her coveted popularity status, Quincy’s goes down like the Titanic.

Maybe ... just maybe ... that’s okay.

It seems, perhaps, becoming a grim reaper isn’t just about the dead but more about a much needed shift in Quincy’s priorities—from who she thinks she wants to be to who she really is.

212 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 29, 2012

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About the author

L.S. Murphy

12 books153 followers
L.S. Murphy lives in the Greater St. Louis area where she watches baseball, reads every book she can find, and weaves tales for teens and adults. When not doing all of the above, she tends to The Bean (aka her daughter), her husband and a menagerie of pets.

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5 stars
65 (27%)
4 stars
75 (32%)
3 stars
52 (22%)
2 stars
25 (10%)
1 star
17 (7%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 66 reviews
Profile Image for Jocelyn Adams.
Author 14 books423 followers
October 9, 2012
I finished this book in one sitting yesterday, and it's taken me this long to figure out how to express my feelings about it.

The first sign telling me this is a five star book -- it haunted my mind all day long.

Reaper is not predictable. Far from it. I started out not liking Quin very much, but I'm not sure I was supposed to. Her growth through this novel as she discovers her destiny as a reaper is cleverly subtle around the middle, and by the end it's profound. I not only liked her, I was rooting for her from the edge of my seat.

The hero is introduced as a peripheral character in my mind, and he just sort of drifted into the meat of the story, taking me completely by surprise, a welcome one. It's a rare book when I haven't figured out where it's going and how it's going to get there by the end of chapter 1. This one shocked the living hell out of me by the time I turned the last page.

I wanted to be mad at it, how it ended. Now, don't get me wrong, it ended well, just not how I expected. I won't give anything more away than that, so you'll have to read it to figure out what I'm talking about.

Now that I've let the dust settle in my mind, I'm thoroughly impressed. I'd like to say bravo to L.S. Murphy for not taking the easy road to the end, for not penning the obvious ending I find in so many YA books. It totally worked to raise Reaper a notch or two above the ordinary. This is a witty, thought-provoking and at some times heart-wrenching story that will captivate YA fans across the world.
Profile Image for Julie Reece.
Author 5 books370 followers
January 31, 2013
I really loved the premise of this story. Sixteen year old Quincy Amarante is in her sophomore year when she learns she’s to become the next Reaper—Reaper as in sickle and hooded cloak. Yes. That doesn’t sit too well with her self-absorbed, spoiled agenda to rein queen bee (along with her other shallow friends) over her high school body. (No, you won’t like her at first, but you’re not supposed too.)

L. S. Murphy uses the idea of death and responsibility to force her heroine to think about life a little differently, and over time, to make some changes. Like how she relates to her former best friend Ben Moorland. In my opinion, by far the most intriguing part of the entire book and worth the read just to experience him! My biggest issue was being defensive for Ben because he’s so hot and wonderful and sexy, I couldn’t understand what he saw in Quincy. But they were friends a long time ago, before she turned into a snob, and his actions proved he was looking for the girl he once knew, the one buried beneath her designer clothes and make up. He thought she was worth fighting for, worth waiting for, so I gave her another chance. I do whatever Ben tells me to do. He’s that great.

The end of the story is the best part, and the most frustrating. Murphy doesn’t take the easy way out, and I give her big kudos on that score. I loved and hated and moaned and swooned over the way the story winds up. Clear it up any for you? Awesome.

My nitpicks are that I wanted a bit more from the world building. I wanted Quincy’s redemption to come sooner, and I wanted the secondary characters fleshed out a bit more. None of that would keep me from reading this book again. I recommend Reaper to any urban fantasy lover. It’s different, well written, fun, sad, surprising, and despite those few lesser developed points, I really enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Emi Gayle.
Author 9 books236 followers
October 14, 2012
Fun. Powerful. Timely. Relevant. Admirable.

Full Review to come!
Profile Image for Lauren (Sugar & Snark).
312 reviews118 followers
May 6, 2013
Blah! I'm not rating it. OK fine I rated it but I don't like it and I just give up! *sulks* What a disappointment! :(

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Profile Image for J.A. Belfield.
Author 51 books340 followers
October 17, 2012
I haven’t read many reaper-type stories, involving death and ‘passing on’, but I thought Reaper was pretty fresh. Possibly because it had a mixture of genres and has the potential to please more than one type of reader preference. I have a feeling this may be marked as urban fantasy. Personally, I believe that’s pushing the boundaries a little, as the fantasy side of it seems to add an extra kick to an otherwise contemporary tale rather than hold the most dominance. I also think the ending is what stalled it from being labelled PNR. However, I think contemporary YA slash pnr is a much closer description.
Because we have a quirky voice to tug us along on the tale. We have all the dramas of high school. We have the high school romance and what some might (loosely) peg as a love triangle. And then we have all the ‘supernatural’ bits and bobs that Quincy—who I shall rename QQ for Quirky Quincy—keeps getting dragged into at The. Most. Inopportune. Moments.
So did I enjoy it?
For sure.
I’ll admit it took me a little while to connect with the MC. HOWEVER, once I reached the end, I understood fully that it was mostly because I didn’t like her very much at the beginning of the story. BUT, only if you read the book in its entirety will you fully appreciate the character development—though you have to be looking out for it because it’s so subtle and understated (in a good way) that you barely even notice its happening as you read along.
To begin, we get all the bratty teenagery. Yeah, in all honesty, this doesn’t fully go away, and some could argue that QQ isn’t fully converted into a 100% likeable character by the end, but listen, she’s a teenager in the opening and she’s still one when certain things happen and she’s a little different to what she used to be (obscure, much?)—and no matter how decent a person, EVERY teenager has attitude and the potential to be selfish because to be otherwise comes with life experience.
Despite this, everything I said about her shift as a ‘person’ stands, because I KNOW I’d connected to the MC by the end. I know, because, DUDE!, I blarted like a baby through those final couple of chapters. I mean, BLARTED! Luckily, nobody saw me or my rep would have been ruined. ;)
So yeah, I enjoyed it once it all got rolling and I got comfortable in the driving seat. Though I’ll admit I enjoyed it a whole lot more once Ben played a bigger physical role and we got to see more of him. Because that guy is adorable, believable, hot, a DRUMMER (what? This is SEXY!), adorable, hot ….
What can I say?
Win me over with your males, and chances are, you’ll win me over with your tales.
That is all. :)
Profile Image for Lola.
1,472 reviews242 followers
April 24, 2013
I got a copy for review in exchange for an honest review.

This will be a difficult review to write. I actually almost didn't finish this book, because I just didn't like the book. I did convinced myself to continue reading and I ended up liking the end, the last 20-10% of the book. I do believe that a book has to capture my attention earlier than that and that's why I still went for the 2 stars. Don't get me wrong it wasn't a bad book, it just wasn't what I expected and it was not the book for me.

The story is about a girl who learns she will become a reaper, sounds interesting right? The story actually immediately starts with this aspect and I liked the fact that we not get a long introduction before learning where the story is about. Sadly after this good begin that boring introduction stil was there. Quincy is a popular girl and we basically get to see much of her normal life and sometimes the supernatural story line kicks in. The story is predictable and it didn't capture my attention.

So I actually think that this book is part chick-lit and only small part supernatural storyline. If you like chick-lits, pick this up. If you prefer more supernatural in your books, than maybe this isn't for you. I like both, but I prefer if the author makes it clear what kind of book it is. I suspected a supernatural story and mostly got chick-lit. So basically I was a bit disapointed by the lack of supernatural storyline. I also didn't like the writing style, the book read like a summarization of everything what is happening and it didn't pull me in.

The characters are another thing I didn't like about this book. Quincy is the type of person I never could or want to be, nor do I like reading about her. She is popular, cares about her reputation and does everything to make sure she stays popular. I didn't like her, I couldn't stand her and I just wanted to smack her on the head and tell her to stop caring about her reputation and start living her life. Well I do have to say that as the story progresses I did like her more and she actually shows some strenght. But this change was very suddenly and not really believeable. The side characters also weren't really likeable, we didn't get to know them and I just couldn't seem to care about them. All they cared about was their gossip and their reputation and beyond that I don't even know who they are. Again the characters became more likeable as the story progresses, but still I didn't really connect with them.

Another thing that really annoyed me was that for the most part of the book I had no idea what Quincy is feeling, she is doing certain things and I didn't even knew if she did it because she enjoyed it or because it was suspected. We get no idea what she feels until much later in the book. Also there was quite some information about the characters pasts that we only learned quite late in this book and I would've preferred to get it earlier.

I love world building and world building is sadly another thing this book lacks. We do get some basics, but mostly we get the ansher that either they can't explain it or won't. So only at the end we get a sense of the world. The world building could've been done much more elaborate and I would've preferred if the explanation came earlier.

So what did I like about this book? Well the ending, the last 20-10% of the book is the kind of story I expected. It is also full of emotion and gives us some of the anshwers we want. I really was dissapointed that the ending wasn't longer, because there was so much potential here. I enjoyed the ending and actually considered giving this book 3 stars because of it. The ending really is the good part of this book and I actually am happy that I finished this book and know how it ends. Because that ending was great, I would've preferred it more elaborate, but it certainly was good and enjoyeable.

To conclude: this wasn't a book for me. I was disapointed by the lack of the supernatural storyline. I didn't like the characters and couldn't connect with them. The world building was lacking. The only part I really enjoyed was the ending, the last 20-10% of this book was good.
Profile Image for Dvora .
255 reviews
April 3, 2013
I loved this book!! It was different than anything I have ever read. It was such an amazing concept. I felt so connected to all the characters and the stories she speaks of when the girl goes out with the reaper really makes you think, a lot. Loved the ending!!!!!! :)
Profile Image for Jennifer.
331 reviews151 followers
January 5, 2013
I didn’t expect to like Reaper after I began reading it. What I thought would be cute and fluffy, despite some of the deeper connotations in the synopsis I clearly missed, turned out to be profound and soul-searching…something not as often found in young adult novels of the paranormal variety.
Quincy is your (less-than) average American teen: popular, blonde, on the dance squad and school and all the boys want her. She gets good grades, she and her friends play games and do a bit of backstabbing, and all in all, it’s basically farcical high school life. I say “farcical” because some readers might take issue with details of Quincy’s life, like getting a brand new sports car for her birthday, or being able to throw down $100 of her dad’s money when she goes shopping because she feels like it.
And at first, I was like, What?! This isn’t how real people live (okay maybe some of them). But then I realized (way late in the book) these basic details illustrate how far Quincy will have to go before becoming a Reaper, which is the main plot driver in this story. And that’s what I enjoyed the most about it.
It took me about 50% of the book before I decided I liked it. I was very ho-hum in the beginning, thinking that this was reading like young adult chick-lit, which I’m not opposed to, but just wasn’t expecting or wanting to read at the time. There were occasional appearances of a paranormal entity in the beginning and at the time, I felt like it was just a convenient way to call this a paranormal young adult story and cash in on that cow. But as the story progressed, the timing of his appearances became relevant and it all tied together nicely for me.
There was a larger message to be had and when it struck me, I finally just got it. Quincy struggles with who she thinks she needs to be and who she really is, and I think this is a very relevant struggle for anyone…not just the demographic L.S. Murphy is writing for. She has to struggle with this to make it to her destiny, the path that was laid out for her the day she was born.
I loved and loathed all the characters at one point or another, except for Ben Moorland. Ben’s my dreamboat, I never loathed him. Each character had something very important to give to the story, a specific driver to push Quincy closer to her destiny. I really can’t say more than that, because I might give too much away, and that’s something I don’t want to do.
There was one major plot point in the story that I wasn’t too fond of, and that’s Jordan’s relationship with Robert. Jordan is Quincy’s best friend and Robert is just a dickhead. You like my description? It’s pretty apt. He felt abusive and arrogant, and it didn’t make sense to me why Jordan, someone who seemed very strong and independent (to her detriment at times) would give in to a boy like that and let him strong arm her.
There is a love triangle in this, but I wasn’t completely enamored with it. Logan felt largely inconsequential to me, and put there to be a plot device. I don’t know….I just wasn’t feeling it. I didn’t hate him though, and I liked how it all wrapped up…
Normally, in stories like this, parents are conveniently left out of the plot for a large portion (like the pesky human beings they are!), but in Reaper, Murphy explains away absences with job conflicts, school, and family duties, not leaving it to the reader to take their absence for granted. And it’s not like they weren’t there…they had facetime in the story, more than other YA books, for sure. Kudos for that, it’s actually nice to see for a change.
Reaper also broke my heart. I very nearly cried at the ending, and then again in the very last chapter (stupid feelings!). It stuck with me through the following days as the author’s messages rang clear and true: Patience is a virtue, and the strong forgive. At least, that’s what I took away from it.
Stick with Reaper through the uncertain beginning, because Quincy is redeemable, and she’s worth getting to know.
Profile Image for Margot.
161 reviews17 followers
February 9, 2015

This review also appears on my blog, The Bookworm Experiment.

Actual rating: 1.5 star

If you thought there couldn't possibly be a main character more annoying than the one from the House of Night series, you're in for a surprise.

Quincy Amarante gives Zoey Redbird a run for her money.

This book is short but boy, does it feel like it never ends. Mostly because I wanted to strangle the MC, but also, for the most part, there was not much going on about the premise, just the freaking usual school drama.

Throughout the story, except for the last 3 chapters (which the other half star is for), Quincy is judgemental, self-absorbed, shallow and has a holier-than-thou attitude.

Here's the main reasons why I wanted to throw this book out the window:

1. She comments on other people's looks and social status like it's the most important thing in the world (even if it's not all in the dialogue, it's in the narrative)

[...] and last year for prom when I was the only freshman who was asked. Jordan’s never been.

I toss a smug smile over my shoulder at her. She’s not much to worry about, anyway. Her thick thighs would turn any guy off, and I seriously doubt she’s got a man.

I hurry to the closet to plan my outfit and grab a new off-white sweater DeeDee will turn green over. She can never pull the color off. I add my favorite tight jeans to prove I’m in shape for the stupid basketball game. My body is so much better than DeeDee’s, and it’s time she remembers that.

“Only nerds are manager, Jor. I won’t be a manager, and I won’t be on the team as some backup. I earned my spot.”
I’ve offended her beyond what a bestie is allowed. Especially since she serves as both the backup and the manager, but I don’t care at the moment.

2. She can draw some really idiotic conclusions

If you stuff your face in alcohol after your grandpa's funeral, in front of your boyfriend, and want to have sex with him in the attic, your conclusion after he pushes you away is "he doesn't want me" and then get furious and go all like "OMG I can't believe you don't know why I'm mad at you"?!?

God, WTF is your problem, Quincy? O_O

3. Eating disorder

Can you stop commenting on your eating salads and low-fat yogurt, and being afraid of eating an omelette, burger, fries, or whatever? I seriously doubt what you ate on your birthday day will make you be "on the verge of bursting out of your clothes", and therefore needing to rattle on about all the exercising you did to compensate the "food binge".

4. The becoming a reaper part (which should be, I don't know, the backbone of the story) barely takes some pages of the book, when it's Quincy freaking out about it and being in denial, and Destiny and Forsyth freezing time and taking her to death scenes, which doesn't really do much to teach her, IMO, save when it's her own Grandpa (yet, it's only on the last four chapters that she shows a tiny bit of character growth).

5. Oh yeah, and the inane sentences throw around every now and then...

...which I didn't bother to write all down, but there are more, and here's the one that made me sputter:

I’m a hollow shell -- empty inside.

Hmmm really? That needed an explanation? *eyeroll*

6. Ben was the only likeable character, and still he was a little bit of over-glorified by Quincy.

There, I know that's not much of a review, but I actually just wanted to vent. Anyway, I don't recommend this book at all, it was not cute, not funny and not intriguing; it was just about a selfish teenager destined-to-become-a-reaper bitching about how unfair her easy life is.
Profile Image for Terri Rochenski.
Author 13 books176 followers
January 7, 2013
What a unique (to me anyway) morbid premise. I’ve read of MCs whose touch kills, but an MC who is an actual reaper??? Great idea, but you just know this story can’t end well.

Quincy is your typical high-schooler, but something happens during her sophomore year that changes her life. Majorly. She’s to become the 5th grim reaper. It causes just a smidge of trouble for this girl to say the least.

I’ll preface this review by stating that most of my yuckies aren’t against the star rating. They’re things I personally found yucky, but were doubtless intentional by the author because of it being a YA.

Yummies: The first I’ll address is the character of Quincy. She's spot on. So much so that I didn’t care for her one bit. It really stinks when an author gets their characters so right that you don’t dare deduct stars just because you don’t like their … well, character! WELL done.

The ending. While you know nothing good can come from what Quincy is faced with, Ms. Murphy wraps this puppy up nicely. I was pleased, so that’s a huge plus as far as I’m concerned.

Her writing style is easy. Enjoyable. I had no troubles envisioning everything that transpired.

Yuckies: I have to mention the MC here. Couldn’t stand the chic. She’s your typical ‘I want to be popular & I’ll do anything to keep my status’ bitch that roamed the halls in my own high school. The popular snob and all her crappy attitudes toward friends, boys, and life in general drove me batty. I wanted to slap her. Seriously.

And speaking of HS, this story really had that setting / feel to it. It was so well done that I was back in school myself, wanting to (but never infiltrating) that popular crowd who loved to snub their noses any chance they got.

This started a bit slow for me because of these two yuckies. I wasn’t drawn in. Didn’t empathize whatsoever. Whenever this happens, it's a star deduction right off the bat. Regardless of the slew of yummies.

Recommend: If you’re a YA fan & love to be transported back to those hypocritical high school days have at it. You’ll love it.
Profile Image for Sarah (Head Stuck In A Book).
596 reviews145 followers
January 9, 2013
This book has been on my wishlist for quite a while now, so when I was asked to take part in this blog tour I jumped at the chance, and I'm so glad that I did, the book was fantastic and definitely deserving of the five stars that I gave it.
This was such a fresh and original storyline, the fact that the heroine of the book Quincy is to become a Reaper and no matter how much she fights it, it's her destiny whether she likes it or not, I liked her journey into finally accepting the fact that this was something she had to do, and the end, OMG! did I cry it was such an emotional ending, and while I sort of knew it was coming, it didn't change the fact that I wish it didn't end the way it did although it was the perfect ending to finish off the book.
The changes that Quincy went through from being one of the most popular girls in school to finally allowing people to see who she really is beyond her popularity and to finally being able to reconnect with the person she used to be helped guide her into finally accepting her fate.
There were quite a few people in this book that I really didn't like: Jordan (her supposed best-friend), who was completely undeserving of what Quincy did for her, and it should have stayed the way it was meant, but as I said I can understand why it was written the way it was, she was such a selfish and unlikable character, throw in Logan and Robert and I think that they all deserve each other, now I don't know whether the characters were purposely written the way they were to be disliked but I found I just couldn't stand them.
Now Ben, I loved him and I wish that he'd had more page time, and the ending killed me but I really liked the way that Ben and Quincy's final part of the story was written for them, it was perfect for how the story arc turned out.
A great book I'll be sure to read again.
Profile Image for Kristin.
34 reviews2 followers
January 28, 2013
I don't know why I'm having such trouble writing this review. I loved this book and by the end I was crying my eyes out, only trying to muffle the sobs because it was 3am and my boyfriend was sleeping! I loved and hated Quincy. She made no sense at times and really got me angry with how she treated Ben. She did have good character development though. Her evolution from popular bitch to caring girl was interesting and slightly convoluted but it was good nonetheless. On to Ben, oh Ben He was the redeeming character in this book. I loved him so much!!! He was remarkable and I LOVED how strong and amazing he was. I can't really formulate the words to finish this review. Just know that this book starts off slow to say the least but it REALLY picks up in the end! Give it a chance and I think you will love it!
Profile Image for Brooke's Epic Emporium.
850 reviews188 followers
September 24, 2014
I was given an eARC of this book from J Taylor Publishing to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free in no way influenced my opinion or review.

Blurb from Goodreads:
There's no way sixteen year old Quincy Amarante will become the fifth grim reaper. None. Not over her shiny blue Mustang. Her Jimmy Choos. Or her dead body.
She’s supposed to enjoy her sophomore year, not learn about some freaky future Destiny says she has no choice but to fulfill.
It doesn’t take long for Quincy to realize the only way out of the game is to play along especially since Death can find her anyway, anywhere, anytime. And does.
Like when she’s reassuring her friends she wants nothing to do with former best friend Ben Moorland, who’s returned from god-knows-where, and fails. Miserably.
Instead of maintaining her coveted popularity status, Quincy’s goes down like the Titanic.
Maybe ... just maybe ... that’s okay.
It seems, perhaps, becoming a grim reaper isn’t just about the dead but more about a much needed shift in Quincy’s priorities—from who she thinks she wants to be to who she really is.

So, when I first read the blurb of this book there was no way I was not going to get myself a copy. When J Taylor offered a copy for review, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on it!

The first thing that drew me to this book is the cover. I mean, how can you not be intrigued by a girl holding a scythe? Then I read the blurb and just loved the concept of the reaper. I have only read one other book that involves a reaper so I loved that I had a chance to read another!

Let's start with the characters. Quincy is very interesting. She's popular to the point that people want to be her, stare at her as she walks down the hallway and can have any guy she wants. However, she finds herself attracted to people that don't fit the popularity profile and that threatens to turn her into something other than she's worked so hard to be. She is self-centered to the point that she doesn't see much past who she is. She is also full of teen angst. I love how she grows during this book, finding her true self and realizing that popularity is not all it's cracked up to be. She's annoying yet you feel badly for her because she has a hard time seeing past her own nose. There were many times I wanted to smack her and say "wack up you idiot" right to her face. But I guess her learning and growing was the premise of this story. You certainly see her struggle throughout the book, which I liked.
Ben, well, he is just sweet and caring and sexy. He's certainly the kind of boyfriend any girl would want. And he's sexy as all heck. But he lingers in the background because he really thinks he's not worthy of the love he wishes he could have from Quincy. And he's outcast as the bad boy, the one who was locked up in juvi and the one who has done many bad things. But is this really who he is, or is it who people think he is?
Forsyth drove me a bit batty. I was annoyed with how cryptic he was. I was annoyed with the fact that he just kind of seemed to lead Quincy into situations where she wasn't understanding what was going on. But I realized that his job was to help her understand what she needed to learn and realize why she needed to learn it.
The supporting cast of characters are interesting enough. The range from girls who latch on the boys who are much worse than anyone could ever imagine them to be. Some are mysterious, some are oddly easy to figure out. But all in some way influence Quincy's growth during this story.

The story. I loved the idea of this story: how grim reapers become what they are. However, I did find that the story focused much too much on the romance aspect. Until about 75% through, I was thoroughly confused as to what was going on with the reaper part of the story. Then I realized that the author probably did this intentionally. She wanted you to try and find out what would happen, and why things were set up the way they were set up. So, while I was annoyed a bit about 50% through the book, and wanting to have more of the paranormal aspect, the last 1/4 of the book made up for it all. I actually teared up, having to hold back the water works at work because I wasn't supposed to be reading the story. But I could not force myself to put it down. I had to find out what would happen. And what did happen was totally unexpected.

The author has an easily readable writing style. It flows well and certainly keeps you interested. I love all the self-talk that quincy does. I loved Quincy's voice, although I did find her teen angst to be a bit annoying at times.

All in all this was an enjoyable story. At first, I was annoyed with the fact that the story focused a lot on the romance. I was expecting it to be more of a paranormal read. I had points where I was ready to put it down because the main character was brooding so much. But in the end, I really enjoyed the story and I realized that the author had to bring us through the main character's teen angst to help her grow and become who she needed to be. While it took me a while to connect with Qunicy, in the end I understood her very well.

If you like romance mixed with paranormal this is the story for you. it is haunting and beautiful and a definite tear jerker in many parts.

4 out of 5 stars from me.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,201 reviews24 followers
February 7, 2019
So when I joined goodreads in 2013 I was clearly into way different books. I would have loved this book in 2013. This year the book felt okay.

This just further proves that I am in a weird book phase. I am normally very into cute little reads. Don't get me wrong this was a cute read but I guess I was hoping for so much more.

Profile Image for Rain Jeys.
48 reviews36 followers
April 21, 2013
For Dusty Bookshelf Challenge 2013:
Dusty Bookshelf Challenge
Has been on my to-read list since January 2013.

Oh, this book. Just finished it. Haven't quite decided how I feel about it yet.

All in all, I enjoyed the read. The high school environment is highly believable, which helped ground the book. The relationship between Quincy and Ben is sweet and authentic. Actually, all of Quincy's relationships feel real and nothing about the world seems off.

I was frustrated by the supernatural aspects, though I think that was probably intentional. I didn't mind that everything is really vague until the end, when the truth is revealed - this added to the suspense and helped us feel for Quincy. I just wish that once we figured out what's going on at the end, we could have had a better fleshing out and wrap-up of these aspects. I get the whole "death is supposed to be mysterious" thing, yes, but I just wasn't satisfied in the end. Towards the end of the book, Quincy says something along the lines of "We live only to die. No matter what, we break someone's heart in the end. What's the point?" and sadly, that's how I felt when I finished the book. I doubt THAT was intentional, and I think if the supernatural aspects had been a bit better explained, I would not have felt that way.

Quincy's best friend Jordan had a nice character arc, even though it was kind of negated at the end. She was the one, in many ways, pushing Quincy to strive for popularity above all else, and the several times through out the book when Quincy wonders why she's even friends with Jordan, you're mentally screaming at her "seriously!". Then Jordan gets into some trouble and Quincy tries to help her, and you start to feel for Jordan, UNTIL of course Quincy does something that Jordan really didn't deserve, considering how badly it impacts so many other people. So you end up really resentful of Jordan instead of proud of her character development. Too bad.

Ben was a great character. He wasn't depicted as the typical perfect YA guy, which was refreshing - he felt like an authentic human being, with flaws, but at that the same time, you couldn't help but like him. Unfortunately, the decisions he makes in the last couple chapters darkened my opinion of him, (even if he behaved much better than most men would in the situation and certainly held out longer than most), and he did end up doing the right thing in the end. The ending wasn't as sweet for me because of his actions, and that makes me sad and is the major reason why this is four star and not a five.

Quincy's transformation is great to watch. She starts out very shallow and her character development is satisfying and believable. But given the ending, I have to wonder whether or not she really grasped the concept of selfishness. She does something that I think is supposed to be seen as a selfless act, but she does it to make herself feel better, and though it does benefit some characters, it harms far more and she spares barely a thought for that, especially the person she supposedly loves over everyone else. For this reason the end is rather baffling. I guess the "message" just wasn't convincing to me.

Oh well. Ben and Quincy both hurt each other immensely doing what society tells you is what you're supposed to do, but they get it right in the end, thank God, so I guess I have to blame society, and not them. I still kind of feel like chucking the book at the wall. Even though I liked it. At least I can't say the author didn't make me care. :)

*I received this book as a prize from a Blog Giveaway. Thanks to the author for the donation.
Profile Image for Sandra "Jeanz".
1,149 reviews163 followers
January 19, 2013
I received an e-arc of this book from J Taylor Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
I do find the cover attractive, with deaths scythe making you want to know more. The girl on the front cover representing Quincy holding the scythe, she looks so innocent and not at all what you would expect a reaper to look like. I find the font of the title etc is appealing to the eye too. I think by now everyone knows I love a good by line too, so the "Death calls at the most inconvenient times" is really good. As death aka Forsyth does drop in on Quincy to take her to help people "pass over to the other side" at the most inconvenient times. In the middle of school, in the middle of romantic moments with her boyfriend etc. Deaths timing totally sucks at times lol. Quincy is one of the "popular" crowd and everything seems to be going well. Then a childhood friend Ben returns to town. Ben is different he seems angry and a loner. He doesn't conform to the in crowds idea of appropriate clothing or behaviour, so is labelled "a scrub" the lowest of the low on the social ladder. But as we all know love know no bounds, it recognises no social barriers. It doesn't differentiate between "scrubs" and "populars". So who will Quincy choose to be with? A "popular" guy, or Ben "the scrub" ?
Qunicy also has choices to make concerning her hereditary position of Reaper. It is certain she will become a reaper when she dies. It's the first time a reaper has ever been told and shown what is to come. It is Destiny and Fate, brother and sister playing games.
I did enjoy most parts of the book, though admit that the "politics" between Destiny and Fate did become a little complicated and at times a little exasperating. I loved the way Quincy is given chances, and the first choice she makes about the timing of her death is so sad. Just as she is becoming happy and settled in life she has to leave. However I love the ending. Quincy does a little bargaining of her own with Fate and Destiny and when she meets up once again with the true love of her life Ben Moorland, it is Ben who has a difficult and heart wrenching, heart stopping decision to make. Will he pass over and never see Quincy again, or choose another "eternal life" with Quincy yet turn his back on all those he loved and came to care about after Quincy was taken from his life. It's a real tear jerker choice Ben has to make.
I have to say initially I truthfully wasn't sure I would like this book, it seemed a bit slow to begin with, but boy when it got further into the plot line, it soared away and took you with it. By the end of the book, I was thinking wow this would so make a great movie!
So did I enjoy the book? Yes! Would I read a Bk#2? Yes further "adventures of Quincy etc would be interesting to read. Would I read more by L.S. Murphy? Yes, in fact I already have. I hope this doesn't sound bad as I mean it in a totally good way, I like the comfy, writing style, L.S. Murphy's writing kind of makes you feel cosy and draws you into the book making you feel like you are standing there watching it all happen before you. Would I recommend L.S. Murphy? Yes, I think she has a wide reader age range appeal and she also writes different genres which makes her even more appealing to a wider audience.
I found it really difficult as to how many stars to give this book, and I think it's quite hard to compare books to each other sometimes. I finally decided on 4 out 5 as I did really love this book such a lot and would love to read more about the characters too.
Profile Image for Romancing the Book.
4,420 reviews210 followers
March 26, 2013
Reviewed by: April
Book provided by: Publisher
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book

Reaper by L.S. Murphy is a unique YA paranormal story that grabbed me from the very beginning and hooked me until the surprise ending.

Imagine suddenly learning that you are predestined to become a Reaper – aka Death and still being in High School and thinking that your life is looking pretty darn good. One day as you are going about your everyday life, everything and everyone freezes around you and a stranger suddenly appears before you with a big dog, claiming that he is there to show you what is to become of your life. Your future is no longer your own and you find yourself being zapped from death scene to death scene. All a bit of a shock, to say the very least. All of this – and so much more – is exactly where Quincy finds herself one day.

I have to say that it took me a while to like Quincy. In the beginning she seems very self-centered and worries only about being in the “in” crowd – no matter how much it hurts others and how much she loses her true self to have that status. She and her friends are incredibly shallow, mean and just not someone I would want to be around. It was for these reasons that I could not fully find myself caring for her or connecting to her. As the story goes on and she learns some tough lessons in life, I found myself liking her more and caring about her. The character that I really loved was Ben, who is known as a scrub – the lowest of the low on the school social ladder. His kindness, compassion, loyalty and attitude are commendable and highly attractive.

Reaper is a story with twists and turns and I often found myself trying to figure out who could be trusted and who could not be. I think that this story personifies much of the personalities, trials, tribulations and attitudes of teens in today’s society. L.S. Murphy does an excellent job of creating a realistic story and then adding the aspect of the fictional paranormal/Reaper twist to it. We also get the pleasure of meeting Destiny and Fate, neither of which I was too impressed with.

The ending was a bit of a surprise to me and one that left me satisfied. The romance was heartwarming and the character development of Quincy was excellent and one that I greatly liked. All in all, I feel that Reaper is a very unique and highly creative story. I have read my share of both YA and Paranormal (both of which I love) and in all that reading, I have never come across a storyline quite like this. It is nice to get my hands on something different that kept my attention, was a fast read and one that evoked several levels of emotions within me. I greatly look forward to reading more work by L.S. Murphy and recommend Reaper to those who enjoy YA Paranormal!

Favorite Quote: “Well, that’s you, not me.” Anger snaps any calm I had when the conversation began. “No way I’m dating Robert Hardin.”
“Not a bad idea, Q-Tip,” Ben Moorland whispers as he pushes between us. His musky aftershave leaves a trail into the classroom.
“Scrub.” Jordan sneers toward his T-shirt-clad back.
“Don’t call him that,” I whisper, unable to voice my true opinion loud enough for her to hear me – she wouldn’t understand.”

Profile Image for Stephanie Ward.
1,174 reviews115 followers
January 12, 2013
4.5 Stars

'Reaper' is a young adult fantasy novel that follows future reaper Quincy Amarante as she learns about her fate and tries to deal with reaper training alongside her normal teenage life. After securing her spot in the popular crowd by saying the right things, being the right weight, wearing the right clothes - Quincy realizes that the person she's become isn't the real her. After her childhood best friend Ben moves back to town, Quincy finds herself at a crossroads - she must choose between her popular life or what her heart is telling her is what she really wants. She also has to deal with Destiny, Fate, and her reaper mentor popping in to show her the realities of life and death - and the ropes of being a reaper.

This was a really interesting and moving story. The majority of the book deals with Quincy's normal life as a teen - cliques in school, family issues, boyfriends, fake friends, bullies, etc. as well as her trying to deal with the fact that she's going to become a reaper after she dies. The scenes when she is learning about reaping are very sobering for her and for the reader - it shows the harsh realities of life and just how short and unfair it can be. Problems in Quincy's normal life are realistic and easy to identify with - a pushy boyfriend, a back-stabbing best friend, feelings for the "wrong" guy, striving for popularity - and also deeper issues like family, friendship, and being true to oneself. I had a real issue with the ending of the book. I cried really hard. Twice. I didn't like how it ended, but I see how it fit with the book. It doesn't mean that I have to like it. That part of the book shows a lot as well - a whole new depth that I didn't know the book was going to take on. It was sad, sobering, and very emotional. I think it added a new layer to the story, which makes it all the more captivating. The characters - especially Quincy and Ben - were well done and realistic. I was easily identifying with Quincy from the beginning and definitely rooting her Ben and her throughout the novel. It's rare when I get crushes on guys from books, but all I can say is that it's impossible not to love Ben. *sigh* The writing was very well done and had a great pace to it. It was light-hearted and fun but definitely talked about serious issues and had some really deep issues for the reader to think about even after they're done reading. Overall, this is a fantastic YA fantasy about reapers and a sarcastic main character - but it is so very much more than that if you look just a little bit closer. Highly recommended!

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jenea.
680 reviews57 followers
January 31, 2013
This has been on on my wish list since the moment I saw it a few months ago. It had an interesting premise and the cover alone caught my attention. Our main character Quincy, is in for the shock of her life. She is to be a reaper, but it isn’t really the glamour life she is used to and wants nothing to do with it.
Quincy is the normal popular high school girl. She can have any guy at school, but she doesn’t go for the popular guys, which is problematic for her popular reputation. She can be selfish, and annoying at times. I know you are probably thinking did I like her at all. Yes, I certainly did. I can’t blame her not wanting this life. (reaper). Quincy’s growth was delightful to follow. She learned a lot and became quite a enjoyable character.
Ben is the love interest of Quincy, and he was one that I wanted to root for. He was labeled as the bad boy and there were so many rumors about him, but Quincy never listened to them. He was protective, and seemed to really care for her. I think I liked everything about him. Their relationship was sweet and believable.
The world building was a little slow, but I enjoyed it anyway. Being given the background of Quincy’s family history kept me interesting, and I did want to see how she turned out. Would she accept this life or not? The secondary characters were interesting and some had a role in her growth. The writing was easy to follow, and learning how the Reapers came to be was fascinating. The Reapers themselves were intriguing and I really did enjoy the entire story. It took a little time for Quincy to learn there is more to life than popularity, but she turned out to be a wonderful heroine.
Reaper is a fairly quick read, with great characters, heart breaking moments, romance and an ending that left me satisfied. This is definitely worth picking up.
Profile Image for Danielle Smiley.
290 reviews12 followers
January 21, 2013
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Publisher Type: Small Press/Indie (J. Taylor -- I love these guys)

My Review:
So when I recieved Reaper I was really excited. It has a great premise and it's from my favorite publisher (I've never not liked one of their books). Then as I got to reading, I started worrying. Yikes, Quincy isn't a likable character (think Austin's Emma). Nope, not likable. Not at all. In the beginning. But then..... her character growth is subtle and is masterfully entwined throughout the story. She becomes an incredible character as the book progresses. She goes from shallow to complex and it's such an incredible journey. I was completely taken by surprise by how much I grew to love this gal!

Now death is, well, pretty dark stuff and keeping a book from going down into depress-y'all-ville is definitely a gift. Ms. Murphy nails it with a beautifully crafted balance between the deep (I cried.... a bunch) and the light-hearted (love the fun and creative "otherworldly" characters!!). And then the romance ---oh the romance!!! Oh so wonderful!!! Oh how sweet!!! Oh how perfect!!!

There's a lot of bittersweet in this novel and the last portion is FILLED with bittersweet. There was major tear expulsion (but don't worry it's never overly dramatic) and I have mixed feeling about the conclusion. It's a well done end, but it's so bittersweet that I feel quite conflicted. Believe me, indifferent is not an emotion you'll be feeling as you finish this book! It'll leave you thinking about it for weeks.

Cover Art:
I love the clean, crisp design of this cover. It fits the book so well, too!!!

See more of my reviews on my blogspot blog, Known to Read :)
Profile Image for Eileen.
67 reviews
February 5, 2013
(The review below appears in my blog)

Reaper is a pretty deep read, but it's done in such a way that it doesn't hit you over the head. Think Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the movie, not the show) where Buffy learns she's a Slayer and realizes there are way more important things than dances and shopping and popularity. It's like that, only with Destiny and Fate and a few distant relatives tossed into the mix.

From the beginning, you can tell Quincy isn't quite comfortable in her own skin. Murphy does a great job of dropping subtleties to show that she's not totally horrid. (There's even a great line that kind of sums it up: "It's not as if I volunteered to be the mean girl. It just sort of happened.") And it's this sort of discomfort that makes her kind of likable. Hell - by the end, I absolutely loved her.

I love that Quincy is a strong character. I love that she's so layered. I love that there was this beautiful metamorphosis where you can see her changing from a petty, self-centered brat to someone wise beyond her years. And what I love is the mechanism that Murphy uses to initiate each stage of the transformation, because witnessing death will do that to you.

(I also loved her description of what happens when you die and go to hell. I actually kind of cracked up.)

It's a tear-jerker. The Amazon reviews told me as much. And even though I knew it was coming, I still wasn't prepared for the onslaught of emotion that overcame me towards the end. (Nor did I have my tissues ready.) Oh, it's a satisfying ending, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

Would I recommend this to friends? Definitely.

Would I read it again? Probably.

And for that, I'd give it 4 stars out of 5.
Profile Image for Tee loves Kyle Jacobson.
2,471 reviews170 followers
February 1, 2013
Where to start this review. Man I have to say that I really enjoyed this story. I have read a few books about Reapers and they have been kinda scary but this one was refreshing and funny but it had a life lesson in it. See sometimes we make decisions that are selfish and that causes our behavior to become erratic which in turn causes us to do and say things we don't mean but we do it anyways. In this story our main character Quincy has to make a decision that effects her life and she is set on her answer until she reunites with her old best friend and things start to change for her for the better.

Quincy is a fifth generation grim reaper or so she will be soon but Quincy is also a spoiled brat with a car, friends, and way to much attitude. Lord help us all because she is one spoiled little diva and when she is told she is to become a reaper she flat out refuses. Then to make matters worse her old best friend Ben comes back into the picture. Ben wants to be more than friends but Quincy is not the girl he used to know so he knows he has to peel back all the spoiled layers and get back the girl he used to know the girl he knows is still in there but hiding for some reason.

What will Quincy do? Will she become the next reaper? Will she open up her heart to Ben again? or Will she continue to be the snooty little spoiled brat she is. This is such a must read that I sat there at work and read this story in 6 hours. Happy reading and don't forget the reaper is coming for you........
Profile Image for ☆∞Love Frances∞☆.
77 reviews53 followers
January 14, 2013
Quincy, our MC, is 5th in line to become a “Reaper” after she passes on. She is 16, and it’s time for her to start learning about her future. She’d much rather “deny” the inevitable and live the life she has now. It’s a good life: full of popularity, friendship, teenaged drama,boyfriends, gossiping with the gals, etc. Her characters progression is what I’d call typical in this style of book. She starts out pretty unlikable, and as the story progresses, life, and learning experiences toughen her up. She has that “AHA”/epiphany moment where it all clicks for her.

If you’re looking for a book that is all about reapers, the life of a reaper, paranormal, etc. (Croak comes to mind) this may not be the book for you. I’d say this book is majority chick lit/contemp/teen drama with small sprinklings of paranormal tossed about.

The supporting cast of characters really help bring the story together. I personally loved Forsythe, Great (great..great…) Grandpa Reaper. I would of loved more focus on him, his life, and more interactions with Quincy. Quincy’s friends run the gamut of high school characters. The only one I truly liked and hope makes an re-appearance is Ben.

Overall “Reaper” is a light, girly, read with paranormal quirks. The author gives us an easily readable and entertaining story. The end was satisfying and made the sometimes “should I finish this” book worthwhile. Once I accepted it wasn’t going to be fully paranormal in style I was able to settle in and enjoy.

rest of post on Bella's Bookshelf:
Profile Image for Emily Donnellan.
539 reviews434 followers
January 23, 2013
Reaper and me got off on a rocky start. At times I was a little bit confused about what was going on and I had a hard time relating to Quincy but as the novel progressed I really can to enjoy the story and am so glad I had the opportunity to be a part of the blog tour.

Quincy Amarante is the quintessential mean popular girl she also happens to come from a long line of Reapers. At first I couldn’t stand Quincy she was rude, didn’t care about those around her, and only cared what the “it” crowd was doing. Luckily Quincy does a TON of growing throughout the novel. She practically becomes a completely different person as the novel unfolds. I loved the transition Quincy took from mean girl to willing to sacrifice everything for her friends.

I also really liked the relationship between Ben and Quincy. Ben was the sweet boy next door type and it was obvious how much he cared about Quincy even though she had really changed from the person he grew up with. I liked how constant he was throughout the story. With how much Quincy was changing it was great to have been there to keep the story steady.

Overall, Reaper started off a little bit slow but by the end I was totally rooting for the characters and really wanted them all to get a happy ending. I fully admit to having tears in my eyes as I finished this novel. The story became so much then what it started as and really surprised me in the best ways possible.
aper Blog Tour on January 22!
Profile Image for Melissa (thereaderandthechef).
529 reviews169 followers
August 7, 2013
This turned out to be a very emotional read for me. The tears constantly flowed freely here and there while reading certain parts, and there was no point in wiping them off since they would continue to fall for a while.

We sometimes don’t imagine how tough it would be to be a Reaper, (if they even exist, I can’t say for certain if they do) but here we come to learn that it’s not all about just reaping souls, a Reaper has to coax and guide them to take the next step towards their final resting place. It’s not always an easy thing to do, as some deaths may not be as simple and natural like one would wish. To go through this would seriously leave a mark on one’s sanity if not strong enough.

But Quincy Amarante IS strong enough. She revaluates the meaning of life and death, what it means to be alive. I came to admire her immensely, the way she managed to cope with everything surreal and normal in her life. On the normal side, I’m so glad she let Ben in once again into her life. Such a sweet boy, so nice and bold at the same time. I loved this couple so much. I ached for them, and still do.

There’s not exactly a happily ever after in this bittersweet ending, but it does promise the next great thing. As it is, second chances sometimes do come with a price.

*This review of Reaper first appeared at Book Travels, you can find it here: http://booktravelsromance.wordpress.c...*
Profile Image for Cherie.
Author 29 books115 followers
January 2, 2013
An emotional novel, REAPER by L.S. Murphy leaves a reader looking at death and life in a different way.

Sixteen-year-old Quincy Amarante stands at the pentacle of her sophomore class. She’s beautiful, popular, and the girl all guys desire. But all that changes in a stop of time when her ancestor greets her and tells her she’s the next reaper. Is she having a mental break? Did someone slip her drugs in her water? As her popularity goes down the drain, she must decide what is important in her life and how she can handle the hand Fate and Destiny have given her.

REAPER starts out a bit erratic with an OCD perfectionist in Quincy Amarante. Half the time I was on the fence on whether or not I wanted to keep reading. I wasn’t certain I cared much about the characters, except for Ben Moorland. I loved the paranormal parts with the reaper and Destiny, but that worldbuilding and characterization was too few and far between. Then, midway through the novel, everything changed. The pace was better, and Quincy became more herself than the superficial queen of popularity. Her future life as a reaper became in focus and the consequences of such a life. Murphy plunks the reader’s heartstrings as events turn tragic yet necessary in a touching and emotional ending.

Although L.S. Murphy’s REAPER started out slow, this novel is worth reading and stays with the reader.
Profile Image for Heather B (Owlnestly Reviews).
35 reviews4 followers
January 23, 2013
Owlnestly Book Reviews

This book is indescribable At first, when I first started reading it I thought that it might be one of those typical YA novels where the girl is the 'queen bee' and falls for the 'loser.' But, this book is so much more than than; it goes a lot deeper. This story is about life and death and how to enjoy life to it's fullest. I found myself actually crying while reading this book because I felt so many emotions. Reaper did not only appeal to my interests but it touched my heart.

Quincy is the main character in the book, and she is the character that grows the most. At the beginning of the novel she is trying to find her place in the popular group, and in turn loses herself throughout the process. Ben becomes the figure that helps her find herself once again. Both of these characters were very enjoyable and it also helped that Ben was just too adorable, I loved him! The reaper Forsyth, Destiny and Fate also come into play in this book. They all have a role in helping Quincy find out what life really is and how to enjoy it, even if it takes her a while to figure out her destiny and fate.

Overall, this novel was touching. It was an enjoyable and heartfelt story of coming of age and finding oneself The paranormal factor gave it a surprisingly refreshing twist on life. I would recommend this book to all my friends.
Profile Image for Christy.
192 reviews6 followers
June 9, 2014
I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

How do you handle popularity, a forbidden love, and knowing your to be the next Reaper, when you are only 16 years old?
I picked this book on a whim, thinking it would be something funny to past the time with. I cannot say how shocked I was that this book is so much more. Yes, there was plenty laughs at the antics of teenagers along the way, but I also got a look at knowing death can change. Quin world was change forever the day Density froze time and told her what she is to be. The next year of her life The Grimm Reaper would show up at all the wrong times and show her what she would one day be. This knowledge changed her in ways no one could see or understand, not even her. Until a ending that was too shocking for words came. After reading this book I have found even my own POV on death looking a little different. The characters are wonderful written, and a totally new takes on YA and death. This book is going to be put on my TBR Again and Again list as well as Saving one day for my daughter list. I wish I could give this book more than 5 stars.

Wicked Reads Review Team
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