Croak is a coming-of-age, teen identity, death-is-my-life book. Lex is 16 and headed for expulsion from school. Her parents are trying to understand and help her, but Lex has become an unmitigated brat and terror. As a last resort, they ship her off to her uncle for the summer, hoping that country life will straighten her out.
It becomes immediately obvious that Lex’s parents have no idea what her uncle really does. He is a Grim Reaper and plans to bring Lex into the death business. What does that mean? The explanation comes out fairly early on in the story. In addition to coming to terms with her new job, and the abilities that come with it, Lex is also dealing with the social side of being a teenager – making new friends, male and female.
Damico handles the drama and angst of teen life with humor, albeit dark humor. While I wouldn’t call Croak a frightening story, it could qualify as horror. There is a mystery going on in the town of Croak, among the Grims and their job. Lex is trying to figure it out before people are hurt. In her new world, being hurt usually means becoming dead.
Croak is followed by a sequel, Scorch.
Check out Johnson County Library’s Horror Boot Camp . . . if you dare.