Life's not fair. Why should death be any different?
Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her 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 that of shoveling manure.
He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business.
Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her targets like a natural born Killer.
Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?
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+ Interview with Jessica Almasy, narrator
Nominated for YALSA's 2013 Teens' Top Ten list
Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best 2012
Nominated for the 2015 Grand Canyon Reader Award
Audible Editor's Pick
"Go ahead and die laughing, knowing that the safe transport of your mortal soul will be the summer job of a sweetheart teen with godlike power and discipline problems. A lot of books make me wish I could live within their pages, but I wouldn’t mind dying in this one." —Adam Rex, author of Fat Vampire
"Creepy and hilarious." —VOYA (4Q, 5P)
"entertaining characters, clever twists, and a sly, self-aware sense of humor that pervades this promising series launch." —Publishers Weekly
"a distinctly Potteresque feel...the central mystery is genuinely puzzling, and Lex’s narrative voice is funny and fresh....Fantasy fans who like their tales gritty and filled with irreverent humor will be eager for the follow-up." —Kirkus Reviews
"...nicely balances the grim subject matter with a heavy dose of humor, and the third-person narration provides some deadpan perspective on Lex’s absurd situation that gives the story an appealing tall-tale feel....under all this dry wit lies an intricate and imaginative construction of the afterlife that is as amusing as it is unique." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"A killer ending sets the stage for the next book in this wacky, highly entertaining new series." —Booklist
"Silly humor and death-related puns undercut what might otherwise be a dark story...creative details, sarcastic humor, and quick-witted dialogue makes Croak rise above other stories of its type." —School Library Journal