Teen Services

Croak- Book Review

 

Lex has been getting into some major trouble lately, lashing out violently at school and home. Her parents and twin sister Cordie are at their wits end. They decide to send Lex to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, supposedly to do farm work.

Mort picks her up and tells her that she won’t actually be doing any farm work. She will instead be learning his business, which is reaping. The town he lives in is called Croak, and everyone there has a part in transporting souls from this world to the next. Lex begins work with Driggs, a boy who also lives with her Uncle Mort. They despise each other, but as the book goes on, their relationship grows into more.

The author does a great job creating this town of Croak, describing its residents and the interesting jobs they do. Lex is a Killer. Her touch releases a soul from the body. Driggs is a Culler, he captures it in a vessel. They deposit souls at the bank where they enter the Afterlife. Learning about Croak and Lex adjusting to her new life creates a great story, the mystery plot is an added bonus.

Someone has been killing people who aren’t meant to die. They have someone figured out a way to find specific people and kill them. This cannot be done by normal Killers who are transported to the sick and dying. Lex and her ragtag team of friends are helping Mort solve the mystery. But Lex’s time in Croak is coming to an end. Will she return home or stay in Croak, the place she’s grown to love?

At first, Lex was not a likeable character because of her seemingly random outbursts of violence. However, readers learn that is a common symptom of Killers when they turn into teenagers. She grew calmer and more likeable throughout the book. I really loved the author’s imaginative descriptions of the afterlife and how Croak runs. The ending was sudden and sad, so I am hoping for a sequel where the outcome can be changed. This is a great read for teens 13+


The List- Book Review

Every year, on the Monday of Homecoming week, a mysterious list appears in the hallways at Mount Washington High School.  Eight girls are listed, two from each class labeled as Ugliest or Prettiest.

Each chapter gives readers the first person perspective of each of the girls on the list, how they react to their new found fame or infamy. Abby is thrilled to be named he prettiest Freshman, but her sister isn’t.  Jennifer has gotten Ugliest 4 years in a row.  Candace is dumbfounded by her Ugliest status.  It has always been a mystery as to who makes the list, who posts it each year.  Will the mystery finally be solved?


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