Cover Me: Okay, this cover pretty much rocks. It’s not only a catchy look, but it accurately describes the story inside. The sly smile from the girl is a reflection on the humor, but the darkness gives you a good idea of where the story is going. Love this cover! It moved the book up on my list of what to read next. That’s saying something.
Concept: Troubled sixteen-year-old Lex is sent to spend the summer with her uncle to straighten out her attitude. What she discovers is her natural ability of being a grim reaper. She is called a Kill while other reapers are known as Culls, the people who harvest the soul after Lex has released it. In her new role, Lex finds herself knee deep in a bunch of mysterious deaths that even leave the experienced Grims stumped.
The Peeps: I liked Lex. I’ve seen a couple of reviews where people thought she was spoiled, but I thought she was believable. Her surrounding characters were well done too, including the super personality of her uncle and her cull partner Diggs. You can tell Diggs is going to be the love interest a mile away, but Ms. Damico does it in a nice way. She gives a gradual build and doesn’t start out with how irresistible the boy is. The other characters offer some nice filler, but they don’t really hold a candle to the back and forth with Diggs.
The Ending (spoiler alert!): As the junior Grims suspected, the guilty party is one of their own. What I didn’t see coming was the death of Lex’s twin sister in the last couple chapters. She was pretty “goody-goody” to opposite Lex’s naughty, which left a question around her that I knew had to be resolved somewhere. I speculated she may be part of the guilty party by unknowingly killing off people opposite to Lex. Her death came pretty suddenly and I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. Zara, the murderer, was killing people off as a revenge to the people who needed punishment (child molesters, thieves, etc. and saving murderers for a special punishment she needed Lex for.) I find it odd she would consider an innocent girl being collateral damage to get what she wanted from Lex. I wasn’t too broken up about it because I know Lex and her sister can still hang out in the secret purgatory chamber of Lex’s new home.
The thing I appreciated most of this book was the humor. It had witty conversation and awkward interactions I really related to. I liked the straight forward relationship of Diggs and Lex where they are equals and not love-sick puppies. There was a lot of smarts in this book which made it a fun read.
What I’ve Cooked Up: Drinking legally at sixteen calls to me. This is one of the benefits of being a Grim in the town of Croak. You can drink. In tribute to their euphoric beverage of “Yorick” described as “chocolate-vanilla-malty-caramel-honey-cocoa-ecstasy milkshake,” I’ve made a cupcake with most of these flavors. On top of a chocolate cake is a mound of fluffy caramel and vanilla buttercream swirled together (even though you can’t tell a color difference) and drizzled with a touch of honey. It may not get you drunk, but it may make you sugar dizzy.