Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby is a teenage grim reaper with the bizarre ability to damn souls. That makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But after inadvertently transferring her ability to Zara, a murderous outlaw, Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home.
To escape the townspeople’s wrath, she and her friends embark on a wild road trip to DeMyse. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, it feels like a prison to Lex. Her best chance at escape would be to stop Zara once and for all—but how can she do that from DeMyse, where the Grims seem mysteriously oblivious to Zara’s killing spree?
Man, it has been a long time since I reviewed the first in this series, Croak. I’ve had this ebook sitting around for a long time, but I’ve been swamped with ARCs, school, and now a wedding, so I’m just now getting to this one. And I like it. It has the same snappy, witty, profane dialogue as the first one, and I liked Lex more in this novel than the last one. I kind of wish the romance was a little less silly (“he smushed his lips against hers” is not exactly swoon-inducing), but it’s nice that the romance isn’t the focus of some angsty ridiculousness. Plus, when Lex’s uncle realizes what’s happening with Lex and Driggs, his efforts to keep them under control are hilarious. At one point, he pounds on the floor and yells, “I sense affection! Knock it off, you two!” It was kind of great. The hormones Lex and Driggs are experiencing are presented as totally normal, which they are, because teenagers can and do have sex in the real world. I liked that. I had to kind of reacquaint myself with the slang used in Croak (Crash, Damn, Etceteras, um, et cetera), but once I got into it, I remembered the most salient points from the first novel. I remember thinking that Croak tried to hard to be edgy, and Scorch is kind of the same way. The word “shit” is used like a million times. It’s overplayed.
You know, another thing I liked about this one is how messed up Zara was. She goes from killing criminals to killing children and expectant mothers. It’s nuts. It’s so off the wall for YA that I loved it. It’s weird, because this book is so goofy most of the time (taking the romance seriously is hard), but when it comes to Zara, shit really gets real. Like, one second Lex and Driggs are making out in an entirely unromantic way, and the next, Zara is killing a small child. The difference was a little shocking. I can’t really sum up the plot, because there are so many twists and turns, some of which surprised me, but I can say things are not good in Croak. Things have escalated to a witch hunt level. And the ending gutted me. I was so so sad at the ending. I sort of hated reading it, because it was eight in the morning and then I was sad for the rest of the day. Prepare yourself for heartache.
So, if you liked Croak, then I think you’ll like Scorch. The final installment, Rogue, comes out in September, and I’ll definitely be reading it.