BOOK REVIEW: Scorch by Gina Damico
HMH Books for Young Readers
Reviewed by Aly Locatelli
Review for Book 1: Croak
“So here’s the deal: You will sleep in separate bedrooms. You will leave your doors open at all times. You will keep the public displays of affection to a minimum. You will not attempt to dismantle any of my surveillance equipment, which, I remind you, covers nearly every room of this house. And if I hear any article of clothing being unzipped, unstrapped, unhooked, or unbuckled, you will lose the body part that it corresponds to. Understand?”
Lex and Driggs looked at each other, then nodded, defeated.
Sixteen year old Lex Bartleby is a Grim Reaper with the ability to Damn souls. With the touch of a finger, she has the power to determine whether a soul gets to go to the Afterlife, or is doomed to spend the rest of eternity in limbo, alone and in agony.
But she isn’t the only one able to Damn souls. Unfortunately, she shares this unique ability with Zara, who is running rampage and damning people left, right and centre. Needless to say, Lex isn’t in anyone’s good books… except those of her tight-knit group of friends.
To escape Croak’s incessant hate, the group, along with the ever sarcastic Uncle Mort, embark on an adventure to DeMyse, the only city left untouched by Zara.
Lex had never been to Las Vegas, but even she knew that this place was Las Vegas times ten. On crack. It was as if the town had been placed in a blender with a giant disco ball, shaken with a Mardi Gras parade, and then had vomited a pile of glitter and tinsel all over itself.
But things are going from bad to worse; people are dying, souls are Damned and in the middle of it all are Lex and her friends, the only people who can put an end to this.
The romance that began in Croak is more present in Scorch, with some hilarious scenes – mainly Uncle Mort making sure Driggs doesn’t defile his niece, at least not under his watch.
“What’s the matter? Don’t you want to see me naked?”
“No, I — well, yes.” She smiled and put her hand on his chest. “Yes, I do.”
She was just about to prove this to him when Uncle Mort pounded on the ceiling of the basement.
“I sense affection!” He yelled. “Knock it off, you two!”
Characters are more developed and fleshed out, and we get to see different sides to everyone. Lex, most of all, does a lot of growing up. Instead of lashing out and hurting those close to her, Lex focusses it all on finding a way to stop Zara, the Wrong Book and putting an end to the madness. She makes mistakes and tries her hardest to fix them.
As a sequel, I was pleased to see that Scorch delivered on all fronts. This second instalment is action-packed, sweet and hilarious as usual. It’s nice to see that amidst all the anger and sorrow, Damico still manages to crack a few jokes and make it seem more light-hearted.
Scorch sweeps you off your feet and hurls you head first into an unforgettable adventure.
(Book 2 of the Croak Trilogy)
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About the Author: 21. A reader, a writer, a reviewer and a full-time sloth lover. I am addicted to coffee and my laptop, and love reading especially when it's rainy outside.