I don’t know how well I’m going to be able to review this because every time I think of it, I’m swept up with this feeling of how much I enjoyed it. This is one of those books that feels very much the same, but also very different at the same time. The result was an experience that ended up feeling unique, but not shocking. Well, let’s be honest there were a couple of big shocks in there.
Let’s start with Lex, our protagonist. She’s different than your typical protagonist in a YA novel. Instead of being a good person with maybe a few flaws, Lex is a straight up delinquent. Don’t get that mistaken with her being a bad person, but she’s very much far from being nice. Lex would rather hit first and not even bother to ask questions later. She isn’t picky in who she goes after. Anyone who breathes is liable to end up on the wrong side of her wrath if they so much as look at her at the wrong moment. Which is why it isn’t surprising that the book opens with Lex being on the brink of being expelled.
Enter her life changing punishment. For Lex, the fact that she’s forced to be separated from her twin sister who she loves and is the only one to escape her rage, but she is sent off to spend time with her Uncle Mort, a man she hasn’t seen since she was six. Mort is a fantastic character. There are a whole bunch of interesting revelations about his character as the book goes on, but there’s something endearing about his caring and eccentric nature. He may be Lex’s caretaker, but he doesn’t do too much caretaking. Instead he puts her to work in a job that is as bizarre as the town he lives in (for good reason).
Lex is to become a reaper. She kills a soul after a person dies and works with her partner to usher that soul to the afterlife. It’s a job that is innate to her, but also forces her to question what is going on around her. When she notices quickly that something seems to be strange about some of the deaths she encounters she and some of the junior reapers start investigating. I won’t say much more about that, but it is a solid plot that makes sense and has clues littered throughout. The plot was simple and straight forward which allowed us time to really get to know the main characters.
I wasn’t surprised by who the culprit ended up being. I was surprised by what the culprit was willing to do to meet their own ends. It was a heartbreaking moment as Lex had to confront something and fight back in a way she never expected.
This is a book that is filled with snark. it is told in third person omniscent. The majority of the book has a heavy focus on Lex, but on occasion it does veer away. This really worked for this book as it gave it a sense of distance to the story. It felt like you were peeking into this life and seeing what was happening almost like how Lex saw glimpses of people’s lives at the moments of their deaths. It also allowed for quite a bit of snark to be delivered about the situations that Lex was put in.
There was also a romance in this story. A romance that I ended up enjoying very much. It was a slow build and didn’t rush into things which I appreciated. There were also some twists thrown in as well which I ultimately approved of.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and cannot wait to get my hands on the next book.