I had some issues with the terms, and I couldn't remember what was this, that or the other, but the story is very refreshing, and the author opened her scope to keep from making American history the Center of the World.Edit 11/3/12: A book based on death, reapers, and betrayal? I'm all in. Croak happily spits in the face of the typical YA novel and takes a daring chance on delivering something on the edge of a dark comedy and an investigation on raw justice and the balance of life. Thankfully, the risk was well worth the read.Lex Bartleby, sixteen-year-old walking terror, is shipped off to the middle of nowhere for an attitude adjustment by her Uncle Mort (hint, hint). What she finds is a quaint, yet morbid, city of Croak. It is understandable that "quaint" and "morbid" hardly belong in the same sentence, but if I had to choose two words to describe this story, those would be my top two picks. Croak sets out to explore life after death, and death for life. Lex, an overall likable yet unstable MC, walks a rough road. She constantly faces discrimination, from both the "real world" and her new home, and always seems to be on the outside of the fringes of any peer bubble. This strikes someone, such as myself, right in the heart. She is liked, and accepted, but never really fits into place. Her constant demand of justice during the story also presented a difficult choice for the audience as well as Lex. If you have the power to kill horrible people, such as murders, child killers, and other such people, do you use this power? Is it wrong to be able to transform into the judge, jury, and executioner? I actually felt Lex's struggle as she came to grips with Certain Power and the ability to stop those who seek to mete out judgement and the death penalty to those who deserve it.The new twist on the age-old symbol of the Grim Reapers and the edgy recreation of the afterlife and "death misconceptions" also added a certain charm to the book. The entire mythology of Croak explained the life cycle of the afterlife with a flair of rebellion and imagination. The terminology was sometimes a bit much, and it was easy to get lost in the details of the story, but overall, the new take on an age-old life event made for a wonderful and refreshing story.