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After many successful grim reaper YA books out there, I had ridiculously high expectations for Reaper. OK, maybe there aren't that many, and I've only read Soul Screamers and Croak, but both of those series were able to effortlessly captivate its readers with sarcasm and ironic situations poking fun at the seriousness of grim reapers. Unlike its predecessors in this sort of morbid environment, Reaper takes the scythe quite seriously, while still managing to be cute, but in a chick lit way.
With all of the hullabaloo about Quincy being annoyed by her destiny/fate (?) to become the fifth grim reaper of her family's long ancestry after she dies, one would expect a story about her learning all of the kinks and secrets of the job, considering that the book advertises this. Instead, there's more of a focus on Quincy's life as the most popular girl in her school, her trying to keep her popularity, and her mooning over several guys. Not to say that it wasn't cute, but seriously I feel cheated. Rather than giving out the morbid scythe that I've been dying to utilize on people, a cute little bunny is offered up on a platter (NOT TO SAY THAT I EAT BUNNIES, ESPECIALLY CUTE BUNNIES ON PLATTERS!!!). The whole reaper business only really came into the picture when it would be an awkward situation (not that funny), and as a resolution for the ending.
There was also the issue of Quincy. Let's just say that very few characters as capable as she is to make me go insane, while rooting for her. Not only was she extremely unrelatable, there wasn't any substance for her character. Her character was impossible to comprehend because she makes all of these selfish decisions, but then randomly does one good thing. The one good deed is something major, of course, but it feels illogical when you compare the Quincy from a chapter earlier to the Quincy at that moment. It feels as if the author is trying to redeem Quincy to make people want to root for her. Unfortunately, it doesn't really work out that way, and instead just adds questions to never-ending question pile I collected while reading this book.
The main problem with this book though is how disjointed it is. After spending nearly 90% of the book focusing on Quincy and her fellow human mates, random mystical beings come in that screw up everything. The build up for the contemporary story that it should have been suddenly goes haywire and dives into the paranormal stereotypes. It was a letdown, considering that I just warmed up to the chick lit style, but was then dragged into another drug den of sacrifice, cheesiness, and anti-climatic moments. It's worthy to point out that I was laughing during the climatic scene due to its sort of awkwardness and randomness of it all.
With all of these complaints I'm piling on about this book, you'd expect me to say that I hated it. Reaper was one of the biggest disappointment I've had in a while, but it was definitely one of those nice relaxing reads that aren't meant to really stand out. There were some swoon-worthy moments with Quincy and *beep* (obviously I can't say!) and the ending was one that brought smiles and a sense of fulfillment (it was still clichéd). This wasn't the read I was hoping it would be, but it's a read for when you something that will not be aggravating to finish.
Angie @YA Novelties