***** (five out of six)
Cover - I love this cover; it just screams teen with attitude, and when you add in the fact that the teen in question also has this power to DAMN people, then you have this great cover representing her with FLAMES in the background.
In keeping with my promise to myself to continue experimenting with young adult reads, I read Scorch. It was an easy decision, because I had read the first book - Croak - and decided I liked it enough to want to read the sequel. And the cover to Croak was pretty interesting.
I enjoyed Scorch as much as I enjoyed Croak. The characters - the teens, all are pretty believable character up to and including their continuously raging hormones. The dialogue was mostly appropriate for teens, with an occasional "slip up" where Dimaco had her main character using a few words that aren't normally found in the average teen's vocabulary. In fact, there are some words that just aren't heard much outside of books, and once in a while one would pop up in Scorch - this is probably the only thing that yanked me out of rhythym of reading Scorch.
However - Scorch was pretty good. At the end of Croak, Lex had found out she had an extra talent, besides being able to reap souls from the dying, she's also able to damn souls. Unfortunately this isn't a talent she's supposed to have and many of the residents of Croak have turned against her - especially with a the requisite extremely judgmental couple who are town elders. Being judged harshly by most of the townspeople and having a rogue reaper after Lex, killing people to get to her Lex and the rest of the juniors go on the run with Uncle Mort, having some harrowing experiences but also meeting some good friends.
There were some seriously sad parts, and yet a lot of the novel was written with humor and there quite a few chuckles for me while reading. I love when I'm able to laugh even though the subject matter might be kind of heavy and dark, and let's face it. Whenever there's a book about grim reapers, soul collectors, etc then the subject matter is basically a bit dark. Gina Dimaco is able to make her characters likeable, believable and very interesting. Even the villians are interesting - they might be portryed a bit extreme, but on the whole very fun characters to read.
If you're worried about your teen reading about sex, be warned that Lex and her boyfriend to make out a lot, but it's pretty much mentioned, Dimaco doesn't go into specifics with graphic teen sex scenes.