Grim Crush by S. L. Bynum
Xia is a seventeen-year-old grim reaper who enjoys doing things her own way. She thinks nothing can be better than having her own scythe and helping the souls of the dead enter purgatory. That is, until she meets Shilah, a Native American boy her age. For some reason, Shilah can see her, while other humans can’t. One of the Rules of Reaping is to never show yourself to the living, but Xia can’t help that Shilah can see her. As she pretends to be human to get close to him, she finds herself falling for him, which breaks another Rule that says reapers can’t get emotionally involved with the living. When she can no longer keep her lie, she tells Shilah what she is and he accepts it, for he has fallen for her too. Just when things seem to be going good for them, Xia’s boss and father, the Angel of Death, realizes she’s been breaking Rules, and now Shilah’s soul is in danger. Xia becomes determined to save Shilah, but can
she do it without putting the balance of life and death at risk?
About the author
S. L. Bynum knew she had a creative imagination as a kid, when she would make her beanie babies go on the craziest adventures. She fell in love with writing at the age of twelve, when she wrote a rendition of The Three Little Pigs for her little brother’s homework assignment. It was the joy of creating her own characters and worlds that made her realize she wanted a career as an author.
She has been working on that dream since the age of sixteen, and when she’s not, she works in a clothing store. Grim Crush is her first published novel, which she wrote when she was twenty-one. She got the idea from reading a Terry Pratchett novel about a grim reaper, and she wanted to make her character different from the typical stereotype of a reaper. In Grim Crush, she reflects herself and her own experience with first time love in her main character, Xia. This novel is the first of the Grimly Ever After Series, and the author is currently working on the sequel to Grim Crush.
S. L. Bynum is twenty-five now and besides books, she loves desserts, fashion, dancing (when she’s alone), warm weather, and playing video games. She lives in Greensboro, North Carolina with her family.
To contact her, you can find her on twitter at twitter.com/writerSLBynum or facebook at facebook.com/authorSLBynum. You can also email her at slbynum3(at)gmail.com You can find her book on Amazon at http://amzn.to/VsoeEA.
The premise of Grim Crush — that there will be a person waiting when we die who will usher us into the afterlife — hooked me from the beginning. I love the idea that these people, who work for the Angel of Death and are Grim Reapers, are the souls of babies who died too young. Instead of disappearing forever, they are taken by Death and raised as reapers.
Reaping souls is a reaper’s job. They are alerted to a death in their area and must be there to help the soul pass on. While they work, there are many rules they must follow, like be polite to the dead, be early so the soul is not confused, and only use your scythe when there is absolute need. Then there are the three rules of reaping they must abide by so they don’t end the world: “Rule #1: Do not interfere with someone’s death. Rule #2: Do not become emotionally involved. Rule #3: Do not show yourself to the living.”
The reaper we meet is named Xia. She is young and though she has never had trouble with the three main rules, she does have a bit of an authority issue. It’s not that she always wants to break the minor rules; it’s just that she does that without thinking.
Then she meets Shilah, and he can see her. Turns out he has the “Grim Sight” so she isn’t technically breaking any rules when she’s with him. Though she knows she shouldn’t, she has to know more about him. Then she can’t stay away. As soon as she admits she has fallen in love with him, Death announced he will die next.
This is a great read. Not only does this book probably has the best first line ever – “He was taking too long to die” and you’ll love all the twists at the end. I couldn’t put it down.
I received this book from the author, S. L. Bynum, and from Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock. Grim Crush is a paranormal take on the life of a grim reaper. In this story grim reapers are not alive or dead but they are guides who help souls when they die go to the correct place and not just wander around the Earth. Xia is a seventeen year old grim reaper who has been a solo reaper for two years. Grim reapers start learning to reap and work with some for the first year and then at fifteen are graduated to solo but are still occasionally checked up on for period evaluations. Xia tries to be really polite to all souls but they occasionally get on her nerves and she gets a little rude with them. Xia is also worried, while reaping a soul of a person who accidentally fell off a cliff she is seen by a human boy. There are Rules to reaping, such as don’t interfere in life or death, don’t get involved with humans and don’t show yourself to humans. But Xia didn’t show herself, this boy could just see her. This of course intrigues Xia and she sets out to learn more about the boy, Shiloh who turns out is her own age. This leads Xia into all kinds of trouble, with her work and with learning to hang out with a human. Xia eventually has to decide if she will tell Shiloh what she really is and how she will deal with her growing feelings for him.
This book was a very fast and easy read. The story just seemed to flow really well and keep the reader interested. This book is aimed at young adult readers and is appropriate for any age. This is a book I would read again!
I’m giving this book 5 fangs.
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