The Rebel Christian

Book Reviews

Grim Crush: Grimly Ever After Book I

By SL Bynum

By SL Bynum

I really enjoyed this book, from the bottom of my heart. Because it felt like another typical YA romance—which is not a complaint in the least bit—but it had just enough originality and flare to stand on its own ground.

Grim Crush is pretty much summed up in the title. It has two meanings, the first is the obvious; there is a romance here that shouldn’t be in place. But the second meaning is where the creativity comes in. Grim Crush is about a relationship between a girl named Xia who happens to be a grim reaper, and a Native American boy whose family has an obsession with the dead. It sounds like a match made in heaven right? Wrong. Because the Reapers happen to have a strict no-contact policy with humans. Meaning, Xia isn’t allowed to speak to this boy—even though he happens to be able to see her.

My knowledge of grim reapers is about as in-depth as the knowledge every other human character has in this book. Until recently, I’d only ever thought they were guys in long black robes with death scythes and skeletal faces. Boy was I wrong. Bynum builds us a world that’s completely original and imaginative. She gives Reapers a history and explains their special skills which goes beyond guiding souls into the afterlife.

I loved the concepts she brought into the story, having Reapers able to speak multiple languages, not needing sleep, always wearing black but in a more fashionable way of course! I also liked how Bynum brought real world events into her very supernatural world like the earthquake in Japan. It takes an interesting perspective. I never thought of how it would feel to see such a tragedy from the eyes of someone who isn’t exactly alive but Bynum brings the human emotion on blast and it’s very believable.

Now, the characterization is very well done here. Xia is a girl that I couldn’t help but love. She’s so funny yet dry at the same time! Her take on death and the afterlife is very bland, she guides souls for a living, so she isn’t as shocked by death as you’d think a teenage girl would be but that’s what makes it so entertaining. It’s like Xia ‘comes alive’ when this boy is brought into her life, which plays on her role as a grim reaper and highlights the dullness in her personality at the same time. I can tell she is a character carefully layered with thought and care.

Shilah was great too, I’ve talked about my Native lineage in plenty of other reviews featuring Native American characters but I’m always pleased to find more books including aspects of my culture. It’s like Natives thrive in Indie books!

Shilah is a guy every girl would love to have as a boyfriend. He’s kind, understanding, and incredibly silly when he’s alone with Xia. Even when things get complicated because of Xia’s superiors, he stays by her side to the point where Xia actually feels guilty. She confesses that she feels like she’s depriving him of normalcy because of his dedication to her—a grim reaper—but Shilah never complains.

The romance between the two characters is great and well developed. We’re not given much anxiety and cliff hangers, hoping and praying they get together with a grand kiss on the last page. No, we’re guided through a well-developed relationship despite all its complications and hiccups.

The ending was great! It felt well placed and well-written—as was the rest of the book—but there’s definitely room for the rest of the series.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good romance with supernatural flare. It makes a great YA read and it’s written very well.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*