Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
publisher: Simon Pulse
release date: February 8th, 2011
hardcover, 240 pages
intended audience: Young adult
source: Around the World ARC Tours
The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when high school freshman Tiffany disappears without a trace. Already off-balance due to her OCD, 16-year-old Kendall is freaked out seeing Tiffany’s empty desk in the one-room school house, but somehow life goes on... until Kendall's boyfriend Nico also disappears, and also without a trace. Now the town is in a panic. Alone in her depression and with her OCD at an all-time high, Kendall notices something that connects Nico and Tiffany: they both sat at the same desk. She knows it's crazy, but Kendall finds herself drawn to the desk, dreaming of Nico and wondering if maybe she, too, will disappear...and whether that would be so bad. Then she begins receiving graffiti messages on the desk from someone who can only be Nico. Can he possibly be alive somewhere? Where is he? And how can Kendall help him? The only person who believes her is Jacian, the new guy she finds irritating...and attractive. As Kendall and Jacian grow closer, Kendall digs deeper into Nico's mysterious disappearance only to stumble upon some ugly—and deadly—local history. Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.
Review: With this book, it seals the deal: I am a huge fan of Lisa McMann. With her books, you get a story that is not overbearingly long but packs an immense punch of incredibly tight storytelling and intensity. Each book in her Dreamcather series was this way, and you find the same thing here, with Cryer's Cross. I loved this book. I had a feeling going in that it would be creepy, but it exceeded my expectations in that department. It even snuck into my dreams a few times---always the sign of a completely enthralling book. And while I don't want to give too much away, I will say that what happens to Kendall near the end of the story is one of my worst nightmares.
Kendall herself was a fascinating character. She struggles with OCD. Some of her daily routines consists of going to school early to make sure the classroom is arranged just how she needs it to be and checking each window in her house several times to be sure they are locked before going to bed. Her saving grace is her love of soccer---playing is the only thing that gives her a break from her overworked thought process. She lives in a very, very small town,---the high school consists of one room with each class sitting in groups of four or five desks. So when a girl goes missing, it really has an immense impact on the town. Then Kendall's whole worlds starts to fall apart when the next to go missing is her best friend/sort-of boyfriend.
I liked the character of new kid in town, Jacian. I liked the fact that although he is portrayed as kind of a "bad boy", he is not just cranky for the sake of being labeled "the bad boy". He actually has a pretty decent reason for being so angry at the world when he first arrives. If I was in his shoes, I might be scowling at the world, too.
This is a riveting, frightening, and, at times, very sad story. Shivers galore throughout this entire story, so if you are in the mood for a spine-tingling tale and a fast read, pick this one up and you won't be disappointed.
Visit Lisa McMann's website here!
Purchase Cryer's Cross at: Amazon • BN.com • BookDepository
Trailer (verrrry creepy!!) :