Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Review: Cryer's Cross

Author: Lisa McMann
Release Date: Already lining shelves
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia / Simon & Schuster US
Add it: Goodreads

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.

The first girl went missing a few months ago. The whole town went out on search parties trying to find the missing teen who disappeared without warning. But they found nothing. No body, no trace of Tiffany Quinn. Now Kendall Fletcher's best friend/boyfriend has suddenly started acting weird. completely withdrawn into his own world, hardly talking to her anymore. And then, just like Tiffany, he's gone too.

Kendall suffers from OCD and when Nico disappears it goes into overdrive. They've been childhood friends since they were in the womb and have always been apart of one another's life every single day in Cryer's Cross. But now he's gone and she's left trying to deal with the grief and her overactive brain. The search  to find him proves fruitless and the media goes crazy with connecting his disappearance to Tiffany's - did Nico have something to do with Tiffany going missing? There are also two new students in town who arrived just after Tiffany disappeared - Jacian and Marlena Oregon . As quick as Jacian had arrived to town, the police were on his doorstep questioning him about Tiffany.  He doesn't exactly come off as the friendliest person, so could he have played a part in Nico's disappearance?

The bond that formed between Kendall and Jacian was slow and lingering, growing into something deeper before they even realised it.  Jacian is portrayed as this sullen, hostile, bad boy in the beginning, but the more Kendall begins to hang out with him the more layers are peeled back from his outer shell and we glimpse what a genuinely nice, thoughtful, funny guy he is. Sure, he's a little rough around the edges but that's what makes him feel so real.

Throughout the novel we're given these creepy little inserts from "WE" - the disturbing something that keeps you on constant alert, trying to figure out what they are. They're hungry. Crying out. Pleading to be saved. To be touched. And Kendall begins to see new graffiti etched onto Nico's old desk that looks years old, but wasn't there the previous day. We're given these haunting little teasers and while I figured out some of the mystery, when all was finally revealed - talk about creepy! Disturbing and a heartbreaking. I don't think I will ever look at one of those old school desks the same way again.

I really enjoyed reading from Kendall's perspective as she battles daily with her OCD. I could relate to the patterns she displayed - what she was dealing with and how she handled it. While I didn't realise it at the time, only now looking back, I did some weird, crazy things when I was younger that just screamed "OCD!" and like Kendall I kept that hidden from the people around me (although her family and a few others knew about her situation). It's an incredibly difficult thing to deal with because you don't want people to think you're crazy and some of the things that you feel compelled to do are just... weird. Odd. Irrational. Lisa portrayed the issue well and I liked that it actually became quite a gift to Kendall.

Lisa's has a unique writing style, fast paced and to-the-point, she instantly draws the reader in and you're swept up in the mystery. Cryer's Cross is a creepy, haunting novel that will keep you on your toes trying to figure out what the "WE" are and how they're connected to the disappearances. The romance was light, but pitch perfect as a secondary plotline for the book. Cryer's Cross will suck you in and have you heeding to the voices of the WE, but try your best to resist, lest they take you as their own.

Rating: 4/5


  1. I have a signed copy sitting on my bookshelf!! I want to read it like RIGHT NOW because I haven't read a scary book in a long time but I have so many other books to review first.

    I'm sure Lisa's written a wonderfully creepy book because even her WAKE series had a tiny creep factor going. I'm kinda scared of WE already. Not as scared as I am of your appetite for my yummy flesh though!

  2. I really like stories that deal with OCD. My tutor gave me an ARC of this sometime ago but I never felt inclined to give this a try. I've never even read the summary until now. It sounds absolutely intriguing and I might just read this sometime in the coming days (after I devour my TBR pile) Thanks for the review!

    The Procrastinator's Corner

  3. Awesome review Brodie! I'm glad you liked this! I love Lisa's writing - beautiful but direct to the point. :) Aww..Jacian sounds nice. Yes, the way the OCD was portrayed was perfect. I liked it a lot.

  4. Another book that I am waiting for. I am glad to see another high rating for this book. I have no idea if the local publisher will also translate this book just like what they did to the series.

    I like the way you tell us about the characters and its relations

  5. I really enjoyed this one, too. I think the author did an excellent job of portraying the characters OCD, and I love that it saved her in the end! This one was a lot spookier than I expected, but I loved that it was!

  6. I read and adored the WAKE trilogy, and have been dying to read this one - glad to know you think it lives up to the hype. I don't think I've ever read about a YA character with OCD, and even though this isn't strictly contemporary lit, that's another bonus point. Thanks for the review! =)

  7. What a great review! I love this book. Lisa is such an amazing author.

    New follower. :)


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