Cryer’s Cross | Lisa McMann
Hardcover | 240 pp.
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.Brent’s opinion:
Cryer’s Cross is a quick, short read. It only took me a few hours to breeze through it, but those three hours were nerve-wracking. Lisa McMann wrote a wonderfully eerie stand-alone novel. Throughout the book, readers are trying to figure out why, ezzackly, kids are disappearing and mysterious carvings are appearing on Kendall’s desk at school. Most times, with mysterious books like this, I’m able to guess the plot. But with Cryer’s Cross, I had no. fucking. clue where the story was going. The ending came out of nowhere, and I liked that.
Cryer’s Cross is more of a plot-driven story. I always say that characters are my most favorite part of any story, and that great characters can make up for terrible plot or pacing. I really didn’t feel all that much for the main character of Cryer’s Cross, Kendall, or any others. In this case, the plot made up for the characters. And the setting. Lisa McMann wrote about a town so small that even the reader feels smothered by the closeness of the residents of Cryer’s Cross.
The whole story is: This book is creepy. It freaked me out more than that freshmen (who I didn’t know AT ALL) who knew my birthday and brought me drugged cupcakes for my fifteenth birthday, the mail man who sniffed my book packages a couple of months ago, and the psychic at the Chinese restaurant who told me I was going to die alone. I read this book a few days before Christmas, and it totally killed my jolly mood. Thanks a lot, Lisa McMann.