Monday, April 4, 2011

Review: Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

Pages: 233
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: February 8th, 2011
IBSN: 9781416994817

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.

[Synopsis by Goodreads]

Cryer's Cross, much like Lisa McMann's other series, is incredibly unique. It features mystery, romance, an unconventional protagonist, and a small town with long-buried secrets as a backdrop to the story.

Kendall, the main character, had OCD. I've never read a book before - at least, as far as I can remember - where the story came from the perspective of someone with a mental condition. It was written realistically and obviously well-researched.

Cryer's Cross is written in third person, and though Lisa McMann executed it well, it didn't really have the emotional pull first-person could have had. But then again, being in the head of someone with OCD would have been really chaotic, I imagine.

Interwoven into the book, between chapters, were short, creepy passages from an unnamed "We"  that helped set the eerie tone of the story.

The plot was slow and intense, the mystery of the disappearances slowly unraveled throughout the novel. A lot of tension led up to the end, making for an engaging read.

The ending tied up the plots, and had a bittersweet feel to it. Overall, it was an intense and enjoyable read.

I give Cryer's Cross a 4 out of 5.