Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Friday, July 1, 2011

Book Review: Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

Cryer's Cross

Synopsis (from 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.

My Thoughts:  I loved how incredibly creepy this story was without being gory and full of disgusting, bloody details.  It was all about making you feel uneasy and since I was reading this book at night and alone, I certainly felt uneasy! 

Kendall lives in a very small town in Montana.  Her family farms along with most every other family that lives in Cryer's Cross.  Last year, a sophomore disappeared.  There were no clues as to where she went.  She was just gone.  Kendall and her best friend Nico help search but in the end Tiffany is just gone.  Then school starts and Kendall and Nico start their senior year.  Suddenly, Nico seems distant and preoccupied.  Kendall worries about Nico until one night, he too disappears.  Now Kendall, along with new students Jacien and Marlena, have to find out what is going on.

I connected with Kendall immediatley!  I grew up in a small town where everyone knew everyone's business and I also suffer from OCD.  I appreciate how the author really portrayed OCD.  It isn't always about compulsive hand washing, like many people think.  Each person's OCD is different but like Kendall, I must go through my house and make sure that the doors/windows are locked (not 6 times but 3).  I understood her anxiety when she wasn't able to get into the school early to do her morning "routine" and make sure everything was in it's correct spot.  I can tell you if something has been messed with even if the average person can't tell.  If I can't do certain things when I need too, the anxiety is outrageous!  And it gnaws at you until you are able to fix it.  McMann was able to portray this is Kendall realistically. 

I liked that there wasn't a ton of romance in this book.  There was some, don't get me wrong but it wasn't an overwhelming issue.  I really enjoyed Jacien and his broding attitude but I also appreciated Kendall's confusion and guilt after Nico disappears.  She doesn't think she should be having fun with another guy while Nico is missing.  I also understand her confusion in her feelings for Nico.  He's her best friend and while he wants to be her boyfriend, she feels like he is just a brother. 

I enjoyed the creep factor in this story along with the history.  I only wish that we could have found out how exactly Kendall's OCD helped her get out of her dicey situation.  I loved the ending that left you hanging a little.  Hopefully there will be more to this story?

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