March 2, 2011

Review: Cryer's Cross

Title: Cryer's Cross
Author: Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Copy Obtained: Through Netgalley

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 Review
I've put off writing this review for a little while.  Here's why: I'm not sure what I thought of this book.  I definitely didn't hate it! But I also didn't love it.  I went into it ready to be creeped out because I had heard about how scary it was - making some people afraid to read it at night! That didn't happen for me.  Granted it takes a lot for a book to scare me - a lot, so I shouldn't be surprised that this one didn't.

Ok let me look at what I liked.  I loved the pace of it the story.  The way Lisa McMann writes is very brisk (the best word I can come up with).  She uses a lot of short sentences that pull the story along.  You don't get caught up long descriptions that can drag a story down - and this story is not the type that should be dragged down.  You need to feel the drive Kendall feels.  You need to step into the flow of where the events are taking her.  Doing that made the story much stronger. To go with the pace, the story does build to a pace that in going so fast that you want to grab Kendall and stop her, but there is no time or way to.  I will admit that the final act Kendall is compelled to do did get to me some, but because of the way McMann writes I couldn't stop reading.

I also liked that Kendall has OCD.  It was an interesting twist that I hadn't seen used before.  I liked how the people around her just accepted it - Jacian in particular.  He wasn't thrown by it at all.  I think that added to me liking him and buy into their relationship better. The best part about the OCD was that it made Kendall both strong and vulnerable at the same time.  You knew that after dealing with OCD her whole life that she had an inner strength, but at the same time it put her at risk.  It was interesting to see how it played out in the events of the story.  I honestly don't think the story would've been as good if Kendall didn't have OCD.

The last thing I want to comment on is the "secret" of the small down.  I thought there was a lot of build up to it, but after that it was almost forgotten.  It was bad, but it was moved away from so quickly that I almost felt let down.

Final Thought:  Good but it didn't scare me
Best stick-with-you image: Dirt - that's all I can say
Best for readers: who want to be scared and are by books
Best for ages: 13+


  1. I had a similar reaction. I didn't hate it, but didn't love it either. It wasn't as scary or creepy as I had thought going in either. And yes, there was some build up and then it just wraps up too quickly!

  2. I have this book sitting on my shelf, and I've seen some very mixed reviews about it. I need to try and read it.