Cryer’s Cross – Lisa McMann

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“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.”

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When I first read the blurb for this book, I was excited. Mystery/Horror/Thriller? I was totally in. However, sadly I was a little disappointed.

Something weird is going on in the small town of Cryer’s Cross. The small population freak out when freshman Tiffany Quinn disappears. When nothing is found, everything goes back to normal. That is until Kendall Fletcher’s boyfriend Nico Cruz disappears too. Diagnosed with OCD, Kendall struggles to cope with the loss of her boyfriend and the arising feelings for the new boy, Jacian.

I felt like there were several issues with Cryer’s Cross. Largely, it didn’t actually feel like a thriller. I wasn’t scared, I didn’t feel entirely compelled, and the plot was a little choppy (and I don’t like thrillers/horrors. In fact, I stay as far away from them as possible usually). Cryer’s Cross was slow paced, and while it claims to be a mystery, the mystery itself stops about halfway through to make room for the development of romance. The mystery and thriller aspect only starts back up within the last forty pages or so.

Despite this, I really liked the character of Kendall. In fact, I enjoyed most of the characters. I appreciated that the author made sure that while Kendall had OCD, it didn’t stop her or let it define her. She was quite a strong character. I also liked how Lisa McMann showed that the disappearances of the characters didn’t just affect the main character – it also affected the whole town.

Speaking of the town, it in itself was almost a character. While not was mentioned about what it physically looked like, a true atmosphere was painted about it, and a strong impression was made.

The writing in Cryer’s Cross was quite good. I especially enjoyed the ‘antagonists’ moments. It added layers upon layers of creepy.

The only other problem I had with the book was that it felt like McMann was almost generalising OCD a little bit. She had the chance to show reader’s how much it would rock the boat if a person who had OCD had a loved one go missing. People who have OCD are meticulous, perfectionists, and sometimes get to the point of obsession with the way they live and their routines, and I wish she had delved into Kendall’s mind that little bit more.

I think this book had the potential to be something amazingly creepy, but instead it went the opposite way. While it is an interesting read, it isn’t something I’d rave about.

Pages: 233
Publication Date : February 8th 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins
Challenge: n/a
Rating: [rating:2.5]

Teaser Quote: “We. When it is over, We breathe and ache like old oak, like peeling birch. One of Our lost souls set free. We move, a chess piece in the dark room, cast-iron legs a centimetre at a time, crying out in silent carved graffiti. Calling to Our next victim, Our next saviour. We carve on Our face: Touch me. Save my soul.”

 

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