Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
Simon Pulse, February 8, 2011
Book Source: Public Library
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.
-- Summary from GoodReads.com
Judging by the cover...: The designers get an A on this one. What you see is what you get here. The desk, the spooky writing, the darkness all fit with the story. Crazy for a cover to do that, I know, but if you think this will be a scary mystery that takes place in a school, you'd be dead on.
- Small Town - No one thinks that anything happens in small towns, but when you think about it, all the crazy weird stuff happens where no one would expect it. Rural, secluded towns are the perfect place for dark eerie mysteries to pop up, but for now I think I'll stay living in a city, thank you very much.
- For Real - This ain't no girly-girl supernatural love extravaganza. Well, except for the part where the faithful boy who's stuck by the heroine's side is the best-natured creature to walk the earth and the handsome new guy is a complete jerk. Kendall is one of the most down-to-earth, practical chicks to grace the pages of a paranormal mystery, which means that I not only don't get the urge to slap her every ten pages, but I also wouldn't mind being her best friend. Her reaction to everything is so normal it's refreshing; even her OCD is treated as a part of her, not something out of the ordinary.
- Hot Guy - So that jerk I just mentioned? Well, I hate to admit this, but even my blood started to heat up whenever he walked in. Normally I can't take the bad boy behavior (I always fall for the good yet geeky ones), but in this case I might just join the girls of Cryer's Cross in swooning every time he crosses my path.
Quite a high grade for such a quick read, but McMann really covers all of the bases here. Though we follow the story from behind the viewpoint of a girl, she's practical enough for the story to appeal to boys, too, even before you add in the copious amounts of soccer playing and hardcore farm work. Before every chapter we get a glimpse into the minds of who (or what) is stealing the teenagers of Cryer's Cross, and the reader is kept guessing until the very end.
Recommendation: Get this book, but please be sure to NOT read it at night (says the girl who will probably be checking her window every hour tonight to make sure nothing's out there). This is a good bet for reluctant readers and supernatural fans alike.
Similar Titles: Shine by Lauren Myracle, Reality Check by Peter Abrahams, The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (out this August).