Thursday, June 23, 2011

Book in Review: Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

Cover & Publisher

 Published by: Simon Pulse

Why I Read This

It looked like a great read, something that I would enjoy.
I am also attempting to read more books that were published in the current year, and this is a 2011 novel.


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.



Cryer's Cross is without a doubt one of the creepiest young adult books I've read to date. It follows Kendall, a teenage girl who lives in small town America (Cryer's Cross, Montanna). In this town, teens from her class have started to go missing. This includes her boyfriend, Nico Cruz, shortly after the book begins. The story follows Kendall as she tries to make sense of what is going on, come to terms with what has happened to her boyfriend, and slowly puts herself at risk to find out the truth behind the mysterious disappearances. It also follows Kendall as she encounters tension and makes friends with the new family in town.
What I like most about the story is the way Lisa McMann tries to show the world the life of a teen girl who is struggling with OCD. Combined with the voice of the narrator, who is not a character in the book, but some story telling entity out there, sets the mood for what's to come and makes the reader build up to it. It was interesting to see both Kendall's progress with her OCD throughout the story as well as her down falls. And I think that something can be learned from this - maybe it's that the problems in life don't stop for anything - or maybe it's something else entirely. 
The story has some paranormal elements to it. I wont say what they are because that would be spoiling it for you. I really love that Lisa McMann isn't afraid to "go there" when she adds them in and I'm glad she does because they make the story much more than a mystery. Here we have a lovely horror story for teens - a clean one at that - that is both creeptastic and inspiring. After reading this one I am looking forward to seeing similar titles on the market and hope that Lisa will write more like this in the future.

My Rating


I bought my copy.


  1. I keep hearing about this book! I'm glad to see you liked it! I'll have to look into this one again!

  2. I enjoyed this book as well. So creepy! The ending blew me away. I never saw it coming! Great review!

  3. I came across the book by accident in the bookstore and had to buy it. It is one of the most checked out books in my classroom. The only thing I told my students was, "DO NOT read this at night." I did and couldn't sleep all night. You are right it is the creepiest! I loved it.

  4. I have this book on my bookshelf, as I wanted to read something by this author. Glad you enjoyed it. I didn't read all your review , so I didnt get any spoilers but I go on your rating and I saw you thought it was!! So sounds like I shall prepare myself for a creepy YA read.

    Michelle A.