Title: Cryer's Cross
Author: Lisa McMann
Genre: YA / Paranormal / Horror
Source: Simon & Schuster
When a teenage girl goes missing in the small farm town of Cryer's Cross the whole town is rocked to its core. Especially affected is Kendall Fletcher. Kendall wasn't that friendly with her missing school mate but the angst of her disappearance is causing havoc on her OCD-addled brain. When another teen goes missing, this time Kendall's boyfriend Nico - she fears that she may not survive the event. With her mind on hyper-awareness she starts comparing the two disappearances and makes the connection that both of the missing kids sat at the same school desk. But when she begins receiving graffiti messages and even hears a voice, that can only be Nico's, coming from the desk she'll find herself doubting her sanity.
I love Lisa McMann's simplistic writing. She tells so much using so few words... I'm really impressed. By telling the story in the third-person present tense narrative it gives the story a fast-paced feeling which makes Cryer's Cross quite the page-turner.
I could not help sympathizing with Kendall. She was a very likeable girl. I'm no expert on OCD so I can't say how true to form it is, but I think Ms. McMann captured it perfectly. The rituals and routines, the counting to calm herself - I would say made Kendall even more endearing - it gave her character. Aside from these quirks, she was a normal girl. She loved to dance and sing, she loved soccer and made friends quite easily. Nico her BFF and more recently boyfriend was her life and she is obviously thrown off track at his disappearance.
Aside from the major ripples the disappearance of Nico is causing on Kendall's life, there is also Jacian. The new boy in school who is angry to have left his old school, girlfriend and soccer team behind to now live on his grandfather's farm and attend a school that has so few students that a soccer team can't even be put together. The friendship that they form was one of the lighter aspects of the novel.
But what truly made this novel was the chill factor. Ms. McMann had me with goosebumps for more than half the time I was reading it. It starts off very slowly... with a few words at the beginning of each chapter, a scrape and a bump in the night... and it slowly escalates throughout the story. By the last couple of chapters I was literally at the edge of my seat.
All in all, I found Cryer's Cross to be a riveting and deliciously creepy read. The suspense, the mystery, the romance (le sigh) were all there... along with many chill inducing moments. This is another solid book for Lisa McMann (and a stand alone to boot). I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.