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)
Reason Why I Choose the Book: After seeing Cryers Cross on so many of the Halloween posts and lists last week, I decided to give to see why it was so popular. When the book first came out I had wanted to read it but never got around to it. I love books that have a creep factor to them and between the cover and the summary, Cryer Cross most definitely fit that requirement. Since I also needed a new audio book, keeping the Halloween theme in mind, I added this one to my audio library.
Reasons I Like/Disliked about the Book: I loved everything about Cryers Cross. As an audio book it was terrific. Julia Whelan who is a wonderful narrator and someone I have had the pleasure of listening to with a couple other books, was perfectly pitched as Kendall. However, an audio narrator is only as good as the written narration and McMann's characterization of Kendall was perfection.
I have never read a book that featured a character with obsessive compulsive disorder, and I was fascinated with the way McMann was able to build Kendall's character around this disorder. It made Kendall so much more real in my eyes. Her thoughts and feelings about her disorder gave a reality to her character that I doubt would have been as prominent without it. Jacian was also a terrific character. His moody distant attitude made him both sympathetic and troublesome, and I really liked the progression of his and Kendall's relationship. Definitely not a love at first sight so prevalant in many YA novels.
Together with such fantastic characters, McMann's plot took on a suspenseful tension that kept me tuned into her story about missing teens. The pacing was flawless and the ending although not completely a surprise, was distrubing and eerie lasting just long enough to have my heart thumping and my breath bated for the resolution.
Reasons Why I Recommend This Book: Without hesitation I would urge anyone who loves suspenseful stories with a certain degree of creepiness to pick Cryers Cross up. The characters bring this one to life with such an eerie realism that it is impossible to put it down, and if you are into audio books this is a sensational listening experience.