Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cryers Cross by Lisa McMann

Thursday, November 3, 2011
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.


christina said...

I read this a couple of months ago and I absolutely loved the portrayal of OCD in the main character. Having OCD myself, it was exceptionally done.

Jenny said...

Wow 5 cherries! I like books that are suspenseful as long as they aren't downright scary. I don't do well with horror but it doesn't sound like this book is that way. Love books with really strong and well-done characters, thanks for the review Jan!

Natalie said...

I love suspense, and I think I would find reading about a character with an obsessive compulsive disease to be interesting as well. Since you gave this one a 5, I'm definitely going to have to put it on my to-read list!

Leanna Elle said...

I liked this one too. It was a pretty quick read and very dark in places, which I liked!

Staci said...

This one is going on my list to read immediately. I loved your thoughts on this one, especially the OCD aspect as I have a bit of that problem myself!!!

Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

I keep wanting to read this one, but some bad reviews put me off it for a while. I think maybe I need to rethink it though! Great review, Jan :)

LoriStrongin said...

This one sounds really good! You don't see many books featuring characters with OCD, and when you do, it's usually played off for comic relief rather than as a serious element. So I'm eager to see how McMann writes about this disorder.

Thanks for the rec!


Michelle Santiago said...

Oh wow! This sounds like a great book and I'm glad you enjoyed it. This is definitely going on my never-ending TBR list. Hopefully I'll get to read it soon;)

Great review and happy reading Jan!

Sue Jackson said...

Great review! I second everything you said. My son and I loved this audio. In fact, he loved it so much, he didn't wait for me to finish it. We came home from our road trip with it unfinished, and he immediately picked up the paper book and finished it that afternoon!


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