But when Cryer's Cross is rocked by unspeakable tragedy, Kendall shoves her dreams aside and focuses on just one goal: help find her missing friends. Even if it means spending time with the one boy she shouldn't get close to... the one boy who makes her question everything she feels for Nico.
Determined to help and to stay true to the boy she's always loved, Kendall keeps up the search--and stumbles upon some frightening local history. She knows she can't stop digging, but Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried...
Then someone close to Kendall goes missing. The angst causes her OCD to go almost out of control. Kendall goes through her familar routine of fixing her small classroom and notices a message scratched on the desk where both missing teens had been sitting in. She also starts hearing pleas for help. Kendall not sure if she's going crazy.
Something isn't right in Cryer's Cross and Kendall can't help but feel she has to find out what secrets are being hid by the townspeople or she'll never forgive herself.
The idea of a mysterious desk holding the secret behind some missing teens in a small town is very intriguing. Add to that a heroine who deals not only with OCD but is close to one of the missing teens, well, I had to read this story.
Kendall's OCD were described in a realistic way. I know a couple of people with OCD and just the littlest thing can trigger off anxiety to the point of needing some serious help. Kendall's daily routine of keeping the classroom in one way and her downward spiral, I felt, was very real.
I did feel that the story could have been a tad bit scarier. I admit I was hoping for a spookier tale. At the beginning I was confused over who 'We' were in this story. It took awhile before I figured that out. Also I almost wished that the mystery behind the boy's reform school had been fleshed out a little more. Wouldn't the town whisper about the past? It's hard for me to believe that everyone in Cryer's Town would have been silent, especially those who knew about the reform school's past. It seems someone would have spoken out or at least mentioned it. But that's just me.
I did like Jacian and how he set off emotions in Kendall, including guilt for even thinking of liking another boy. The emotions Kendall struggles with guilt for betraying her lost friend and how she feels around the cute new boy also trigger off her fears and anxiety. I liked how the author shows this. The chemistry between both Jacian and Kendall is one you believe in unlike with Nico which even Kendall admits has always been 'just a friend.'
The climax of this story had me sit up. Wow, I totally didn't see that coming! I loved the final revelation. I just wished there had been more suspense at the beginning. Also why did everyone just assume the new boy Jacian was behind the disapperances?
This is a quick, fast read. Not too scary but with a big twist at the end.
I love Lisa McMann's writing. I really do. She knows exactly how to capture the reader and keep them drawn in wanting more. And this book is exactly that. I couldn't put it down. If I had to do something, the book went with me so I could keep reading. Ended up finishing it in a day, wishing it wouldn't end! The characters are all wonderful and I love how you get to bond with each of them and how tight-knit they all are. I honestly started out hating Jacian, and I was so mad at Kendall for falling for him. But at the end, I couldn't help but to smile... Except for the very last page.
I was just like..."WHAT?!?!"
I liked that it takes place in a very small town, I really enjoy those type of settings since I always lived in a big city I often wondered what a small town life would feel like. Even though I can’t relate to the farmer type of life that Kendall lives, I understood her ambitions very well. Unfortunately all of that comes to an end when her classmates begin to disappear, something unheard of in the quiet and small town of Cryer’s Cross and it made me feel so bad for poor Kendall when her little world starts crumbling down.
In between the chapters on Cryer’s Cross there were these very creepy lines from another source in the novel that made the reader very curious to find out who they were and how they were taking these kids. Those little snippets between the chapters made the novel much more creepier and me wanting to know more about them. Like I said this was a very fast read but by the end I had mixed feelings about it, I liked it but didn’t love it. I was a bit disappointed to see that the ending wrapped up way too easy, the climax of the story only took about two pages in the book and it left me wanting to know more about these “ghosts”, if that’s what they were. I still enjoyed it and I’ll definitely read more by Lisa McMann, because even though I didn’t love the easy ending I enjoyed about 80% of the book and Lisa knows how to write some pretty engrossing thrillers.
The story ended up being rather original and quite creepy. That's about as good as it gets though. I was incredibly unimpressed by the writing. "But" seemed to be nonexistent and was instead replaced by disjointed sentences that made me want to cringe. The language didn't really seem to suit the characters. It was much too "stereotypical farmer" while the characters didn't seem to fit that sentiment at all.
The characters themselves were hard to get into and relate with. I found myself not caring about trying to put details with the character and instead just imagining them as generic images to help move the story along without any effort.
Final thoughts: The story was pretty good though it took quite a bit to get into. Nothing is spectacularly great about this book but because of its size it's a pretty quick read.
Last year, I read Lisa McMann's Wake Trilogy, which I sort of liked at first, but later came to almost abhor. Her writing drove me crazy. It's so incredibly fragmented. Everyone told me that the writing was matched to Janie's thoughts and not a sign of McMann's inability to compose a complex sentence. Well, that excuse really does not fly here. The story is told in third person and yet, oddly enough, the syntax remains choppy and composed largely of sentence fragments. This will, hopefully, be my last foray into McMann.
All that so grumpily said, Cryer's Cross was not a terrible read. I think I liked it more than I disliked it. The ending was a bit too mystical for my taste, but there was a major redeeming factor. The one thing McMann does really well: she writes really attractive, atypical male leads. And some pretty hot scenes with them, even if they remain PG, as is the case here.
I recommend this for reluctant readers, although I doubt boys would be too interested. For a book with a lot of menace lingering about, there is very little action.
Let me start by saying the mystery of the novel ended up being slightly disapointing, but there are tons of things that the marvelous author Lisa McMann did to make Cryer’s Cross one of the best books of 2011!
The first thing i thought when i read the blurb i thought: Kendall, the same protagonist, but this time she’ll be shy and has a problem that she feels pity constantly about. She’s going to be disjointed and never talk, like Bella with a mind problem. But the minute i opened the book, i realized how much Mrs. McMann knows about the mental disorder OCD. Kendall is by far one of my favorite main girl characters in a book because Mrs. McMann really delves into the compulsion but doesn’t constantly talk about it.
The second thing i loved about Cryer’s Cross was that the mystery was literally unsolvable. I couldn’t even begin to guess what was happening because i didn’t fully grasp the term “paranormal.” I began the story and instantly made bets on different characters who kidnapped Tiffany Quinn, but i could not support it at all!
The third thing i absolutely LOVED about Cryer’s Cross was the secondary characters. I read WAKE by Lisa McMann but did not continue because it had mature themes beyond my years, but i did notice how the secondary characters seemed to be well-fleshed out. Well, Cryer’s Cross does an EVEN BETTER JOB! Jacian, who i thought upon his introduction would be an Edward-Cullen-esque guy character, ended up being a lot different! And Marlena was a great friend, she listened and also had her annoying factors that everyone has!
The Romance (And the Romanceer) - Jacian, in the first chapter, was painted to be an Edward Cullen-knock off, but once you really got into the story you realized he is really different! His emotion is well worded and well played out, and the romance is not sufficating, because Ms. McMann knows how to work with it so it is not all love-story!
The Writing Style - Ms. McMann has one of those ecletic writing styles. It can be jerky to some, but i think it is lyrical. It is poetic as she slides from one scene to the next. I LOVE where she describes the movement of a character and uses sentences without the subject! "Kendall falls down. Begins to cry." it's not from the book but it's an example!
Cryer's Cross starts out with a girl who has just gone missing from a small town, throwing the whole town into chaos. After months of searching for the girl or any leads to what happened to her, the town starts going about their business again. Then another student disappears, Kendall's best friend Nico. After no traces of Nico are found, the town eventually also give up on finding him, But Kendall's OCD won't let her accept that her friend is simply just gone. She searches deeper and deeper to uncover what happened to Nico at the cost of losing herself.
Cryers's Cross is not only a mystery but it also has some supernatural elements that I wasn't expecting. This book was majorly creepy, especially the whispering desk with the "old new" creepy messages written on it. One aspect of the book that bothered me was that it was written in the third person point of view and in the present tense, it made the writing seem choppy somethimes. The plot though was good, as were the characters.