Monday, January 17, 2011

Early Review: Cryer's Cross, by Lisa McMann

Cryer's Cross
Lisa McMann
Hardcover, 240 pages
Simon Pulse
February 8, 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.

You have to give it to Lisa McMann, she has a way with third person present that hooks you into the story. I wouldn't particularly say it's the best writing with the greatest grammar, but once you get used to it … well, like I said, you can easily get sucked into the story.

I liked the plot to this story. McMann's story always seem to be very plot-driven, which works well. However, where it excels in plot … it lacks in other aspects. I don't think I would call Cryer's Cross a very character-driven book. For me, Kendall (our main character) seemed to be just a girl in a story with OCD and a love for dance and soccer. Really, that's all we learn about her. Her best friend Nico, is just that … a best friend that may be a little more. Then, there's Jacian – typical bad boy who's got a stick up his rear for some reason, but still manages to turn into that sweet guy that we want so badly for the love interest. Well, you have it. Why? I'm not sure, but it's there.

The chapter breaks with the “We” chants are confusing at the beginning but slowly, as the story and the reason as to why the disappearances happen unfolds, you start to understand these small paragraphs. They're creepy in their own way. As a matter of fact, the entire story has a very creepy feeling to it – from the small town feel to the disappearances, all the way to action at the end of the story. I think if there would have been more back story, there would have been an even bigger creep-factor to it. As it was, it was just a lingering thought in the back of my head.

With right at 240 pages, this was a very quick read for me. If you liked McMann's Dreamcatcher series, then you'll definitely love this book.

Source: E-galley, Publisher

Avg Rating: 4.0


Melissa (i swim for oceans) said...

I keep seeing iffy reviews of this. I love the premise and how dark it seems, but I hear that it's kind of choppy in places. I appreciate your honest take on it, Missy :)

Julia @ That Hapa Chick said...

Hmmmm I still can't wait to read it (because I love the premise) but I don't know how I'll like it since I tend to like books with better character development. We'll see I guess.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Hmm... not a huge fan but I've been curious about this one. Thanks for the honest review.

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

I haven't read anything by McMann, but I gotta say, third person present is not my favorite.

Also, seems like the story was going for some forced shock value with the confusing chant stuff. Not sure what to think of that.

Thanks for your honest review. I'm still interested, but will proceed with caution. :)

Jennifer said...

I think that I liked her Dreamcatcher's series more. You pointed out much that I agree with. Those extra "we chant" chapters were my least favorite part.

The book was very short.

The 3rd person thing is different.

But I quite liked Kendall. And I thought her OCD was a very different and interesting characteristic.

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