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Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann

Published by Simon Pulse (An Imprint of Simon & Schuster)

Pages: 240

Ages: Young Adult

Publishers Summary: The small town of Cryer’s Cross is rocked by tragedy when an unassuming freshman disappears without a trace. Kendall Fletcher wasn’t that friendly with the missing girl, but the angst wreaks havoc on her OCD-addled brain.

When a second student goes missing—someone close to Kendall’s heart—the community is in an uproar. Caught in a downward spiral of fear and anxiety, Kendall’s not sure she can hold it together. When she starts hearing the voices of the missing, calling out to her and pleading for help, she fears she’s losing her grip on reality. But when she finds messages scratched in a desk at school—messages that could only be from the missing student who used to sit there—Kendall decides that crazy or not, she’d never forgive herself if she didn’t act on her suspicions.

Something’s not right in Cryer’s Cross—and Kendall’s about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.

A brain riddled with the accumulation of things. Things that need to be ordered, numbered, checked off and categorized. When Kendall steps out of her bed each morning it’s an endless stream of tasks that need to be accomplished, not because they require it, but because she is plagued by obsessive compulsive disorder. When one of her classmates in a school that lists less than three dozen students total goes missing it’s enough to send her into a panic. And when Kendall loses another, more significant friend, she begins to wonder if she’s losing her mind when messages appear on a now-empty desk. Only time and a dark secret revealed will help Kendall, and will potentially uncover the secrets of Cryer’s Cross.

As some of you may already know, I’m a fan of Lisa McMann’s Wake Trilogy (well, except the last one) and so when I heard about this new addition to her library I really wanted to pick it up. Thankfully I was able to review a Galley copy from Simon & Schuster! Well, this was above and beyond what I would have expected. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy or don’t still enjoy her first series, but this was just so much more. In Cryer’s Cross it seemed the writing was more developed, the characters seemed deeper, the plot was better executed and overall it was a fantastic read. Albeit, a bit creepy, but I still really enjoyed this one.

What I loved…first off, Kendall. How can you not love a fellow OCD girl, and a teen at that? Granted I’m not anywhere near as bad as Kendall gets, but I’ve had my fair share of experiences worrying about things left undone (ie. stove left on, curling iron, etc.). Also, I’m a huge task list person, sometimes to a fault. I can’t move forward until things are checked off of my list, it’s almost paralyzing unfortunately. Again, though, I’m not anywhere near as bad as Kendall, but it was so nice to see how developed her character was in this regard in such a short period of time. And though Kendall had this disability I liked that she wasn’t overcome by it, she was still independent, she still took charge and didn’t rely on others to “take care of her.” An incredibly refreshing female lead character, especially for a YA “horror” novel.

In addition to Kendall, the others in the cast of characters were excellent as well. Although, I was of course saddened by one of the losses in the story, it still made perfect sense in the scheme of things. What I did enjoy though was how well connected Kendall became to Jacian, a new member of her town and high school. Initially they aren’t drawn to each other in the slightest, but it’s nice to see how their relationship progresses without being the “main” theme of the story, more of the background.

This was an incredibly gripping story. Cryer’s Cross is by far, in my opinion, Lisa McMann’s best work to date. If you aren’t easily creeped out, and love a great mystery with a bit of paranormal thrown in to make it extra interesting than you definitely need to read this. McMann’s storytelling is tight and the characters are incredibly true to life. Cryer’s Cross will keep you at night until you finish the very last page and then leave you begging for more.

The1stdaughter Recommends: Ages 16 and up. Teen paranormal-horror fans will absolutely love this new YA novel by Lisa McMann. Be warned, it’s definitely not a story for bedtime reading.

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18 Responses to Book Review: Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann

  1. Miss Remmers says:

    I loved this book!! Great review!

  2. I don’t dig Lisa, but I totally dug your review 🙂

    It’s cool that this is your favorite of her work so far.

  3. cj'alhafiz says:

    Hi 1stDaughter,
    I first read about Cryer’s Cross is from goodreads and get drawn to it. The story sounds creepy and this is something that I might love to read. I’m nost so familiar with the author’s books…which as you mentioned the wake Series, but..you’re review and comparison between this book and the former books sounds interesting. Thanks for the review. =)

    My Latest Review: Cut by Cathy Glass

  4. Gina says:

    Perfect timing! I just saw this yesterday when I was at the store. ^_^ Sounds like a great read though I haven’t tackled her other series yet. Will certainly take the warning about when not to read it into consideration…. O_O
    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Courtney says:

    Really interested in this one…although a little nervous it might freak me out. I actually suffer from moderate OCD have been treating it for years…it would be interesting to see how it is portrayed in the book….I always find it interesting how it plays out in fictional accounts. Putting it on the TBR list! Love the cover too by the way!

    • It is a bit on the creepy side, but still okay for teens I think so you might be fine, unless you spook really easily.

      The way McMann addressed the OCD issue was really impressive to me. I’ve struggled with it as well, and it seems to have gotten worse with children unfortunately. So, it was really interesting to see how she incorporated it into the story. It didn’t “make” the story, but rather was another element that was really well done. You might find it really interesting. I hope you enjoy!

  6. Totally agree! I posted my review a couple weeks ago and I agree it was even better than her Wake series (although to be honest I loved Wake and Fade but couldn’t get into Gone). Initially I was thinking “a haunted desk? Are you serious?” but she did such a good job making this a creepy, enthralling read.

  7. Great review. I really want to read this book.

  8. Areli Arias says:

    This is a great book!!
    Im almost half of the book.. and wowww! amazing!
    everything at the beginning seems to be a mystery
    when tiffany and nico disappear…
    LOVE THIS BOOK!!
    and i also met the author, Lisa McMann such an awesome Person!!

  9. […] MP Kozlowsky 3. Guys Read: Thriller by Jon Scieszka 4. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice 5. Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann 6. An Ice Cold Grave by Charlaine Harris – The third book in the Harper Connelly series 7. […]

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  11. Kendra says:

    I wasn’t sure about this series at first because I read the Wake series and-although I loved the first 2-the third book killed me. After I read your summary though, I decided to give the book a try and I loved it.
    Thanks.

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