Book Review: Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
Series or Standalone: Standalone
Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
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.
First line: Everything changes when Tiffany Quinn disappears.
Kendall Fletcher has OCD. That’s an important thing to know about this story. It’s the reason I liked it. I’ve never read a story where a character has OCD—but McMann did it exactly how I imagined it. It’s a secret struggle she has. Not many people know about Kendall’s OCD—her parents and her best friend/unannounced boyfriend Nico. Kendall tries to fight it but she can’t; she can only live and move with it as part of her. She can only do her best. That’s why when Tiffany disappears she can’t handle it. She didn’t know Tiffany—not really—but Cryer’s Cross is a small town. A safe town. These things don’t happen here.
Not much time is spent talking about Tiffany Quinn. The town moves on because it has to. The kids move on because they have to and when the new year starts, it brings with it two new students: Marlena and Jacian. Jacian is a suspect but when someone else disappears, they are in the clear—but Kendall’s entire world is shaken.
Most of the book focuses on Kendall fighting her feels for Jacian—because she’s with Nico—and trying to cope with the loss that shakes her world. I liked Jacian and the dynamic of he and Kendall. I liked the idea of the story—that people go missing and a desk is the only clue—a desk and some secrets that have long-since been buried. It was definitely a creepy book and well-written. (Again, I loved the OCD aspect.) (And it was very creepy!!)
What the book had in creepy and swoon-worthy romance, it lacked in other areas. I felt at times that Kendall’s voice changed. They were small moments where her internal dialogue (which was always consistent) sounded different than when she actually spoke. In those instances, it feel like McMann tried too hard to make her sound like a teenager. But all in all, again, I liked Kendall.
Most of the characters were two-dimensional—I think of Nico and Marlena. And while they were secondary characters, they were still important to the story (especially Nico) but Marlena felt like filler to me. I enjoyed Jacian almost than Kendall.
Honestly, I found the story highly predictable. I pegged it all in just a few pages. The beginning was full of potential and good story development, but then the end felt rushed. I didn’t like the wrapped-up-in-a-bow-but-not-really aspect of the ending. All these things happened that were pretty horrible for Kendall, yet at the end she’s seemingly unaffected. The story is wrapped up without being wrapped up.
It was enjoyable on the whole. If you like creepy books then you should get Cryer’s Cross. My favorite part of this story: the thing Kendall hates most about herself saves her.