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Cryer's Cross

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

ARC Review: Suspenseful and Swathed in Mystery

Cryer's Cross is an incredibly small town with a small high school that has only one classroom to hold all four years of students. After a girl goes missing, all of Cryer's Cross is on edge, including OCD addled Kendall. Things begin to go back to normal after a few mon...
Cryer's Cross is an incredibly small town with a small high school that has only one classroom to hold all four years of students. After a girl goes missing, all of Cryer's Cross is on edge, including OCD addled Kendall. Things begin to go back to normal after a few months, that is until Nico, Kendall's best friend and boyfriend (though she never refers to him as such because she has issues with the commitment the word implies) goes missing as well. His disappearance pushes Kendall closer to the two new kids in town and in the process, she begins to let Nico go. Only, it seems he won't let her go; whispering to her when she sits at his now empty desk.

Lisa McMann is a beloved YA author because of the Wake series (which I need to finish reading) and that can be a lot to live up to, but this book does just that. The writing instantly pulls the reader in and the suspense and mystery kept me glued to the pages. It is a fast read and quite short, but the slowly-unraveling mystery is incredibly well-paced.

Kendall's loss is so close and raw. Her unending hope that Nico will come back will haunt the reader as Kendall tries to cope with her rituals and her counting. Her conflicting emotions about Jacián, the new guy, are so realistic and filled with confusing longing. Her feelings are what drive the story and pull us along for the ride. Her slow discovery about what really happened to Nico is terrifying because of how true some of it could be.

My only complaint is that the book is too short. The quick chapters, interspersed with the creepy declarations made by WE, move the story along at a rapid pace, but I wish there had been more; more explanation and elaboration about why the teens went missing and more about the characters that linger in the background, but become more important as the story unfolds.

Cryer's Cross is a creepy, foreboding story headed by a heroine who is beyond normal despite having OCD. McMann has weaved a tale that will leave you with the lights on, questioning all the little things you've read on your desks at school. The bumps in the night may be more than animals and bugs and the whispers you think you hear could be your undoing.

Opening line: Everything changes when Tiffany Quinn disappears. ~ pg. 1

Favorite line(s):
Count breaths: thirty-six. Count stones in the dirt: more than fifty. Count people saying stupid things: all of them.
Count all the days she's known him: infinity. ~ pg. 44

*This is an ARC and cover, lines, page numbers, etc. are subject to change

posted by Nikkayme on October 17, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Great concept, not so great execution.

I absolutely loved the concept of this book, and I really, really wanted to love the book as a whole but I just couldn't. Mcmann's writing style is extremely choppy and disjointed and it just kept distracting me. The entire book is written in the present tense (and thir...
I absolutely loved the concept of this book, and I really, really wanted to love the book as a whole but I just couldn't. Mcmann's writing style is extremely choppy and disjointed and it just kept distracting me. The entire book is written in the present tense (and third person) which drove me absolutely nuts because it just seems very elementary. Not to mention she would mix up tenses every so often, which maybe I noticed more being a writer myself, but again, very distracting. As far as the story goes, it started out very interesting with the disappearances of two small town kids, then it kind of flopped over for the next hundred or so pages focusing mainly on a half baked romance sprinkled with little paranormal goodies. The last 40 pages or so seriously saved this book, I was powering through the bulk of the book just to get to the (slightly rushed) resolution. I kind of wish she would have stretched the ending out a bit longer. And one last beef (MAJOR SPOILER) why the heck did nobody in this town think to check the friggin' abandoned school right down the road when the first two kids went missing?!! McMann goes to great lengths to discuss how thorough these searches were and no body even considered looking there? I know the old men didn't want to to but nobody else in the search group went in for them? And why did Kendall need wire cutters to get into the school grounds when two people had previously gotten themselves in? Why did the search team not notice the two gaping holes they would have had to of gotten in through? (END SPOILERS) Am I being too critical? Probably.

posted by Courtney_B on October 6, 2011

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  • Posted February 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!

    This book is downright creepy! I am so happy I read this during the day. Kendall is your average girl in small town with a disorder. Her OCD drives her to know where everything is and to put anything out of order in place. Kendall's best friend/boyfriend Nico suddenly disappears. For days he acted weird and she notice it. She began to put things together when she realizes is all began with a desk.

    What I like most about this story was there was no paranormal power. Kendall is an average girl, growing up like everyone else. She has no secret power lurking to be revealed. She is just normal, besides her OCD. I like her willingness to find out what happen and the strength to fight her OCD is astounding. I know its hard for people to change what their normal routine is. So for Kendall to go out of her way is admiring.

    I also like that this is small town ghost story based on true story that happen in the book. Immediately you can relate to this story and the true happenings of it. In my opinion ghost town stories are always the best because they are based on real people, real towns, real places.

    Ms. McMann did an excellent job bringing this story to life. Her characters were easy to relate to and easy to understand. Her plot paced perfectly and left nothing out. Everything was revealed at the right time. Her story is so good that is kept giving me goose bumps. If you are looking for a good, creepy ghost story with a real life characters read this book.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Totally creepy!!

    Wow. Just wow. I wanted to write the review about this while it was still fresh in my mind. It was absolutely haunting. That's the best word that I can use to describe it.

    The story focuses on Kendall, a high schooler from a small town with OCD. In the course of a few months 2 students in their very small community go missing, including Kendall's best friend Nico. She begins to hear voices and see words etched into the desk that Nico sat at. The more she sees and hears things, the more she believes it is just her imagination due to her OCD.

    I have never read anything that focused around OCD. It was interesting to be in the mind of someone who has it and to know what they are feeling and thinking. It's unimaginable how difficult things must be when having to worry about numbers or any other OCD related thing, along with everything else going on in someones life. I know people that have smaller forms of OCD and McMann hit the nail right on the head in my opinion. Having to obsess over such things must be extremely stressful and she portrays that beautifully.

    I think the story was fantastic. It was very well put together. It was so creepy! Adding the OCD issue made it even more intriguing. I swear at some points of the books I really had goosebumps.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    Disturbing

    But epic

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Creepy but totally awesome!

    Compelling and creepy, Cryer's Cross was one book I just couldn't put down, yet at the same time, I wanted to. It was haunting, and I made the mistake of reading it only hours before bed. And I have an old wooden desk, with scrapes and marks all over it, which only made things worse.

    From the very first page, there's trouble. Tiffany Quinn is missing, and in the small town of only 212, one missing teen is a really big deal. After months of searching, they give up, and soon, life goes on as normal in the small farming city of Cryer's Cross. Then the new guy and his sister move in. Jacian is full of rage and Kendall can't help but imagine Jacian kidnapping Tiffany and cutting her up into uncountable pieces.

    The tension builds, and between chapters, eerie messages of 'We' and 'Us' only add to the suspense. Though we don't learn much about the characters, I found myself needing to turn the next page, just to see what would happen. When Nico, Kendall's best friend, goes missing, Kendall's life breaks. She's drawn to his desk, the same desk Tiffany Quinn used last year, and she can't help think maybe she'll disappear if she uses it. Maybe disappearing won't be so bad.

    But then come the voices, the whispers, the begging. Then everything changes. What Kendall first dismisses as impossible is actually possible and can't be ignored. In the small town of Cryer's Cross, Montana, something is happening.

    I had mixed feelings at times. I didn't get to learn much about Kendall, though I like the fact that she's a normal teen, with an OCD problem. But the plot was enough to steer my review to five stars. Cryer's Cross was a quick read, and you'll find yourself sucked in before you know it. And by then, it'll be too late to pull yourself back out. Lisa McMann's latest novel is a thriller you just can't miss out on.

    I love the cover. It's as haunting as the story itself. If I didn't know what the story was about, the cover would be enough for me to pick up the book. The desk in the dark room and the etched-on title hold a lot of significance to the story.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Cryer's Cross

    Can I just throw it out there, that I absolutely LOVE Lisa McMann? Not only is her writing style different, but it's so intense and awesome that readers are just sucked in so immensely that they can't put the book down until, oh, hey, I finished it already!
    To get to read an ARC of her new book, Cryer's Cross, is so epically awesome I'm still a little bit speechless. I've been waiting for this release for MONTHS, ever since I finished the last book in the Dream Catcher Trilogy.
    Moving on, Cryer's Cross is unlike any book I've read. I'm not just saying that, either. It is literally so drastically far apart from what I normally read, that it doesn't even register on my scale of 'weird'. Cryer's Cross was just that, weird...But in a good way! It's chilling, and slightly frightening to read late at night (as I did), and it has that 'guessing' factor that I so love and adore in books (meaning, I never once foreseen what was going to happen; it wasn't predictable to me).
    Each page draws you further and further in along with Kendall and the mystery surrounding Cryer's Cross. I really liked her character, and to me, she was real. She wasn't a flat, boring character that I see in lots of books these days. She was well developed and, most importantly, believable. Her OCD makes her quirky and cute, and having a bit of OCD myself, I completely understood her. I felt as though I'd known her for years, as odd as that sounds!
    Jacián (not JAY-se-un; Hah-see-AHN) was also a cool character. At first, I thought he was a jerk, but once I learned more about him, I totally fell in LIKE with him. I really did like how he was dedicated to help Kendall find her missing boyfriend, Nico, but I also liked his smart-aleck mouth and actions.
    Then the ending. Oh, by then I was gripping my seat, wondering what the hell was really going on, and how the hell it was going to fan out; in a way that wasn't exaggerated or fake. And it did; fan out right, I mean. As I said, I didn't see the ending coming, mainly because how unpredictable this entire story line is.
    So, I gotta say I loved this book. And if I had my way, I would get to read more about Kendall and Jacián; but I don't think that this is a new series, just a totally awesome stand-alone novel.
    Kudos, Miss McMann; for you've managed to enrapture me again...for the forth time! I can't wait for more of your writing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2011

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    I Also Recommend:

    Wow! Creepy, sexy awesomeness.

    Lisa McMann is one of my favourite writers - I love all of the books in her WAKE trilogy, so I picked this one up, expecting to be freaked out a little in a good way. Just look at that cover! Yeesh! Well this book did not disappoint. It's the story of a very small town where high school kids start disappearing, the latest one being Kendall Fletcher's best friend and sort of boyfriend, Nico. Kendall is barely hanging on as it is with her OCD diagnosis, but when Nico disappears, she starts to really unravel. This book is one seriously creepy page turner that won't let you go until you are finished. And then you'll need to sleep with the lights on. Readers of McMann's other books won't be surprised at the romance threaded through the main plotline of the story, adding another layer to this book's awesomeness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2014

    Scarily awesome

    Oh my god, this book is soooooo good! Definitely a must read, do yourself a fsvor and resd this

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2013

    Read this i dare you

    When i read this i was thinking oh this should be good no it turned to omg this is amazing book should be read by everyone. I feelt bad for the girl when she lost her bestfriend also at the same time her boyfriend. That would suck but that what keept me going through the hole book. I say everyone should get the chance to read it.

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  • Posted February 19, 2013

    Cryer's Cross was probably one of the best books I've ever read.

    Cryer's Cross was probably one of the best books I've ever read. Although it started off slow once it picked up in the climax of the novel it was impossible to put down. The premise was fresh and original, the romance was subtle yet passionate and the scare factor. . . . .Need I say more? I read this book in two days with sleep (suprisingly) and, even if it's not going to be continued, it is worth the read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    Epicness

    You must read ittttttttttttttt!:)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2013

    Love

    I love thid book. I read it maybe a year or teo ago and even though its creepy its a great book. Its a thriller and a romance with backstories that will make you lovevand hate Cryers Cross.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    Love love love!

    I loved evertything about this. The dark creepiness, the love, and the mystery. Couldnt stop reading. Finished in about 12 hours. Hope she comes out with another book with the characters!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Read it

    Only took me 2 days to read and actually got me into reading books. You will enjoy it

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Creepy but oh so good!

    Creepy! But, oh so good. And the cover, goes so perfectly with the story.

    Cryer's Cross starts off when Tiffany Quinn goes missing in Kendall's small town of only 212 people. It nerves the citizens because Cryers Cross is peaceful and Tiffany is never found. Life goes on, and things go back to normal, but then Kendall's boyfriendish (yes, I say ish for a reason), Nico, goes missing as well. Kendall and her OCD are in terrible form... she's heartbroken over Nico. She starts to distract herself with soccer and hanging out with the new kids in town: Jacian and Marlena. Kendall still can't shake the feeling that there's a connection between Nico and Tiffany's disappearances, so when she starts to hear strange voices, that seem to be Nico's, well she would do anything to save him.

    This book was creepy yes, and that seems to be all that people see, but I don't. I don't think it was as creepy as everyone is making it out to be. It's defiantly strange, but there's more of a story here... there's learning how to cope with illnesses like OCD, learning how to move on and not give up, learning that you will always need good friends, and well of course there's romance.

    I really liked Kendall and Jacian, they certainly helped each other change for the better. "I'm feeling an urge to smack you again" (Hehe<3). Marlena was a doll, she was like a pet, someone who loves you unconditionally no matter what.

    I thought Cryer's Cross was a good story. I read it in one sitting, it just kept pulling me in and I had to know what happened next. This one is defiantly worth a buy... comes out Feb 8th! :)

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    Loved this! Read it in one day.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a great book. It kept me glued to it, literally all day. I was so sad when it ended.

    If you like thrillers and mysteries, check this out!

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    Ehhh....Good Idea, but not nearly developed enough

    The cover and description of this book really pulled me in. But I guess the old adage is right, never judge a book by its cover! Most of the book is spent in a dreary description of daily life, the main character doing the same thing over and over again. When it finally gets around to the mystery it is imaginative, but quite underdeveloped and over before you know it. I was left unsatisfied.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Cryer's Cross.

    This book is so remarkable. I could not put it down. I stayed up until 7 a.m. just to finish it. The characters are well established and the story line is constantly keeping you guessing. Eerie and remarkable! Very much worth the read.

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  • Posted May 12, 2011

    very good

    Cryer's Cross, by Lisa McMann, is a unique, compelling and realistic depiction of an unknown, outdated, and tight-knit community in Montana, disconnected from the major cities. The style of the novel begins contemporarily and the story is quite mild at the start. As you are slowly engulfed by the words within the pages, the storyline builds and builds, ever so hauntingly, with details in the diction and plot twists that throw your expectations off every time. As it is of the supernatural/thriller genre, though, I was quite disappointed to find that the actual paranormal activity really began to unfold towards the middle of the book. I was misled by the back cover, thinking that the novel were to be a straight-on daunting and overwhelming horror story. Instead, clever Ms. McMann chose to have the tale told so that it was incredibly realistic, with bland characters and an excruciatingly normal atmosphere, within the context of the setting, of course, and have the tale become increasingly eerie. This tactic was still quite effective. Although Cryer's Cross was not written in the way that I would have expected to be, I did thoroughly enjoy it, aside from the bits of romance included within the pages. For many of you readers, the lovey-dovey sub-plots may be a bonus for you.

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  • Posted April 30, 2011

    Keeps you guessing

    this was so good, it completely sucked you into the small town and made you felt like you were there... read this book!!

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  • Posted April 24, 2011

    A thrilling read that keeps you guessing!

    this is a absoulty amazing book. If you don't read it your seriously missing out. the story keeps you guessing and the ending is so unexpected it gives you chills! any 13+ should read this book!!!! i loved it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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