Cryer's Cross

Cryer's Cross

4.0 132
by Lisa McMann, Julia Whelan

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The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when Tiffany, a high-school freshman, disappears without a trace. Plagued by OCD, sixteen-year-old Kendall is freaked out by the empty desk in the one-room schoolhouse, and is relieved when her boyfriend Nico takes the seat. And then he goes missing too. An increasingly anxious Kendall

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The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when Tiffany, a high-school freshman, disappears without a trace. Plagued by OCD, sixteen-year-old Kendall is freaked out by the empty desk in the one-room schoolhouse, and is relieved when her boyfriend Nico takes the seat. And then he goes missing too. An increasingly anxious Kendall finds herself drawn to the desk: If she sits there, will she also vanish? But instead of vanishing, something appears: eerie graffiti messages on the desk’s surface that could only be from Nico. Desperate to help him, Kendall stumbles upon some ugly—and deadly—local history. And she’s about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried….

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this ghost story, McCann (the Wake trilogy) delivers an atmospheric but unsatisfying tale of smalltown horror. Kendall Fletcher, a soccer player with obsessive-compulsive disorder who dreams of performing on Broadway, is determined to escape her tiny hometown of Cryer's Cross, Mont., by getting into Juilliard. When her best friend, Nico, is the second student to vanish mysteriously in recent months, it throws Kendall's ordered life into disarray. Soon, enigmatic daydreams and clues lead her to believe that Nico is the latest victim of a supernatural mystery, and she may be the next target. A handsome but surly newcomer, Jacián, may be the key to surviving whatever is preying on the teens of Cryer's Cross. While the remote, rural setting is laden with potential (the one-room high school has only 24 students) and the constant whirring of Kendall's OCD-afflicted mind adds an interesting dimension, the elements never completely gel. McMann handles the buildup of the story's tension well, but her resolution feels quick and easy, and even bloody final revelations can't mitigate a premise that's far more silly than spooky. Ages 14–up. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
"A brilliant, engaging, scary piece of fiction. Every word had me sliding closer to the edge of my seat and gripping the cover tighter and tighter. There are books in the world that make you question your reality and the things that go bump in the night—this is one of them." —Heather Brewer, New York Times bestselling author of The Chronicles of Vladmir Tod

Cryer's Cross is an eerie, gripping, totally addictive, breathtaking whirl of a book with an ending that left me haunted for days. Lisa McMann has done it again—this book is unputdownable!”
—Alyson Noël, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of THE IMMORTALS series.

"Cryer's Cross is creepy, mysterious, and completely absorbing. The intimacy of McMann's small town setting makes this novel especially gripping—and foreboding. Kendall is an excellent protagonist, and her struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder not only add a whole new fascinating dimension to the story, but the way McMann uses it to uncover a vital clue to the mystery of disappearances in Cryer's Cross is brilliant. Cryer's Cross is peppered with snatches of narrative from the force behind the disappearances, which gives the story extra urgency and suspense, so by the final chapters, you'll hardly be able to keep still. Tragic, emotional, sometimes humorous, and full of tension, Cryer's Cross is one stand-out novel and possibly Lisa McMann's best book yet."
—The Compulsive Reader (

"This book was so, so, so good! [It's] creepy, addicting and the tension builds page by page. I also love the fact that the story concept is completely original! There isn't a werewolf or a vampire to be found in this book :) Go get it! You won't be disappointed!"

"Wow. Just wow. It was absolutely haunting.
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. Having to obsess over such things must be extremely stressful and [McMann] 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."
—Missy @

"Lisa McMann, the bestselling author of the Wake trilogy, brings us another exciting thriller with CRYER'S CROSS. As always, she grabs a hold of her readers in the first paragraph and propels them through the pages with trepidation, curiosity and foreboding. Scattered between chapters are short, cryptic messages from an unknown source, adding to the mystery and suspense. In this story, McMann tackles the complications of OCD, and she does so with grace and empathy; one can't help but feel Kendall's frustrations as she attempts to deal with her difficult and confusing disorder. Kendall, of course, is the book's most fascinating character, though others add intrigue as well, including the dark and sullen new boy at school.

CRYER'S CROSS is an exciting page-turner of a thriller that fans will not want to see end, leaving them impatiently waiting for McMann's next book. "


Children's Literature - Cara Chancellor
The population of Cryer's Cross, Montana, is small by any standard, but ninth-grader Tiffany Quinn's disappearance has made it feel even smaller. It seems impossible in a town of two hundred that a stranger kidnapped her, yet why and where would she run? Kendall Fletcher's obsessive-compulsive brain churns with the question all summer, making her long for the distractions of school, soccer practice, and conversations with her best friend—arguably her boyfriend—Nico. Even with the addition of two new students, Kendall's daily routine of ordering markers and straightening desks is a soothing return to normalcy. By the end of the first week, though, Kendall knows something is wrong. Nico has become distant, preoccupied. When he fails to show for a weekend trip, the worst is soon confirmed: Nico also has gone missing. For Kendall, the next days are a personal hell of TV reporters and staring at an empty desk where her friend should be. A desk that suddenly has a new message carved in it. "Please. Save me." The same desk, her OCD reminds her, that last year belonged to Tiffany. Kendall's mind is a formidable tool, but will it help her save Nico? Or lead her to the same fate? McMann's page-turning thriller is made exceptional by her skillful portrayal of Kendall's OCD, inspired by her own daughter's experience with the disorder. The reader quickly learns to treat the affliction as Kendall does, as something that is part of her, but makes her no less a "normal" teenager. There may be a blip of incredulity from older audiences when it becomes apparent that a piece of furniture is the villain, but the strength of the grisly back story—based upon the real-life tale of Florida's abused "White House Boys"—gives the plot staying power. Reviewer: Cara Chancellor
School Library Journal - Audio
Gr 7 Up—There's a secret in the small Montana community of Cryer's Cross that is killing teens. Tiffany disappears first and after hunting everywhere for her, the community regroups and moves on. Kendall is stunned when her best friend, Nico, goes missing without a trace at the beginning of the next school year. After Nico's disappearance, Kendall recalls that he grew more and more distant in the days before he vanished. Kendall discovers that Nico and Tiffany both sat at the same desk before they disappeared, and now she begins to hear voices coming from that desk. Kendall suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and begins to think that the condition is finally making her go crazy. But the lure of the voices is too strong and Kendall follows them until she uncovers a lot more than she bargained for. Latino newcomers to town are suspected in the disappearances in this close knit community and Kendall doesn't know whom to trust. Julia Whelan reads Lisa McMann's thriller (Simon Pulse, 2011) that combines mystery, ghosts, and romance in a straightforward yet easygoing manner that nicely offsets the building tension as the mystery unfolds. For fans of the supernatural and vampire stories.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Kirkus Reviews

High-school junior Kendall Fletcher begins to have real trouble with her obsessive-compulsive disorder after a freshman girl disappears without a trace from her tiny, rural town. When her boyfriend Nico goes missing next, Kendall's OCD symptoms worsen, and she starts to fall apart completely. She begins to hear Nico's voice calling for help and discovers messages scrawled in what used to be his desk. Readers know from the beginning that Kendall isn't crazy, because several chapters, including the very first one, are preceded by italicized passages titled "WE" that reveal the presence of a supernatural entity in Cryer's Cross. But what exactly is it? What town secrets does it conceal? And will Kendall succumb to it, as Nico did? Fans of supernatural thrillers will enjoy this one despite the fact that the resolution is too sudden and the "WE" passages are much more bewildering than scary. The present-tense narration gives the story a sense of immediacy, and the budding romance between Kendall and sexy newcomer Jacián boosts its teen appeal. (Supernatural thriller. 14-18)

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Product Details

Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.04(w) x 5.76(h) x 0.82(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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