I started reading Lisa McMann’s newest novel, Cryer’s Cross, last night during a severe thunderstorm in my area. Not my smartest idea…especially when one considers that I am terrified of thunderstorms and this book is a bit spooky. Let’s just say that I had some interesting dreams when I finally got to sleep last night. Anyway, despite my fear of storms and my general wussiness, I was absorbed in the story Lisa McMann delivered in Cryer’s Cross. My environment just served to make the story even more sinister. (Luckily, I finished the book today when everything is calm and clear. Hopefully, there will be no bad dreams tonight…which means I’ll probably dream of chainsaw-weilding zombie clowns intent on eating my brains.)
Our story begins with a missing girl, and in Cryer’s Cross, a town of only 212 where nothing ever happens, this is a major deal. Everyone knows this girl, and the whole town comes together to search for her, but she is never found. Kendall Fletcher knew the missing girl (just as she knows everyone else in town), and her OCD-addled brain is having trouble adjusting to all of the chaos around her. She doesn’t know if she can handle much more change.
When another person goes missing, things become even more difficult for Kendall. This time it’s her best friend who has disappeared, and Kendall’s entire world dissolves without him. He can’t possibly be gone. He had so much to offer the world. How can Kendall possibly still her raging mind when thoughts of what may have happened to her friend constantly assault her? Kendall sinks into a fog of depression so deep that she doesn’t think she’ll ever get out…
…until she sees the messages scratched on her friend’s old desk at school. She knows every message on every desk at school, but she’s never seen these before–Please. Save Me. Who could possibly be carving these messages? No one sits at this desk anymore. And why do the messages look as if they’ve been there for years? Could her friend be trying to tell her something? What has happened to him, and can Kendall find out before that same something happens to her? Read Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann to discover how some small-town secrets can be deadly.
It came as no surprise to me that I enjoyed Cryer’s Cross. I really liked McMann’s Wake trilogy, so I had a feeling I would like her latest work as well. This book had romance, mystery, small-town secrets, neurotic characters, and liberal doses of creepiness. This was a very quick read, and it especially picked up near the end when I was anxious to know what Kendall would find out. The ending came too soon, and, although I would like to know where Kendall goes from here, I kind of hope there are no sequels to this book. Cryer’s Cross is strong as a stand-alone title, and the ending is so open (and spooky) that it could spawn some interesting discussions on what readers think happens next.
For more information on Lisa McMann and her books, visit http://lisamcmann.com. I will warn you, though, that the home page of this site scared the crap out of me (given that I just finished reading Cryer’s Cross). I literally screamed and closed out the site as fast as I could. You’ve been warned!