Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
Published: February 8, 2011 by Simon Pulse
Kendall loves her life in small town Cryer's Cross, Montana, but she also longs for something more. She knows the chances of going to school in New York are small, but she not the type to give up easily. Even though it will mean leaving Nico, the world's sweetest boyfriend, behind. But when Cryer's Cross is rocked by unspeakable tragedy, Kendall shoves her dreams aside and focuses on just one goal: help find her missing friends. Even if it means spending time with the one boy she shouldn't get close to...the one boy who makes her question everything she feels for Nico. Determined to help and stay true to the boy she's always loved, Kendall keeps up the search-and stumbles upon some frightening local history. She knows she can't stop digging, but Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried...
I am totally in love with this creepy cover, designed by the awesome Sammy Yuen who is responsible for some very nice YA book covers. I wanted to read this book as soon as I heard about it - a small town, an eerie and quick read. I'm pretty sure the summary above isn't the one that made me want to read it though. This book is a lot more focused on the mystery and Kendall's OCD than the love triangle that summary makes it sound like.
Reasons I love this book:
- mood- This book is creepy because it's just a tiny, quiet town with an unsolved disappearance. Everything is completely normal until you start to look closer. Plus, the small excerpts at the end of some chapters are plain eerie- they shake you out of your reading groove and had me wondering the entire time what they were talking about.
- Kendall- This book is different from most in a good way. In most non-contemporary YA, the main character is shown as just a normal teenager that weird things suddenly start happening to. Kendall feels more realistic than characters like these. She lives and works on a farm, she has OCD, she doesn't absolutely despise Cryer's Cross. (I mean, Jacian actually kind of acts like the typical teen main character in YA- I just moved to a tiny town, there's nothing to do, I hate it her, my life is ruined, wah!)
- plot- I enjoyed this plot more than I thought I would. I was skeptical at first, but everything comes together well and it never gets dull. I really like the ending reveal because I'm not sure what I was expecting, but that wasn't it.
- Nico- The main thing that bothered me about this book is Nico and Kendall's friendship/relationship...thing. For me, undefined relationships really only work in stories not grounded in a contemporary setting, where the reason it's undefined is something important like we're way too busy slaying dragons to ponder our feelings for each other. I think it's suggested by Kendall's mom that Kendall's OCD has something to do with Kendall not wanting to commit to anything, but I'm really not sure if I just interpreted what she said totally wrong. For me Nico and Kendall have no spark at all. They are just friends, practically siblings in my opinion. I can see why Kendall would want to hold on to the guy who accepts her OCD and has always been there for her, but it just seemed like she clung to their "relationship" as an excuse not to feel anything for Jacian. The fact that I didn't believe their relationship at all just really messed with everything about Kendall's motivation for me.
- "You're doing it wrong, anyway. Put all the steaks together, hamburger together, roasts together. Not by size and shape but by category, or you'll never know how much of one item you have left." Kendall stops cold, stands up straight, and glares at him. She puts one hand on her hip and holds a two-pound package of frozen hamburger in the other. "Go force your condescending man-logic on the next house." - Jacian & Kendall pg. 42
- Kendall plops down beside him. "Oh, stop it. Why do we always have to argue?" "Because it's fun?" Kendall smacks his chest, but this time he is ready. He grabs her arm and holds it tightly to his chest, pulls her toward him. "Don't." - Jacian & Kendall pg. 168
An eerie mystery story that's great if you can get past the unconvincing relationship