Friday, June 17, 2011

Review: Cryer's Cross

AUTHOR Lisa McMann
PAGES: 232
ISBN: 9781416994817
PUBLISHER: Simon and Schuster Children's
GENRE: Suspense/ Horror
OVERALL RATING: Highly Recommended

SUMMARY: High school student Kendall Fletcher already has a tough time managing her OCD. Now, two students at her small town high school have vanished, and one of them is her best friend. With her mind already in overdrive, Kendall thinks she is going crazy when she notices messages carved into a desk at school: messages that appear to be from her missing friend.

WHAT I LIKED: Great suspense! I truly had no idea where this story was going; my theories kept changing! Kendall is a likeable character, and the outcome of the Kendall-Nico-Jacian love triangle, unpredictable. Readers will sympathize with Kendall's conflicting emotions and strong sense of guilt, especially after Nico disappears.

While the short "We" viewpoints are confusing much of the way through the book, they contribute to the drama and suspense of the story. Many readers will want to go back at the end to reread those sections once they understand the significance of certain phrases. The story's plot unravels slowly, and readers will savor the plot tension. Very cool.

Fans of A.J. Whitten's The Well will love Cryer's Cross. This short book has a creepy trailer and front cover; even my 3-year old nephew recognized it as a "monster book." McMann has truly given my teen and preteen horror fans good reason to shudder.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: As with The Well, the reason the two students disappeared is intriguing, but it is also a little far-fetched. I also had some questions about why no one else had gone missing in the years immediately prior to the first student's disappearance. Most readers, however, won't mind suspending reality for the sake of plot and drama. This book was just good creepy fun.

  • LANGUAGE: medium; some sprinkled language including a few F-bombs
  • SEXUALITY: mild; some kissing
  • VIOLENCE: mild; the explanation of the disappearances is violent and terrible
  • DRUGS/ ALCOHOL: none

READALIKES: The Well (Whitten)  

STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We do not have it, but I added it to my next order. It know it will be popular, and I ordered multiple copies.

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