4 stars · fiction · horror · romance · young adult

Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann

Cryer’s Cross

Author: Lisa McMann [also wrote Fade]

Pages [hardcover]: 223

Memorable Quote: I highly regret this day in advance.

Favorite Characters: Jacian & Nico


The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when high school freshman Tiffany disappears without a trace. Already off-balance due to her OCD, 16-year-old Kendall is freaked out seeing Tiffany’s empty desk in the one-room school house, but somehow life goes on… until Kendall’s boyfriend Nico also disappears, and also without a trace. Now the town is in a panic. Alone in her depression and with her OCD at an all-time high, Kendall notices something that connects Nico and Tiffany: they both sat at the same desk. She knows it’s crazy, but Kendall finds herself drawn to the desk, dreaming of Nico and wondering if maybe she, too, will disappear…and whether that would be so bad. Then she begins receiving graffiti messages on the desk from someone who can only be Nico. Can he possibly be alive somewhere? Where is he? And how can Kendall help him? The only person who believes her is Jacian, the new guy she finds irritating…and attractive. As Kendall and Jacian grow closer, Kendall digs deeper into Nico’s mysterious disappearance only to stumble upon some ugly—and deadly—local history. Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.


Have you ever encountered a book cover where you can look at it a million times without really seeing it? Without bothering to decipher the images on front, only seeing the title, maybe the author? That’s how I looked at Cryer’s Cross, I don’t know why, until the very end. Then I realized just how perfect the cover was, creepy and eerily poignant to the story.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started this book. I knew there’d be a mystery to solve, a paranormal aspect to the disappearance, and that’s about it. At any rate, I was interested enough to pick it up, and delve into the fabulously written setting. As I’ve never lived in a town as small as Kendall’s, I hoped it wouldn’t be hard to imagine what she was going through. But everything was incredibly detailed that I could really picture everything that was happening.

The story was slow going, even if it did have a great array of characters. From Kendall, who has to deal with OCD as well as figure out why her best friend vanished, to Jacian, recently arrived in Cryer’s Cross and not very happy about that, either. I loved reading about book of them, as well as the supporting characters that came along.

The entire thing was vaguely predictable and wasn’t as shocking as I’d originally expected, though there were good moments in the explanation stages that sucked me back into the story. I think this is a good read-not great, but definitely worth my time. I’m not sure if I’ll read it again, but I liked it while it lasted. I give Cryer’s Cross 4/5 stars.

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