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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review: Cryer's Cross (McMann)

Title: Cryer's Cross
Author: McMann
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Supernatural, High School, Missing Children
Pages: 240
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In addition to my duties reading books for award committees (currently that means BFYA), I also review books for Booklist. For some reason, I often get sent 500+ page vampire romance novels to review, which is honestly not my favorite genre. In fact, "UGH!" is sometimes my response. Imagine my surprise when I received the new Lisa McMann novel to review at the beginning of January. It's possible I did a little dance upon opening the envelope. I LOVED McMann's Wake/Fade/Gone trilogy, and am very excited for a new book by her.

Kendall is a senior in a one-room high school where last spring Tiffany, a freshman, disappeared. Now it is the start of a new year and Kendall’s boyfriend Nico has gone missing. Nico understood Kendall and her OCD and she has trouble coping with the disappearance. While compelled to straighten the desks before class one morning, Kendall discovers that Nico’s desk was also Tiffany’s desk. This seems like more than a coincidence, but Kendall is afraid that people will think she is crazy. The town’s dark past is a well-kept secret and though she doesn’t want to admit it, Kendall will need the help of brooding newcomer Jacian if she is going to find Nico.

Kendall is a unique character and the details of her OCD compulsions are well-drawn. Haunting passages from another world, which provide just enough detail to intrigue and disturb readers, are intertwined with Kendall’s story. Part mystery, part ghost story, and part romance, this book has enough to satisfy a variety of readers and will find popularity with McMann’s established fan base and new readers alike.

On a side note, the best reaction that I received when I put this book out on display was from one of our 9th Grade LA teachers, who giggled like a junior high school girl when she saw that we had received the book. I wish I had video that I could upload.

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