REVIEW: "Cryer's Cross", by Lisa McMann

Cryer's Cross, by Lisa McMann

Format: Unabridged Audiobook from Audible
Run Time: 5 hours, 27 minutes
Audible Release Date: 08/02/2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Narrated By: Julia Whelan

Taken from Audible

[I've posted the synopsis as I always do. However, I found it rather spoilerific! Avoid it if you prefer surprises!] 

The small town of Cryer’s Cross is rocked by tragedy when an unassuming freshman disappears without a trace. Kendall Fletcher wasn’t that friendly with the missing girl, but the angst wreaks havoc on her OCD-addled brain.

When a second student goes missing - someone close to Kendall’s heart - the community is in an uproar. Caught in a downward spiral of fear and anxiety, Kendall’s not sure she can hold it together. When she starts hearing the voices of the missing, calling out to her and pleading for help, she fears she’s losing her grip on reality. But when she finds messages scratched in a desk at school - messages that could only be from the missing student who used to sit there - Kendall decides that crazy or not, she’d never forgive herself if she didn’t act on her suspicions.

Something's not right in Cryer’s Cross and Kendall's about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.

Synopsis #2
Taken from Goodreads

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.


I like long and detailed narratives which are rich in detail and subtlety. As well as that, I’m cheap and I like value for my money! If I can get a huge doorstop of a book or a featherweight paperback for the same price, then I'll probably be drawn to the longer read just for value's sake! Therefore, I usually go for audiobooks which are fairly lengthy. 

At the end of last month, however, my darling dearest gave me the complete set of Harry Potter audiobooks, read by Stephen Fry! That is a total of 124 hours and 56 minutes of tremendous storytelling. I was beyond delighted with the present, yet knew that it was going to dramatically reduce the number of book reviews I'd be able to do this month as I would be absorbed in one of my old favourites. Thinking that I'd be able to read a few shorter books in between terms at Hogwarts, I opted to get Cryer's Cross with this month's Audible credit. 

I can hardly believe how much Lisa McMann managed to squeeze into 5 hours and 27 minutes! Kendall is an interesting character who struggles with the events unfolding in her life. Her OCD is dealt with in an interesting way, though I thought at times that it was a little too “easy” for her. Much more conflict was produced by her developing feelings for the cold and brooding Jacian. She has to struggle with how he makes her feel and fight the temptations aroused by these feelings while she’s still unsure of what has happened to her more fraternal boyfriend, Nico. I thought McMann dealt with this powerfully. I don’t think I’ve ever wished a good guy would end up dead so that the love between two other characters could blossom! I felt bad for wishing it and Kendall, the protagonist, felt bad too! This created a lot of empathy which held me firmly gripped.

The antagonist of the text, “We”, was an unusual choice which I was dubious about, at first. I won’t give too much away but I shall say that by the end of the story, I had suspended my disbelief and allowed the idea to sit well with me. I allowed myself to think that some stains just don’t scrub out, so maybe I could believe what McMann wanted me to about the antagonist.

Overall, I thought Cryer’s Cross was a great book which really lived up to that old adage about quality being more important than quantity. The quality of the writing and the rounded characters made this an entertaining read which is just perfect for those of you looking for something short to take to the beach with you this summer. I took mine to the gym which was a lot more hard work!


  1. Wow, that cover gives quite the impact! So glad you enjoyed it :D


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