Book Review | Cryer’s Cross
Title: Cryer’s Cross
Author: Lisa McMann
Please. Save me. Those are the words etched into the desk that Kendall Fletcher, who suffers from OCD, notices one morning while straightening the classroom and putting everything into perfect order. But Kendall has never seen those words before, and she knows every word of graffiti on every desk in her small classroom. They are fresh words, but look as if they have been there for decades. Kendall knows these words are a cry of help from her boyfriend Nico, who went missing one night and never came back.
This isn’t the first tragedy to befall Cryer’s Cross, and more will disappear unless Kendall can stop it. The voices that only she can hear give all the clues she needs to uncover the long buried secrets of Cryer’s Cross–unless she becomes one of the missing herself first.
There was so much potential that Lisa McMann just didn’t live up to in Cryer’s Cross. The novel begins with the disappearance of Tiffany Quinn, who is presumed dead though her body is never recovered. Her part of the story lasts for about 3 pages, and then we are introduced to Kendall and her boyfriend Nico. Their relationship is a difficult one; though he considers her his girlfriend, Kendall prefers to just call herself his friend. Then Nico disappears, and Kendall mourns him. Life returns to normal, and she grows closer to newcomer Jacian. It takes about 100 pages for something supernatural to occur in the actual narrative, although before each chapter “We” interjects their thoughts. Far too much of this novel revolves around Kendall’s and Jacian’s relationship when it should have been more focused on the history of Cryer’s Cross.
Cryer’s Cross was a really slow read for me, and only picked up at the end when McMann hastily gave the big reveal. I was fascinated and horrified at this small town’s history, and I wanted more. I started thinking of all the ways she could have incorporated little hints throughout the novel, giving us little tastes of what happened in Cryer’s Cross so many years ago. There are so many different methods she could have used: flashbacks, old newspaper articles, recollections of older Cryer’s Cross residents…but she does none of this. In the end, we learn the history in one rushed conversation that is just summarized by the narrator and not told using dialogue.
McMann’s plot structure is very much a deal breaker for me, and I will be hesitating before I pick up any of her future releases. On the bright side, I’ve heard very good things about her Wake trilogy and will at least give the first book a try.
*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.*