Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spooky New Thriller by Lisa McMann - Recommended Read YA Fiction

Cryer’s Cross by Lisa Mcmann
A Review

This YA book definitely offers some spine-tingling thrills and excitement.  It is a paranormal thriller about a town whose teenagers are slowly beginning to disappear without a trace.  That, in itself, is spooky, but add to that fact a desk in an old classroom which seems to call out to whoever is sitting in it and it makes for nonstop, page-turning suspense.

Kendall lives in a small Montana town where her family owns a potato farm.  In the town, everyone knows everyone.  There are few secrets.  Kendall is unique as a heroine because she has OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), but manages to hide her illness from most of her classmates, with the exception of her best friend, Nico.  When Nico disappears, it is Kendall’s OCD that leads her closer to some answers and the risk of her own tragic disappearance. 

Kendall knows where every desk in the small classroom of high school students belongs and who sits in each and every desk, as she sneaks in early every morning to straighten up the rows, the whiteboard markers, and wastebasket.  She also knows every word of graffiti on each of these desks.  After Nico vanishes without a trace, she notices that the desk he had been sitting in once belonged to another girl.  The girl who disappeared the spring before Nico did.  What’s more, there seems to be new words etched onto the surface of the desk, begging for help – as if Nico himself is calling out to her. 

Confused and concerned about what she’s witnessed, Kendall questions her sanity and also questions the innocence of a tough new guy whose family’s arrival in town coincides with the first girl’s disappearance.  Unwillingly, she finds herself falling under of the spell of both the new guy, Jacian, and the supernatural persuasiveness of the desk’s messages. 

This book is immediately engaging and remains captivating throughout.  Kendall is likeable as a girl struggling with a fairly common mental illness who is trying to understand herself and her own desires, as well as come to terms with the loss of a lifelong friend.  The book is full of mystery, suspense, and not a little creepiness. 

The ultimate explanation for the paranormal activity doesn’t completely satisfy me, as it defies basic logic and I was a bit disappointed by this.  However, overall, I found the book to be enjoyable and it is definitely a quick read.

If you enjoy a little horror and the paranormal in your reading, I recommend this book to you.  It was a fun ride.

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