narrated by Julia Wehlan
Truthfully, I'm on the fence about this book, and I'm not sure if it's because I listened to the audiobook or because the book is a bit weird. I'm starting to wonder how my opinion of books is shaped by the audiobook. I wonder if the audio version doesn't absolutely thrill me from the get-go then I don't like the book in the end as much, or if I think it's boring or moves slowly because the narrator speaks slowly. But that's another debate.
Cryer's Cross is a remote town in Montana where students are starting to mysteriously disappear. The book begins with the main character, Kendall, recalling how she felt being a part of the search party for the first missing teen, Tiffany. Then a few months later when Kendall's boyfriend starts acting weird and disappears as well, her life is thrown into turmoil. To make matters worse, Kendall is extremely obsessive compulsive, so her brain races all the time - except when she's playing soccer or dancing.
When Nico (Kendall's boyfriend) disappears, the obsessive compulsive in Kendal notices that Nico and Tiffany sat at the same desk, and that the desk had been brought up earlier in the spring when the class got too big. She convinces herself that it has to be a coincidence and works very hard to distract herself with soccer and dancing so that her constantly racing OCD brain doesn't take over. But the oddities that keep cropping up make it impossible for Kendall to let go of the possibility that Nico is alive and needs her help, and she must constantly decide whether what's happening is real or whether she's going crazy.
What made this book difficult to finish is that the jacket cover promised a sci-fi thriller type of book (which it is) but the first half of the book is more realistic fiction with really odd teasers at the beginning of each chapter which are, at first confusing and a little intriguing, but then become annoying and confusing until about the last chapter of the book. The book's saving grace is the ending - very thrilling (read: it scared the pee out of me*).
I don't know who I would recommend this book to, but I have a feeling that it would be pretty popular with teenagers for two reasons. First, Lisa McMann is a pretty popular YA author (she wrote the crazy popular Wake series). And second, the plot is sooooo out there - I think kids will like it because they really think if they spend too much time at school they'll go crazy and disappear.
*Author's Note: I am an absolute wuss. If something "scares the pee out of me" it could be anything from creepy music in a commercial to someone walking into my office without me seeing them coming. So really...probably not that scary.