Kendall loves her life in small town Cryer’s Cross, Montana, but she also longs for something more. She knows the chances of going to school in New York are small, but she’s not the type to give up easily. Even though it will mean leaving Nico, the world’s sweetest boyfriend, behind.
But when Cryer’s Cross is rocked by unspeakable tragedy, Kendall shoves her dreams aside and focuses on just one goal: help find her missing friends. Even if it means spending time with the one boy she shouldn’t get close to… the one boy who makes her question everything she feels for Nico.
Determined to help and to stay true to the boy she’s always loved, Kendall keeps up the search–and stumbles upon some frightening local history. She knows she can’t stop digging, but Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried…– Goodreads
It’s important to start out this review by stating the fact that I love Lisa McMann. I recently met her and we bonded over the fact that we’re both midwesterners currently living in the desert, but more importantly she didn’t mind when I flailed my arms and tried to keep my emotions under control (I tend to lose it when I meet authors I love.) But really, I loved this book. I loved McMann’s first series, The Wake Trilogy, and this reminded me why.
Although this book has nothing to do with her original series, her writing feels like home to me. I fall in love with the characters and the fact that McMann understands a teenager (probably because she has two of them!) Cryer’s Cross is the story of Kendall. Kendall is a strong girl, who has problems but also has goals to leave Cryer’s Cross (Population 220!) Kendall has a best friend who understands her and said issues, and gets along with her parents. The fact she got along with her parents was nice to me, I was a teen who got along with her parents. I understand that it’s rare, but it is possible.
Kendall has OCD. It takes over her life and while she tries to control it she often has “ticks”. She goes to school early to make sure everything is just so, which works out because her BFF, Nico doesn’t mind and understands that Kendall is Kendall. The story begins with a girl going missing, an important plot point. Soon people begin to accept life with the girl going missing but Kendall can’t. Kendall can’t forget, and then two new students join the school/class and they are now the only thing the town talks about. The new girl seems nice, but the new boy (new girl’s brother) is a tad aloof. Kendall doesn’t think much about this. She is worried about other things, college, soccer practice, helping out at her parents farm.
Something happens. Nico, her BFF, disappears. Kendall is at a lost. He’s the one person who really got her. Nico and her weren’t dating but they pretty much were (okay so it’s complicated.) This makes it complicated for Kendall when her and Jacian (the new boy) become close while searching for Nico and bonding over soccer.
Here’s the awesome thing about McMann’s stories: they’re realistic. People stay dead, she doesn’t get into that dream school and yeah, she does get the boy but the ending is still bitter sweet and perfect for Kendall’s story.