This is the first book for my pop culture homework assignment! And it was so good! Okay, but before I start gushing about how much I like the book, let me tell you about it.
The small town (population: 212) Cryer’s Cross is in the grip of a tragedy. Tiffany Quinn, a sophomore in high school, has disappeared. They search for her but do not find her. The school year ends, the season turns and then the following Fall another student also goes missing. The town once again comes together to search for a missing student. What is going on and why was Nico, the second missing student, distant and forgetful in the days leading up to his disappearance? The story is told from the perspective of Kendall Fletcher, high school student and best friend of Nico. To add to the mystery, the school has two new students, Marlena and Jacian Obrian, who have moved to Cryer’s Cross with their parents to help their grandfather with his farm. The cops interrogated Jacian about Tiffany’s death. Is Jacian involved in the missing persons case or is he just a grumpy high schooler who is pissed that he had to move before his senior year to the middle of nowhere? (Also, maybe the townsfolk just a little bit racist?)
Okay, now to gush about this book. I love Kendall. She is amazing. Much of the plot is driven forward by Kendall’s obsessive-compulsive disorder. I liked that she was portrayed as a whole person and just as a disorder. I also liked that this wasn’t a story about OCD. I also loved Jacian and Marlena. They are amazing characters. Beth and I were discussing it, and Jacian is definitely book boyfriend material.
I enjoyed this book and if you like paranormal horror/mystery, you should try it.
Okay, now for a bit of a spoiler.
The big climax involves one of the characters being buried alive. This was terrifying to me. Absolutely terrifying. Like, yell-at-Beth-over-text-and-give-her-a-blow-by-blow-update-of-everything-that-is-going-on-in-the-book-at-that-point-because-I-was-freaking-out terrifying. Another part of the climax involves a residential school and child abuse ignored by the state and unknown to most of the town. This is heartbreaking and was largely unexplored, except as a shocking reason behind the paranormal activity and the mysterious disappearances. Since America does have a history of both of these things, that felt a little cheap and like a crap thing to use for shock value. So, heads up.