Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
Synopsis (From Goodreads): The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when high school freshman Tiffany disappears without a trace. Already off-balance due to her OCD, 16-year-old Kendall is freaked out seeing Tiffany’s empty desk in the one-room school house, but somehow life goes on... until Kendall's boyfriend Nico also disappears, and also without a trace. Now the town is in a panic. Alone in her depression and with her OCD at an all-time high, Kendall notices something that connects Nico and Tiffany: they both sat at the same desk. She knows it's crazy, but Kendall finds herself drawn to the desk, dreaming of Nico and wondering if maybe she, too, will disappear...and whether that would be so bad. Then she begins receiving graffiti messages on the desk from someone who can only be Nico. Can he possibly be alive somewhere? Where is he? And how can Kendall help him? The only person who believes her is Jacian, the new guy she finds irritating...and attractive. As Kendall and Jacian grow closer, Kendall digs deeper into Nico's mysterious disappearance only to stumble upon some ugly—and deadly—local history. Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.
The small town of Cryer's Cross isn't supposed to have anything bad happen, that was until a freshman girl disappears without a trace. But life goes on and for 16-year-old Kendall she pushes forward even though with her OCD she is freaked at seeing Tiffany's desk empty each day. Everyone thinks it's just a sad occurrence that would only happen once in the small town, that is until Kendall's boyfriend, Nico goes missing. The town is put into crisis mode, but still no one is able to find any trace of Nico. Kendall does know something is wrong with this situation and when she starts receiving graffiti messages on the desk where Nico used to sit she knows deep down that it could only be from Nico, meaning that Nico could still be alive. As Kendall jumps into the mystery of the disappearances with the help of the new, and irritating, Jacian, she comes to learn that the small town of Cryer's Cross has some dark secrets and a dark past that doesn't want to stay hidden.
Cryer's Cross was an intriguing story full of quirky characters. Kendall, even though she had OCD, was a strong character who was not afraid of who she was or of letting her OCD define her, in fact it was the one part of her that helped her throughout the story and in pushing her further into the mystery.
Even though I did not find the story scary, the mystery kept the plot moving forward and some of the scenes created were chilling with the twists and turns that Kendall had to face. This was definitely a story that had me on the edge of the seat as I waited for the mystery to unfold.
McMann does a good job of creating the characters and their relationships as they struggle to uncover the truth of the small town and what really happened to the missing students.
2011 YA Reading Challenge: #18 of 50