Author: Lisa McMann
Series: Stand Alone
Published: Available now from Simon Pulse
Source: e-galley from publisher
Description: 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.
I Give This ...
I haven't managed to read McMann's other series yet, so I really had no expectations going into this one. I ended up enjoying this dark and creepy story far more than I expected.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Kendall's character. I think it's the psychology background in me. I was fascinated with her OCD rituals. They really defined her as a person. While I didn't enjoy watching her break down, it was a defining part of the story. Having her best friend disappear effects her in ways one can't even imagine. I also really liked Jacian. He was cold and standoffish at first. But, I think he tried really hard to help and understand Kendall without putting to much pressure on her.
The mystery is the story was done really well. It really plays with your head how the two teens just disappeared. And as Kendall starts to discover clues, the story just gets more creepy. I liked how what was really happening was so deeply seeded in the town's history.
I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be reading McMann's other books, hopefully sooner rather than later!