Released: 8 Feb 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: ARC received through S&S galley grab program
Description: The small town of Cryer’s Cross is rocked by tragedy when an unassuming freshman disappears without a trace. Kendall Fletcher wasn’t that friendly with the missing girl, but the angst wreaks havoc on her OCD-addled brain. When a second student goes missing - someone close to Kendall’s heart - the community is in an uproar. Caught in a downward spiral of fear and anxiety, Kendall’s not sure she can hold it together. When she starts hearing the voices of the missing, calling out to her and pleading for help, she fears she’s losing her grip on reality. But when she finds messages scratched in a desk at school - messages that could only be from the missing student who used to sit there - Kendall decides that crazy or not, she’d never forgive herself if she didn’t act on her suspicions.
This isn't the kind of book I normally read, except when I used to do the Carneigie Medal read-along at school, but I actually really enjoyed it.
We are quickly introduced to Kendal, the main character, as she helps the other villagers search for a young girl who has gone missing. The search is unsuccessful, and we jump ahead a couple of months to when Kendal is going back to school. Kendal has OCD, and as the story focusses on her, it plays a big part, which I thought was interesting, as it gives readers an insight into what it’s like for someone with OCD. Kendal lines up the desks in the classroom, getting them just so, and going through other familiar tasks. The two new kids are interesting, even if the boy does seem a little rude and antisocial to Kendal at first.
Then we get to the part where it really grabbed me. Nico (her best friend) starts acting weird, and about a week later, he vanishes. Once again, no one can find any trace of him.
I really liked the story. Although the beginning is slow, it fits the pace of the town, and shows you just how much it rocks the daily lives and relationships of the characters when people start to disappear. I really wanted to know what had been happening to people, and even though I was sad that Nico had gone, I wanted Kendal to open up to Jacián (the new boy), and get closer to him - their relationship was very sweet, in a good way; you could see how much good they were doing each other. And when things start to happen to Kendal and I knew she was going to be the next one to go missing, I really started hoping that her bond with Jacián would be enough to save her, and that someone would stop her before it was too late.
The writing style is interesting. It’s hard to pull off present tense writing, but Lisa McMann does it well. You don’t often see stories in the present tense, and I found that an interesting change. It’s hard to tell when the story is set, because Cryer’s Cross is such a rural town, but I don’t think it really matters to the story. In the end, most questions are answered, although I do still have a couple of small ones, but I think I heard that there’s a sequel, so hopefully we’ll find out more then. Kendal certainly goes through a lot during the story, but I would have liked to see how the village and all the main characters were affected by what happens, after the events at the end of the book. It really was a good read, and I would recommend it to fans of YA and mysteries. 7 out of 10.
On another note, In My Mailbox will be back tomorrow! Yay!