Thursday, April 26, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Criss Cross, by Lynne Rae Perkins

Great stories don't always have to involve Grand Adventures or Epic Quests. Sometimes great stories are just about life and the ordinary magic that happens every day (if one only knows how to look for it). This is the basis of Lynne Rae Perkins' Newberry Award-winning novel Criss Cross

It begins with a single wish. For something good to happen. Something different. And soon. And the story unfolds from here.

It is the summer of 1970-something, a time before cell phones and social media, and friends Debbie, Patty, Lenny, and Hector are poised to discover the meaning of life, the universe, everything. Or at least that's what each teen is hoping for. What really happens is life: Events, choices, actions, decisions. And all those things lead to other things. Snapshots of moments, ordinary and extraordinary. And these moments strung together is what makes the story so amazing.

How ironic is it that the very thing I loved most about Criss Cross is what makes writing a review so difficult? After all, nothing really happens here (and yet everything does). Criss Cross is not so much a story in the traditional sense. Rather, it captures a certain elusive feeling. Criss Cross is watching fireflies on a warm summer night. It is sharing with your best friend things silly and profound. It is the butterflies you get the first time you see your first crush. It is hearing a new song and instantly connecting with it. Criss Cross is the best kind of magic. The sort you don't need a wand or special words to conjure.    
I'll admit it: Criss Cross is not for everyone. If you want a lot of heart-pounding action or epic romance, you best look elsewhere. But if you're sick of reading about drama, love triangles, and all the ways the world could end...If you want a sweet, quiet story that will transport you... Well, Criss Cross is exactly what you're looking for. Read it! And I hope you'll love it!


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