If Criss Cross had not won a Newbery, would I have felt differently about it? I think I definitely would have had lower expectations, and lower expectations or even no expectations often work in a book's favor. High expectations can lead to disappointment and frustration.
Criss Cross didn't "wow" me. I wasn't overly impressed with the writing, the characterization, or the plot. That is I did not find the writing, the characterization, or the plot: amazing, brilliant, wonderful, spectacular, or overly memorable. There was never this WOW, WHAT A BOOK moment.
The writing was okay. It was. The characterization was just fine. The plot, well, not much happens, but not much has to happen if I'm enjoying the writing or the characters. It was an ordinary, just fine, not-extra-memorable read for me. Nothing to complain about certainly, but nothing to gush about.
Criss Cross visits the lives of a handful of teens: some boys, some girls. One of the characters is a girl named Debbie. She almost has a main-character feel to her. But just almost. There were too many character perspectives to really feel properly settled with any one of them as being the main character. There lives sometimes touch each other. (One chapter even has two perspectives side by side.) Criss Cross is definitely made up of many moments--seemingly insignificant moments--that when reflected upon later take on a bit of significance.
For those who love coming-of-age stories, this one could prove satisfying enough.
I will add that this one is historical fiction. Though the historical setting is a bit fuzzy. There are hints throughout the text that this is set in the past, but, it may not prove obvious to every reader, especially in the beginning.
© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews