Criss Cross tells the story of a group of young teenagers, each of them trying to discover their own voice. The story unfolds slowly, comprised of little things—a guitar lesson, a bus ride, a firefly-dotted midsummer night—all told in dreamy, sometimes funny, sometimes poetic language. Perkins does a terrific job of capturing the emotions of the early teenage years—awkwardness, confusion, anticipation, and the hope that something exciting is just around the corner. I found myself remembering what it was like to be fourteen, and enjoyed losing myself for awhile in the minds of the characters. Although this isn’t a book where much “happens,” it’s definitely recommended for teens and adults who enjoy thoughtful, lyrical writing.
Profanity/Language: 2 religious exclamations; 2 mild profanities; 1 scatalogical term; 1 anatomical term.
Sex/Nudity: Characters flirt. Teenagers have crushes on other teens.
Mature Subject Matter:
Alcohol / Drug Use:
A mention is made of empty alcohol bottles and used cigarettes. A reference is made to “controlled substances.” A girl thinks in passing about the fact that her father smokes. A teenager uses chewing tobacoo.