Having had success with two previous LRP novels, I ventured into this audiobook (read adequately by Danielle Ferland) with high hopes which were soon dashed. This novel won the 2006 Newbery Medal for excellence in children's literature, an assessment with which I beg to disagree. I normally void Newberys like the plague because - apart from one or two very rare exceptions, I've been almost consistently bored to tears with them, and this was no exception. It seems to me that Newberys are awarded based on how tediously boring a novel is, and from that perspective this one certainly earned it.
It's called Criss Cross because it's a mess. It makes you cross and then it makes you curse. Worse, it jumps around like a - what was the term that Elvis used in All Shook Up? Oh yeah, like a catfish pole-dancing (or something on those lines, I'm sure, but I;m fishing here...). Actually, the best version I've heard of that song was by Suzie Quatro who really knew which poles on a catfish to hook up to make it jump, and they're all positive. It was written by African-American song-writer Otis Blackwell, who also penned classics such as Fever (yes, that one!), Great Balls of Fire, and Don't be Cruel, which in my amateur opinion was best done by Billy Swan. But I digress.
This story jumped around between several characters which is almost, but not quite, guaranteed to annoy me. I like to read about a character I can invest in, but when all you get is julienned character cameos in this kind of a story, you really don't care about them that much - leastways I don't. If I'd known previously that Kirkussed Reviews had described this novel as a "tenderly existential work" I would have skipped it without hesitation. Since Kirkustomarily never has a criss cross word to say about any novel, their assessment is utterly worthless, so when they lard-up a review with this pretentious drivel, it's assuredly garbage.
So, in short, I can't recommend this because I couldn't commend it in the first place.