Title: Say Her Name
Author: James Dawson
Release Date: June 5th 2014
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: ARC borrowed for blog tour
Roberta 'Bobbie' Rowe is not the kind of person who believes in ghosts. A Halloween dare at her ridiculously spooky boarding school is no big deal, especially when her best friend Naya and cute local boy Caine agree to join in too. They are ordered to summon the legendary ghost of 'Bloody Mary': say her name five times in front of a candlelit mirror, and she shall appear... But, surprise surprise, nothing happens. Or does it?
Next morning, Bobbie finds a message on her bathroom mirror... five days... but what does it mean? And who left it there? Things get increasingly weird and more terrifying for Bobbie and Naya, until it becomes all too clear that Bloody Mary was indeed called from the afterlife that night, and she is definitely not a friendly ghost. Bobbie, Naya and Caine are now in a race against time before their five days are up and Mary comes for them, as she has come for countless others before...There are months to go before Halloween, but I have already found (and read) the Halloween book. Perfectly set and creepy right off the bat, Say Her Name had my attention from start to finish, and I was raving so much while reading it that my horror-movie-loving sister also got intrigued. Too bad she doesn't read.
Bloody Mary has always terrified me, and even in my dreams, I've never been brave enough to dare summoning the legendary ghost, so I couldn't keep myself from shaking my head as Bobbie Rowe and her friends stood in front of that bathroom mirror and completed the dare. And so begins the eerie events that escalate as the days go by, and before their five days are up, they have to learn the truth behind the legend before they become part of the paranormal statistic.
Reading Say Her Name was like watching a horror movie, but better - and believe me because I've watched my fair share, thanks to the aforementioned sister. I kept on squealing and screeching, particularly as I read the scary scenes because I couldn't close my eyes the way I do when watching said horror movies (which is probably why they don't scare me much anymore). And that's another reason why books > movies, friends.
And you know how characters in horror movies just have to act stupid, like split up inside a freaking haunted house? When I go into anything horror, I always dread experiencing another batch of irritation because of that kind of idiocy, but there is none of that in this book. The author knew how to move a horror story forward without the facepalm becoming necessary, so more props to him for that.
"Some people just shine a bit brighter than others and it's got nothing to do with what they look like."Oh, and can I just mention the romance? Because normally, in horror movies, this is another thing that ends up being 'meh', but again, not here. Bobbie and Caine, the outsider boy who is also being haunted by Bloody Mary, were so swoony with their awkwardness and cuteness, and knowing if they would both make it through the five days alive and together was another reason why I couldn't put this book down.
A gripping, hair-raising horror mystery, the only problem I had with Say Her Name was the very horror-movie-cliche ending. If my sisters and I were reading this together, that ending would have been the point where we'd sigh and roll our eyes in unison. But! This book was still very scary, and I recommend reading it at night for full creeptastic effect.
MY FAVORITE PART is Mary manifesting. I had to put the book down and breathe for a while.