Say Her Name by James Dawson

say her name

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… A truly spine-chilling yet witty horror from shortlisted ‘Queen of Teen’ author James Dawson (Goodreads)

This book was so amazing!! I literally couldn’t put it down! Normally Bloody Mary refers to Mary Queen of Scots, so I like the fact that Dawson has taken an old tale and has changed it and made it his own.

The story centers around three people who chant Bloody Mary five times into a candle lit mirror at Piper’s Hall (boarding school for girls). Normally we shrug off the whole idea of something happening as ludicrous, but in this version, strange things begin to happen to our trio. It becomes a race against the five days they have to find out what happened to Mary and how to stop her.

I loved the characters in this book. I think wherever you go, in whichever school you are, there are always the cliques. Popular people, unpopular people and bullies. Queen Bees and people who stay under the radar and fly by unseen. We had a little bit of everything here, Grace is our Queen Bee, Bobbie our low flyer, Naya is Bobbies best friend and Caine is the boy that everyone can’t help but love. Their reactions and interactions with one another in this book are believable and you can easily sympathise with all of the characters and their interactions because we have all dealt with these people in our everyday school lives.

What I found a little unbelievable was the fact that Judy (Mary’s tormentor) was still alive. I know that some people live to an ancient age, but if she was a teenager during the war, then it is most likely going to be that she has passed on. I didn’t get the feeling that we were dealing with a very old character, it felt like we were dealing with someone in their 40s.

I don’t want to give anything away, but the way in which it ended was believable and had a great twist at the very last moment! It is easy to see what sort of things have become more acceptable in today’s society and what sort of things are still considered to a taboo subject. I like the fact that the comparison is easy and in plain sight and it makes you think about just how normal some things have become because we see them in every day life. Even if they are considered to be normal, it isn’t necessarily right.

Either way, I loved this book and I would happily recommend it! I gave this 5/5 stars 🙂

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