Title: Say Her Name
Author: James Dawson
Page count: 304 counts
Released: June 4th, 2014
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Type: Kindle Edition
Rating: 3.5 stars ★★★☆☆
Drip…drip…drip… In five days, she will come…
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.
Say Her Name is a story about Bobbie, Naya and Caine. On the night of Halloween, shy, cautious Bobbie follows her outgoing friend Naya and group of not-very-close friends onto the school field to tell tales in the dark storm. Sadie, telling all the stories, likes to talk about one in particular – Bloody Mary. Claiming that the real Bloody Mary story originated from their own boarding school, Piper’s Hall, years ago, Sadie dares them to try it out themselves.
Naya, never one to back down, is up for it instantly. Queen Bee Grace had snuck two boys into the school, and Caine is also keen to prove himself. Bobbie, wanting to impress Caine, steps up to the mirror as well. Together they chant her name 5 times, giggle it off, and move on with their lives.
Things quickly begin to get weird and the three find that their lives are entwined in a strange, sinister way.
Let me just say, I used to be a huge fan of books about boarding schools. I loved Ally Carter, Lauren Kate, Yvonne Woon… so it felt wonderful to read about another one after so long. I’m not very familiar with the details of the Bloody Mary “legend”, but I knew enough to tell that this story did have a spin on the original, keeping it interesting. I read the beginning of this book in the middle of the night and the rest during the day. While reading at night, I was definitely freaked out by it! The creepy scenes did their job perfectly. I had to avoid the bathroom for the next few hours. During the day I was a little harder to scare, but I was still enjoying the story. I didn’t have a clue where it was going to go, and I’m quite happy with the ending.
The few things bugging me about this book are mostly the characters and the story building. I understand this takes place over the course of only five days, and I get that if you think you’re about to die, you aren’t going to spend chapters upon chapters describing your living circumstances. But I couldn’t care too much for the characters because I felt like I didn’t knowthem. It was a very quick book and I just wish they would have had a little more depth! (Oh, and insta-love. This was definitely insta-love.)