Monday, 2 June 2014

Review: Say Her Name

Say Her Name

Publication Date:  June 5th 2014        
Publisher: Hot Key Books
~A proof copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review~

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


I love horror, but I don't usually find it scary. I've read Anna Dressed in Blood, and while I do love it, I admit, I didn't find it that scary. Say Her Name beats it for the scare factor. Give me blood, gore, serial killers hacking off body pieces and It doesn't faze me at all, but give me psychological stuff like this and I'm screwed.  Say Her Name is my kind of Horror, one that actually scares me.

The Urban Legend of Bloody Mary is one that I can't talk about a lot (literally) or even look into because I'm scared to type the name (it's a surprise I actually did here).
Like mentioned in Say Her Name, the Supernatural episode. That episode aired in, what? 2005. That would make me 12. The only scariest thing I'd seen up until then was the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.
Yeah, scary.
Say Her Name pretty much get's into it on the off, we have a little prologue that'll make sense as you go along, but it really starts set in a Boarding School on Halloween night a group of teenagers trying to scare eachother with ghost stories that aren't scary. Until a student starts a tale of an ex Piper Halls student that mixes in with Bloody Mary, and as a scare dare, Sadie dares them to call Bloody Mary in a bathroom, light the candles, stand in front of the mirror and say her name five times. Only three took the dare, our main central character Roberta "bobbie" Rowe, her friend whom she's rooming with, Naya, and Caine, an outsider that the Head Girl (prefect) brought onto the school grounds (and since Pipers Hall is an all girls school, no boys allowed) and it's all fun and games until Sadie goes missing.
This is where the fun starts, and I really shouldn't have read it at night, so don't. Everything's scarier at night, and Say Her Names pretty creepy on its own, so it's no exception. Of course no one presumes it's Bloody Mary, and the three of them coincidentally getting nose bleeds at the same time is just a freak accident. And then the countdown starts and there's no denying it. Mary's coming for them.
Say Her Name is what you'd say a modern adaptation to the Urban Legend of Bloody Mary, that starts as an uncongenial situation. You learn the back-story along with the characters through the ways Mary presents them and with a little investigation skills. The atmosphere is palpable and brings the story to life and by the end, it ties up nicely and makes you second guess everything you read.
Say Her Name is one of the scariest novels I've read in a while, it thoroughly gave me the creeps and made me not want to look in a mirror anytime soon. With characters that are quirky, creates some fun scenes amongst the I'll-go-cry-in-a-corner-now scenes, which gave it perfect balance.  While I'd like to say I'd take that dare, nope. I wouldn't.
Would You?


Rating: 5/5