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Book Review: Say Her Name by James Dawson

Say Her NameTitle: Say Her Name
Author: James Dawson
Series: 
Pages:  240
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Date of Publication: 5th June, 2014
Source: Publisher* for review
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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...


My Thoughts:
I'd read both of James' previous fiction books (Hollow Pike and Cruel Summer) so I was super excited to give Say Her Name a read. I'd only heard good things from other bloggers, but also that it was super scary. I don't really get scared by books very much so I was curious to see whether I would be scared by this, since everyone else seemed to be! I think it's more creepy than scary, but everyone was quite correct in their raving about Say Her Name - it's fab!

It's Halloween night and Bobbie, Naya and Caine have been dared to summon Bloody Mary by calling her name five times in front of the mirror in their bathroom. Supposedly, the ghost of Bloody Mary, a girl who killed herself within the school years ago, will appear. They don't believe it though - who would? But soon it becomes clear that perhaps this myth is not so mythological after all... Ooh scary!

Before reading Say Her Name I knew the gist of the Bloody Mary legend, but having never read or seen anything about it or any retellings, this was really interesting. I knew that the legend goes that you say her name into a mirror multiple times and then she haunts you, but that was pretty much it. Because of this I didn't really know what to expect from the story, so reading along was really exciting.

For me the story was more creepy than scary. The thing I find with books is that I can read something and think ooh that was scary, and then I'll look up from my book and I won't be scared anymore, if that makes sense? Since reading is a lot less in your face than watching TV and so if there's something you don't like you can just look up from you book and it's not there anymore. So it didn't really scare me that much, but it was creepy the way that Bobbie lost her glasses and was following some blurry shape down the corridor, or as more of the story went by and things started being revealed and things started making less sense... I got a bit cautious around large mirrors too, but it wasn't really a big deal. Not nightmare inducing for me!

I really liked the cast of characters, as I've come to expect from James' books. Bobbie was great, but I especially liked Naya. She was fun and I think I'd like to be her friend. I also really liked the way that Bobbie's relationship with Caine played out - it wasn't too serious and Bobbie wasn't annoyingly obsessed with him or anything, which was good because I have just about had enough with annoying moany protagonists who don't seem to be able to function when there's a boy in their sights... Sorry, there's a different time and place for that rant! Bobbie and Caine were cute and I ended up really rooting for them, so all in all I was pleased.

Say Her Name is a really great read and I definitely recommend it! The ending was a little bit weird, but I think that it might be my favourite of James' books so far and I cannot wait to read more in the future. If you're looking for a creepy boarding school read (which let's face it, you are, because creepy boarding school books are the best kind of books) then this is definitely one for you. Go read it!



*Huge thanks to Hot Key Books for sending me this in exchange for an honest review! In no way has this affected my opinion of the book. 

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