Review: Say Her Name

Say Her Name
by James Dawson

Pages: 240
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Publication Date: 5th June 2014


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.


Everyone has heard of Bloody Mary and the dangerous game that often gets played at parties. But have you ever dared to do it? Bobbie and her friends did and James Dawson describes the events that followed.

The story was that typical of ghostly haunts and spooks in the old school background, but for me what stood out was is coming-of-age backdrop.

The character of Mary was a creepy stalker-ghost who torments the teens right up to the bitter end leaving the reader with the question: was she evil or just misunderstood? For me, Mary acted as a reminder of what bullying can bring to light and how this can stick with someone throughout a lifetime. I found Dawson to be an easy writer to read, having never before read any of his other books. I'm not normally a fan of ghost stories as I find them to often be stereotypical and generic but I found Say Her Name to be an interesting version of Bloody Mary mainly for the colourful way in which she was portrayed. It showed that even when all evidence points to bloody murder (excuse the pun) there might still be another explanation.

Personally, I didn't find Say Her Name scary but I'm not one who tends to get scared over ghost stories so don't take this as a reflection of the book. I would still recommend this book for its interesting twist on a very well known ghost.

I would only give two recommendations to anyone who is particularly partial to getting the creeps from ghost stories and that is don't read this book at night or around any mirrors or you might have issues with over imagination. =)

However if like me, this only enhances the experience then curl up with the lamp on and enjoy the haunting adventure of Say Her Name and remember... don't say her name five times!!

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**I received this book as an ARC from Hot Key Books to read & review. This is a 100% honest review.**
Review from Holly at Holly's Book Corner

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