Tuesday, August 19, 2014

{Book Review} MARY: The Summoning (Bloody Mary #1) by Hillary Monahan

MARY: The Summoning (Bloody Mary #1)
by Hillary Monahan
Release:September 2nd 2014
Genre:Fiction- YA: Horror
How I got it: Netgalley

There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them--Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna--must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: "Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY." A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.

Once is not enough, though--at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary's wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.

A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary--and Jess--before it's too late?

Review: First off, don't read this book alone, in the dark or before bed. It will scare the be-jeebies out of you. Being in a room with mirrors might also be a bad idea.
I'm pretty sure everyone has heard of Bloody Mary, even if you don't know the origins you've heard of the game. When stick your friend in that bathroom with a candle and say Bloody Mary three times, then scare the crap out of them. At least that was the version I heard. When I was like seven I had a friend who swore up hill and down he did it and saw her in the mirror. Being extremely gullible I avoided mirrors for a awhile after that and just for the record I have never actually tried playing Bloody Mary. After reading this I never want to, and yes I know it's fiction.
Four average teenage girls decide to summon Mary the right way, yes apparently we've all been doing it wrong. I actually liked how Ms Monahan added elements that are pretty common in dealing with ghosts to the process. Her descriptions of Mary were disturbingly well done and I was able to picture Mary easily. I actually listened to this via my Kindle at work and (if this makes any sense) saw it in my head. I guess what I mean is it was so well done I was able to picture what was happening in my head, like a movie, I was so into the book.
Shauna and her friends were well fleshed out as characters. I liked them and was able to feel for them as the book progressed, I found myself invested in what happened and even felt a little betrayed at one point.
There's a bit of a mystery to the book as well, as the girls try to figure out who Mary really was and why she's so evil. Now because I am a very curious person I decided to do my own research and see how much of the book was actual urban myth and Ms Monahan's own imagination. It's about 50/50, due to the overwhelming amount of info on the internet and the long history of the Bloody Mary myth I have to say that Ms Monahan did her homework on this. From what I found it looks like she pulled the most popular and horrifying aspect of the legend and put them in the story. Mixing those facts with a hefty dose of her own spin and this was an excellent book.
I'm really interested in seeing how the series progresses and will be keeping an eye out for book 2.

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