Sunday, 21 September 2014

Say Her Name by James Dawson

Publisher: HotKey
Format: Paperback
Published: 5th June 2014
Number of Pages: 240
Book: For Review*
Genre: Paranormal, Supernatural, Urban Fiction, Horror, Thriller, Suspense, Action Adventure, YA, YA-Adult Crossover
Recommended Age: 14+
Contains: Horror, Death, Swearing, Drug, Cigarette and Alcohol References
Author's Site: James Dawson 

The truth is more terrifying than the legend
When Bobbie and her best friend Naya are dared by their schoolmates to summon the legendary ghost of Bloody Mary, neither really believes that anything will happen.
So they complete the ritual, and chant Mary’s name five times in front of a candlelit mirror…
Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary…
And something is called forth that night.
Something dark, terrifying, and out of control.
She will be there, just out of sight, in the corner of your eye.
She will lurk in your nightmares.
She will hide in the shadows of your bedroom.
She will b waiting in every mirror that you see.
She is everywhere.  And she wants revenge.

“Five days.  Five days to die.  Five days to find her before it was too late...”
It was only meant to be a game - a stupid, childish game, played to freak them all out on Halloween at midnight.
Bobbie was sure it was all crazy: that it couldn't be real.
She was wrong.
From the moment Bobbie, her best friend Naya and town-boy Caine stood in front of the mirror and candles at midnight and chanted 'Bloody Mary' five times, they set something loose – something that can't be stopped.
To begin with, the signs are small and easily dismissed.  The words 'Five Days' are scrawled on the mirror one day.  One of the girls present while they chanted Mary's name falls ill.  The three who said the name get nosebleeds at the same time...
But it's not a coincidence – none of it is.  Because Mary is real and she wants revenge.
She cannot be stopped.  She will not be stopped.  She will haunt them, torment them and torture them until she has her revenge – and they are dead.
And Bobbie, Naya and Caine have only five days to figure out how to stop her...
Drip, drip, drip...
A little BookAddictedFanGirl picture!
I always love a good horror – be it in book or movie form.  And James Dawson is a master of horror writing (as well as being Queen of Teen 2014) – something truly displayed in Say Her Name.  Right from the start of this book, I was absolutely hooked.  I loved how it was such a suspenseful read: the suspense was wracked up slowly, slowly, messing with my mind the whole time.  I'm going to admit this: I really, really wish I hadn't read Say Her Name in the middle of the night...  Not my brightest move because this book was freaking terrifying!  I seriously recommend reading it in the middle of the day in a room flooded with natural sunlight – and with all the mirrors covered up.  Because otherwise: nightmares alert!  Not for me, of course...  I'm totally immune and definitely didn't throw a towel over my bathroom mirror, keeping it covered for days... 
Bobbie: well, I always love a fellow writer (aspiring one, anyway) as a character.  I liked that Bobbie was kind of odd: she wasn't your typical paranormal heroine – she was smart, funny, a little awkward and unsure of herself.  I found that refreshing.  She was also (justifiably) scared but was just as brave, too.  I think most girls can relate to her – ghosts aside, of course...
I really loved Naya, Bobbie's best friend: she was brilliant!  I loved how snarky and mouthy she was, and also how she showed her vulnerable side.  Gotta love the sassy ones!
And then there was Caine: I really liked Caine.  He wasn't what you first expected and I loved that.  He was more than just some boy from town – he was strong and sweet and just... the perfect hero-ish boy.  And I really liked how the relationship between him and Bobbie developed: it was sweet and real – again, ghosts aside...
The rest of the cast was brilliantly real.  There was no denying that, although loads of them were complete cows...  Mary I found absolutely intriguing, however, right from the start.  
But the writing...  I swear, it felt like I was there – like I was Bobbie, being stalked by a crazy, terrifying ghost.  And Good God, it was scary as hell!  The suspense James managed to build... I was on the edge of my seat for every single word on every single page.  And, as mentioned before, I was scared witless – yes, to the point of covering all mirrors... Hey, it's like Jaws!  It takes you a while to get back into the water, so to speak.  And trust me: if you read this, if you live this terror, you'd be a little... nervous, too.  However, James did manage to get these funny moments in: that did help my terror a little.  Even so, I was always just waiting for the other shoe to drop: for the scary to come crashing back as Mary made another deadly move...
And as for the story: terrifying.  Honest-to-God terrifying.  I mean, the way James just wrenched up the suspense, the horror, the fear...  I've never read anything like it.  In fact, I've been a little scarred by it!  Hence covering the mirrors…
Oh, and I have to mention the Bloody Mary legend – it was by far the most interesting Mary myth I've come across.  I mean, totally terrifying but brilliantly intriguing.
To sum it up, I recommend Say Her Name to literally everyone who wants to be hooked start to finish, perched right on the edge of your seat.  However, if you scare easy, stay the hell away!  This book is terrifying!  For all horror movie lovers, on the other hand, dump your Paranormal Activities DVDs and pick this up.  It's much better, much more intense, and much better for your brain (not your nerves, though...).  So what are you waiting for?!
But something to end with that scares the pants off of me: When James signed my book he wrote 'I dare you to say her name'.  I can definitely, bluntly and honestly say that I will never, ever, ever say her name.  Like, ever.  I'm logic-less: I'm not suicidally stupid.  But if you want to try it, go ahead.  But be prepared to be terrified, tortured and killed.
Look, don't say I didn't warn you...
Oh, wait...  I've said her name more than five times in my notes on my tablet...  Does that count as saying her name?!  DOES IT?!  
Good God, I'm dead...

Star Rating:
4 Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Hollow Pike by James Dawson
Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

Happy Reading


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