Say Her Name by James Dawson

Genre: Paranormal, Horror, Young Adult


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.” – Goodreads.


For a 20 year old girl who claims to know a lot about literature, most books I read are literally for kids. I’m not even ashamed, just pointing it out to myself cause it took me so long to notice. I had been in a reading-slump for so long I picked up anything I could find to avoid going back into one again. Yes, that includes the Diary of A Wimpy Kid series.

I’ll have to say the Say Her Name has actually kept me away from a slump and made me finish a book in two days (after ages). It was to the point. No unnecessary build up, just an introduction to the characters and the place, and the other necessary details were explained as the story progressed. I won’t say it scared me to bits, but there were creepy factors that gave me chills as I pictures the whole scenario playing out.

Bobbie is your typical, shy protagonist with low self confidence and a crush on the “hunk”, Caine who, along with her badass best friend Naya are peer pressured into carrying out the “Bloody Mary” dare. Nothing happens then (naturally) but they next day they all start getting these weird messages, dreams and simultaneous nosebleeds (?). When a classmate (who claimed to had done the whole Bloody Mary thing before) disappears, Bobbie puts two and two together and realizes that the whole thing isn’t a ruse, and they will be dying (disappearing?) in 5 days. Honestly, it didn’t take long for any of them to be convinced about the whole thing which just seemed too unnatural but it also meant that a whole lot of pointless activities were avoided and the story picked up it’s pace.

Mostly, the plot was very predictable. I knew what they were going to discover before they discovered them. There were one hilarious twist that had me put down the book and laugh it out, but other than that it was pretty much the same. I liked the ending to the book too, which sort of wrapped up everything neatly. There was some cheesy, teen romance though and it made me cringe so hard!

Overall it’s a great book. Loved the atmosphere it created and definitely had the creep factor. Will recommend it for some light reading and 13 to 16 year olds mostly. Unless you’re like me and still like teen novels. 😛

Rating: ★★★☆☆ | 3 out of 5 stars


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