Bobbie Rowe is not someone to get scared easily, or to believe in ghosts. Bobbie and her friends are at an all-girls boarding school, it’s Halloween, the girls have sneaked in some local boys, and so naturally they carry out a dare where Bobbie, her best friend Naya and a cute boy Caine say Bloody Mary five times in front of a candlelit mirror. At first they think nothing happens, then the next morning, Bobbie finds a message on her mirror – five days. Things get more creepy and more unexplainable and Bobbie and her friends have no choice but to believe that ghost are real and they did in fact call Bloody Mary. Bobbie, Naya and Caine are against the clock, trying to save themselves before Mary comes for them.
Say Her Name first came to my attention when someone recommended it to me last year when I was looking for Halloween books to read and I’ve wanted to read it since. So I was super excited when I went into Say Her Name and expected great things. Thankfully it did not disappoint.
If anyone is going into Say Her Name expecting a terrifying horror story probably should lower their expectations. While I would imagine it may scare some readers, such as those who are easily scared, but those who aren’t probably shouldn’t expect anything that terrifying. However, there was definitely an eerie and sinister atmosphere which James Dawson wrote excellently. It was tense and it made my heart pounce because I just did not know what to expect and I had no clue what would happen. There were so many different twist and turns and the mystery was excellent and all the way through there was fear and a sense of foreboding. The mystery began to seep into every aspect of the story. It became hard to put it down.
The ending of Say Her Name gave me chills . I was left with a sense that everything you knew was wrong, and it was fantastic. I was utterly shocked at the end and I was just saying to myself ‘Oh, no, what has she done?’. The closer to the ending you got, the more you questioned everything you knew about Bloody Mary. Fantastic.
I enjoyed the characters, and loved the mystery surrounding Bloody Mary. I really liked the friendship between Bobbie and Naya, and you could sense that they really cared about each other, despite the focus not being on the friendship. The friendship was the more interesting part over the relationship.
One thing I was not particularly invested in was the romance — I found it unnecessary and that it didn’t add much to the story. It didn’t overshadow the plot so I found it easy to sort of brush it to the side. I was glad that it was not at the forefront and the mystery and their potential doom was what captured Bobbie and Caine’s attention more, rather than their attraction to each other.
A great book nonetheless that has a great atmosphere, and one of the better YA horrors I’ve read. I will definitely be reading more from James Dawson.
Also, the cover is absolutely gorgeous and I really love the colours.
MY RATING: ★★★★★