MARY by Hillary Monahan


The Summoning
From the "Bloody Mary" series, volume 1
Age Range: 14 - 18
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Four friends face the dire consequences of summoning the infamous Bloody Mary.

Over April vacation spent in Solomon’s Folly, Massachusetts, Shauna’s best friend, Jess, learned how to properly summon Bloody Mary from her great-aunt Dell. Armed with a letter written by Mary Worth, a 19th-century resident of the little town, Jess convinces Shauna and their two friends to attempt to summon the ghost. To Jess’ delight, the ritual works perfectly: Mary’s decrepit hand scratches behind the mirror through a thick fog. Underwhelmed with the first sighting, Jess persuades her friends to try again, and this time, Mary is ready: She climbs right through the mirror, raking her nails down Shauna’s back. Suddenly the girls are faced with the threat that Mary might appear in any shiny surface, and Shauna discovers that the unrelenting, bloodthirsty ghost follows her every move. Monahan’s depiction of the initial summoning is chilling, but each new appearance of Bloody Mary reads as more and more hackneyed, swiftly veering into B-movie territory. A satisfying twist strengthens the ending, but the lack of character development makes it difficult to feel anything for the girls. The highest intrigue lies in the snippets of Bloody Mary’s origin story, which is woefully underused. It’s unclear where the series may go from here.

An urban legend too light on either gore or camp to be any fun. (Horror. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 2nd, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4231-8519-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2014


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