Author: Hilary Monahan
Genre: Young Adult //Horror // Mystery
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Source: Borrowed (Library)
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 (goodreads)?
Not even going to lie, this book gave me nightmares.
Plot: Mary: The Summoning is the start to a terrifying and creepy insta-favorite duology. It all begins innocent enough. 4 girls enter a bathroom to summon the infamous Bloody Mary. Things quickly get out of hand when Shauna finds herself haunted by Bloody Mary, and Mary won't stop until she gets a taste.
Mary: The Summoning is a short book, it's only 245 pages, but it is magically the perfect length. We start with some information about Bloody Mary's past and quickly get into the good stuff. And boy, is this shit scary. Hilary Monahan knows how to write creepy, she knows how to write gore, and her delivery is excellent. Reading Mary: The Summoning was very much like watching a car accident. I wanted to put it down, but I had to know what terrible thing Mary was going to do next. This first book also ended on a shocking cliffhanger that has me anxious to learn more about the characters and the ghoulish Mary Worth.
Characters: Shauna is the age where she is sticking around certain friends because it's all she's known, but she's this close to outgrowing them. From the beginning, we can tell that there's something off about Shauna and Jess's relationship. Jess seems to have all the power and is generally excused for terrible behavior. It isn't until Shauna is haunted as a result of Jess's fascination with Bloody Mary that Shauna begins to grow a backbone. I grew to care a lot about the four girls and wanted to learn more about what made them tick. None of them are perfect and capture the psyche of a teenage girl well.
World Building: Mary: The Summoning is a contemporary novel and Monahan makes full use of her environment. I usually assess the diversity in contemporary novels in terms of world building, I give Monahan points for adding bi-racial characters, but they are far and few in between.
Short N Sweet: Mary: The Summoning is downright creepy and will keep you glued to your seat. Be sure to plug your nightlight in!