Book Review,  Reviews

Say Her Name – James Dawson

“Drip, drip, drip. 

Drip, drip, drip. 
Drip, drip, drip. 
This was really starting to get on her nerves. Taylor Keane tightened the kitchen tap with all her might, even using a tea towel to gain a better grip, but the relentless dripping continued. Where it was coming from? Leaning over the sink, she twisted the handle and threw the window open, snaking her arm through the opening and into the balmy night air. She held out her open palm. It wasn’t even spitting.” 

Bobbie doesn’t believe in ghosts. She certainly doesn’t believe that her boarding school is the place where the Bloody Mary legend began, like Sadie is saying. To prove this a halloween dare is on the cards, but she thinks nothing of it when she, best friend Naya and cute local boy Caine agree to say the name five times in the mirror. Thinking they proved Sadie right when nothings happens she goes to bed smug. However the next morning upon leaving the shower, a message on the mirror reads five days… and Bobbie has no idea what it means. Things start getting weirder and weirder for Bobbie, Naya and Caine, and it would seem they have five days to work out what the messages mean before Mary comes to get them. 

Ok so I am quite happy in the knowledge that horror books do not effect me. I’ve read countless books others have declared ‘unsuitable night time reading’ and wondered if I was reading the same book… however now I think I have met my match and may have to keep the light on tonight! 
This book is creepy and weird and oh so wonderful. It is quite possibly the scariest thing I have read in my time reading YA and I think I’m in love with it, even if it does mean I can no longer sleep! It is a re-telling of the ‘Bloody Mary’ tale that I’m sure many of us have heard in some guise as we grew up, I know I did. The story takes place in a creepy boarding school, starts on Hallowe’en and has an ending which will make you shudder – and thats why I loved it. 
I also loved in the acknowledgements that James Dawson gives a nod to the person who suggested he writes the scariest contemporary YA horror ever… I honestly do think he managed it because he really got the atmosphere right and tarts really what a good horror book needs. A lot of creeping about in strange passageways in a creepy old boarding school with a visit to a mental asylum and flashback dreams featuring graveyards, all with the constant backdrop of ‘drip, drip, drip’ – it was immense.
All this and the author even managed to squeeze in a bit of romance which to be honest I kinda loved. I say squeezed in but it wasn’t forced by any means and added a great additional element to the story. Caine and Bobbie’s relationship was unusual to say the least but actually pretty sweet and I think it worked really well. Her friendship with Naya was really good too and I liked the idea that she had someone she could just be herself with and manage to get through the events of the book with. 
I won’t give you the old cliched ‘don’t read this book at bedtime line’ but I will warn you that if read at that time… don’t expect to sleep. You are likely to find yourself in a creepy boarding school accompanied by a ghost that wants to kill you! 
Say Her Name was published on June 5th by Hot Key Books. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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