Review: MARY: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

November 10, 2015 4 Stars, Reviews 6

Title: MARY: The Summoning
Author: Hillary Monahan
Genre: YA, Horror, Mystery
Series: Bloody Mary #1
Published On: September 2nd 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 245
Format: e-Book
Source: Purchased
My Rating: 4 Stars

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There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her. 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?


In an odd coincidence I ended up reading this book in bed while, across the room, Caylin was watching the Bloody Mary episode of Supernatural… and yet I was the only one who ended up having a nightmare three hours later. Go figure.

Which leads to the obvious statement that this book is terrifying! Not only did I have nightmares, but I was freaked out for several hours after every time I would read this book. Warning: Do NOT read this at night before you go to sleep unless you have salt (the more the merrier) and all shiny surfaces covered (hopefully you’re not reading on a shiny e-reader like a Kindle Fire- which is exactly what I was reading on unfortunately).

While the horror aspects were absolutely fantastic – seriously, I felt like I was immersed in a horror movie – the character’s weren’t as great. The main character, Shauna, was alright, but I felt like she was a bit blind to how awful her best friend, Jess, actually was. Every time we were introduced to a new negative trait Jess possessed, Shauna brushed off, saying it was just “Jess’s way” as if that excused the behavior (it definitely did not).

Speaking of Jess, I just could not believe how selfish and cruel she was… but what was even more insane, was that only one of her three friends, Anna, had the guts to call her out on it. Anna probably had the strongest personality of the group because she didn’t really take anyone’s crap – however, that was dismissed somewhat by it played down as her being easily angered, which I didn’t really like. Especially since she had every right to be angry at Jess. In fact, all of the girls were angry at Jess just as much if not more, but Anna was the only one who voiced it.

The last girl in the group is Kitty and she was a very weak person – easily influenced and never standing up for herself. I couldn’t stand how Jess treated Kitty in this book because she was always flat out bullying her for reasons such as her being depressed. Have I mentioned how much I hated Jess?


Me. After I break all of the mirrors in my dorm. (Sorry, Caylin.)

You know how when you’re watching a horror movie, there’s always a character that is about to do something really, really stupid and you just want to shout at them to stop because they’re gonna get themselves killed? That was basically how I felt throughout this entire novel. At some points, it was like “Really? You girls are going to summon Blood Mary again after it went wrong the first time? Really?” Yup. Definitely. Why not? What could possibly go wrong?

Can I skip discussing Mary? Please?

Mary was SO scary! (See what I did there? Yay rhymes. That’s the only reason I decided to even talk about her, honestly.) Monahan did a fabulous job of bringing this urban legend to life is this really a good thing? AH. The Bloody Mary in this book was a bit different than the one I had heard about growing up, though.

For one, Mary showed up in ALL reflective surfaces. This messed with my head way more than I’d have liked. Second, she could leave the mirror… and pull people in if she wanted – and oh boy did she want to.

Hmm... Maybe it's not so great an idea to break the mirrors... (at least in Supernatural, anyway).

Hmm… Maybe it’s not so great an idea to break the mirrors… (at least in Supernatural, anyway).

All these things only made Mary even scarier… like wake-up-the-middle-of-the-night to rant at your roommate about Blood Mary (and The Visit, which is an entirely different story) because it was causing you to have nightmares kinda of scary. Fortunately for the characters, salt was a good enough tool to keep her at bay most of the time, although it wasn’t always very reliable.

Overall, if you’re a fan of horror, ghosts, or urban legends (especially Bloody Mary – obviously) you should definitely read this! I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel even though it will definitely probably make me cry.

Special thanks to Supernatural for having all the perfect pictures and gifs (and for being awesome).



About Jessica

Jessica is an twenty year old blogger who lives in Michigan. She's currently a junior in college. She's a full-time student and part-time employee. She loves to read young adult fiction, especially contemporary, romance, and dystopian. Feel free to drop by and say hi by leaving a comment on one of her blog posts- she'll be sure to reply!

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