Book Review: MARY: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

MARY: The Summoning
Bloody Mary #1
Author: Hillary Monahan
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Horror
Released: September 2nd 2014
Review Source: Disney-Hyperion

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?

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am very easily scared- you can jump out from behind some bushes and I'll start running for my life. I hardly ever watch horror movies and I've only read one horror book before, which scared me so much I couldn't look out my window at night for two weeks straight. So why did I read Mary: The Summoning? Well there's a certain fascination that comes along with fear and this book really caught my attention.

This story follows Shauna, a regular teenage girl who joined her friends to summon Bloody Mary the proper way. Not expecting to see anything she was terrified and in awe when the mirror began to cloud and Bloody Mary's hand appeared. Her friend, Jess, was the one who researched Mary and was a little to eager to summon her again, which lead to Shauna being haunted. Throughout the book, readers accompany Shauna as she tries to find out how to get rid of Mary- but will she find out in time?

I have to admit that I couldn't read this book at night in fear that I might dream with Bloody Mary. I constantly had to remind myself that I never tried to summon Mary so she couldn't haunt me. Despite the obvious terror I experienced I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It was more than just a horror book, there was actually some history in it. We learn so much about Mary before she died and were hinted at why she might be haunting girls who call for her. My only complaint was that a few of the characters seemed unrealistic at times. Their reactions didn't seem to fit the situations which disappointed me at times. Other than that I cannot wait for the sequel so I can learn more about the terrifying Bloody Mary!


  1. This cover really creeps me out, mostly because I remember trying to play that game at sleepovers as a little kid. The summary sounds super interesting though and that's cool that it goes into Mary's history. This sounds like something I'd like (just not at night!).

  2. I like the sound of this one it sounds really creepy (which is what I want right now)!

    Thanks for sharing Ana!

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre


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