Thursday, August 7, 2014

Review - Mary: The Summoning (Bloody Mary #1) by Hillary Monahan

Thanks to Disney-Hyperion and Netgalley for allowing me to read an e-galley of this title.  Now, I'm not one who ever played Bloody Mary.  While I do enjoy watching scary movies, and even going to supposedly haunted places, I'm not a fan of doing something like that.  I'll admit that in college I did play around with a Ouija board with my sorority sisters, but never by myself.  And I was a little uncomfortable having it in my house after awhile.  I live by myself, and have for about 18 years now, and just got to be a bit scared, more nervous than scared.  Mainly because of all the scary movies, as well as beginning to watch shows like Paranormal State.  So I did pass it on to someone else about 6 years ago.  This book was definitely a good scary story.  And I could totally see it being made into a movie.  It had all the good events and descriptions of Mary to really scare someone watching a movie like this.

The main character is really Shauna, although the whole story centers around her other 3 friends, as the four of them together play the Bloody Mary game.  Jess, really Shauna's best friend, is the one who did all this research on Mary from the town where her grandparents live. And it is her idea to play the game in the first place.  Then there is Anna, whose house they play at the first two times.  And Kitty, who is really best friends with Anna, and also used to date Bronx, who is best friends with Jess's boyfriend.  The first time is really creepy, the kind of see Bloody Mary in the mirror.  But when Kitty gets really scared and tries to let go of Shauna's hand, the stop the game.  As you probably know, to get Bloody Mary there, you have to say her name three times in front of a mirror in a room lit only by a candle.  Or one person does at least, and in this case it is Jess.  And she also gets rid of Bloody Mary with the words "I believe in you Mary Worth."  But it has to be her, at least according to all the information Jess has found on the ritual.

The 2nd time they do it because they want to actually see more than the shadow and tips of fingers.  And they get it.  They see all of her.  Now Jess knows you must put the salt in front of the mirror to keep Mary there, as well as they must not let go of each others' hands during the ritual.  But this second time, Jess has put the salt in a line, but left a little room between it and the mirror.  And Bloody Mary uses this space to start to crawl out of the mirror, in what I pictured as the girl crawling out of the tv in the movie The Ring.  She seems to be able to keep coming out, even as Jess tries to yell the words that should send her away.  Only Shauna grabbing salt and throwing it at both Mary and the mirror is able to get her back in.  The only problem?  Bloody Mary scratched Shauna, and has the smell of her blood.  And now, Shauna is haunted.  Any shiny surface can bring her out.  Now the girls must figure out how to end the haunting for their friend Shauna.  And as each thing happens, it seems that Jess knows more than she is letting on.  Making their friendship more and more strained, only keeping them together to try to save Shauna.  They will research back in the town where Mary supposedly lived when she was alive, and also talk to the last person haunted by Mary.  And Shauna's friends will be in danger as well.  Not only does Bloody Mary want to injure and hurt Shauna physically, she wants to take away her friends, and anything that makes her happy.

I just have to say I loved Mary's back story in this.  I know I'm an outsider, but I caught on to Jess having some reason for doing all this pretty quickly, she was just very suspicious to me.  I know I mentioned how one scene reminded me of a movie, and that's why I say this could be an awesome horror movie.  Such vivid, scary scenes, I could picture them in my head.  Now the ending is a bit abrupt you could say, and doesn't necessarily solve the problem for all the friends.  But since this says it is #1 in a series, I think that was done for a reason.  And I liked the ending the way it was.  Once again the problem with reading e-galleys, now I have to wait sooooooo long for the 2nd one, because I read this one early!  As the 80s song says, "It hurts so good!"