Review: MARY: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

May 8, 2015 2 stars, Book Review 4 ★★

Review: MARY: The Summoning by Hillary MonahanMARY: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan
Series: Bloody Mary #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on September 2, 2014
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Pages: 245
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

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?

Even with the amazing horror descriptions and Mary Worth’s wonderful letters (all consisting of 10 pages or so), Mary: The Summoning fell short with the plot–being both predictable and dull. That, and having weakly developed characters along with tedious dialogue, doesn’t help in the least.

There’s very little substance of plot other than who’s dating who and who’s fighting with whom. I understand that this is realistic in terms of YA–young women bickering over all these little meaningless trivial things–but honestly I don’t want to read that shit in my horror.

Save that for YA Contemporary, please.

Shauna, Kitty, Anna, and Jess don’t really have their own personalities. They resemble that of cardboard cut outs in the literal sense. Seriously. Like cardboard. Shauna’s mad at Jess for obsessing over Mary. Kitty is going through a breakup with Bronx. Anna is just…there. They have no hobbies, no memorable family moments, and most importantly NO FRIENDSHIP BOND, which is essentially something I wanted to see develop throughout the story.

They summon Mary through a seance of sorts and she comes out of the mirror, into the real world, and proceeds to kill them off one by one until they figure out a way to get rid of her for good. That’s the entire damn story. There’s nothing new here and without me even caring for the characters, it was such a drag to read. I won’t delve into the details of whether or not it’s scary. I’m sure that it’s a terrifying read geared toward that age group.

The only high-five I can give it is for the descriptions. Some of them are really done well and Mary (though she was barely there) was a really awesome character. I just wish that she was more present in the book; her perspective in particular because her past life is really intriguing.

It’s an okay book to pass the time, but don’t go in thinking you’re getting something original.

4 Responses to “Review: MARY: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan”

    • Kat Stark

      Some people really found it to be terrifying. I thought the descriptions were really good concerning that front 🙂 When you get to it, I hope you’ll enjoy it!