Book Title:
Say Her Name
Book Author:
Juno Dawson
Page Count:
Publishing Date:
June 5th, 2014
Hot Key Books
Date Read:
October 29th, 2019


Roberta 'Bobbie' Rowe is not the kind of person who believes in ghosts. A Halloween dare at her ridiculously spooky boarding school is no big deal, especially when her best friend Naya and cute local boy Caine agree to join in too. They are ordered to summon the legendary ghost of 'Bloody Mary': say her name five times in front of a candlelit mirror, and she shall appear... But, surprise surprise, nothing happens. Or does it?

Next morning, Bobbie finds a message on her bathroom mirror... five days... but what does it mean? And who left it there? Things get increasingly weird and more terrifying for Bobbie and Naya, until it becomes all too clear that Bloody Mary was indeed called from the afterlife that night, and she is definitely not a friendly ghost. Bobbie, Naya and Caine are now in a race against time before their five days are up and Mary comes for them, as she has come for countless others before... A truly spine-chilling yet witty horror from shortlisted 'Queen of Teen' author James Dawson.

My Review



This was one of the coolest YA horror novels I have ever read. It might have even been one of the scariest ones I’ve read (at least in a long time), if I’m being honest.

See, I’ve always had this weird terror about Bloody Mary. Like, I’m an adult, and I still turn on the lights at night when I think about it, just in case. Have I ever actually done the whole ritual thing with the candles in order to summon her? Hell no. And I never would! But still, that legend has always been one of the things I’m most afraid of.

So with this information in mind, obviously the best choice for a creepy read around Halloween would have something to do with one of the things that scare me most, right? Duh!

At first, I kind of thought Say Her Name was going to be a mild YA horror, despite that blurb on the front cover about it being “bedwettingly scary.” I don’t know, I just feel like every time I read a YA horror novel, I’m left feeling kind of…meh. If I’m picking up a scary story, I want to freaked out – like leave the lights on at bedtime freaked out. This book did just that. I also refused to read it close to bedtime, so it ended up taking me three days to finish instead of just reading it through in one night.

I’m not kidding – this book scared me that much.

“‘…and the real story all started two hundred years ago when a Piper’s Hall pupil called Mary Worthington killed herself. It was a night just like this one…'”

Bobbie and her best friend Naya go to an all-girls boarding school called Piper’s Hall, and together with a couple of their classmates (and two boys from a different school), they find themselves hanging out one night, and the subjehotmct of Bloody Mary comes up. It’s believed that Mary was actually a girl who went to their school a few decades ago, and after some creepy storytelling on their part, they are talked into doing the mirror summoning. So they sneak the boys into their school and into the bathroom, where Bobbie, Naya, and Caine (one of the boys), decide to get down to business, to show the other girls that they aren’t scared, and have a chance at flirting and looking cool in front of the guys. Besides, one of the other girls, Sadie, said she had done it a few days ago, and she was fine, right?

But after they do the summoning, things start to happen.

Bobbie sees a message in the bathroom mirror after her shower, reading Five Days.

At first, it’s just having strange dreams or seeing a reflection in the mirror that isn’t really there.

“As Bobbie understood it, a lot of people thought that ghosts were spirits of the dead with unfinished business: ethereal fingers desperately digging nails into the fabric of this world without passing on to the next.”

But then, it gets much more terrifying, as Bobbie, Naya, and Caine are race the clock to unravel the mystery of the legend of Bloody Mary. Sadie disappears, and the three of them realize that if they don’t solve this mystery, they would be next. As they work together and use clues left for them by none other than Mary herself, there is a much darker truth to Mary’s stay at Piper’s Hall – one that may help her spirit finally rest if they can solve it.

Or so they think.

This book was SO. FREAKING. CREEPY. I lost sleep over this one, I’m not going to lie (then again, I am a bit of a baby when it comes to horror, but still). There was one part when Mary’s ghost was in bed with Bobbie, and I practically threw the book across the couch because it freaked me out so much. That, my friends, is the sign of a fantastic horror novel.

There really wasn’t anything I didn’t like in this book. A few of the characters, like Sadie, felt a bit flat to me, but Bobbie, Naya, and Caine were so well written that it was hard not to like them.

Well, maybe there is one problem I had with Say Her Name. That problem is the fact that this book has no sequel. After the ending of this, I feel like I absolutely NEED another book that tells about what happens after. It was just such a perfect book with a perfect ending that would be perfect for a sequel.

While I have to say that I did not exactly wet the bed after I read this book, as you can see that the blurb on top suggests, I have the feeling that if I had read this too close to bedtime, that might not have been the case!

It’ll be a while before I go into the bedroom/bathroom without turning on the lights, that’s for sure…

5 stars
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One Response to Say Her Name by Juno Dawson

  1. Jill Everson says:

    its been time to pick a horror book and I am, to be honestly bored with horror movies, most of them just don’t have the quality to share… aside from this one which is your favorite go-to?

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