Date finished: April 6th, 2020

Format: Paperback

Pages: 287

First time reading?: Yes

Goodreads Blurb: “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? 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…”

So Juno Dawson has become a firm favourite author of mine of the last few years. I haven’t read everything by her YET, but everything I have read (but not written reviews for at the time of writing apparently) instantly grabs you from the first page and within 1/2 days/sittings you’ve finished the book. Her characters are always very richly crafted, and you can’t help but understand the motivations behind everyone, even a killer ghost in this case.

Everyone has at least heard of the legend of ‘Bloody Mary’ (click HERE for the Wikipedia page if you need a refresh) in some form or another, and Juno’s exploration of the legend here has some wonderfully creepy sections that make you very worried to look in your bathroom mirror at night. Or even in the daytime occasionally.

I liked the way the interactions with Bloody Mary throughout history in this book were brought in and investigated, and the fact that Juno made the legend personally connected with the fictional boarding school the majority of the book takes place in. My only real dislike (which can be said of almost any horror novel or movie) was that the ending felt too … movie-ish in my opinion. Particularly the final “twist” in the final chapter. As I say though, horror endings are usually somewhat disappointing when you manage to get there.

That said, I still enjoyed reading this book. I’d been in a huge reading slump and the book I read before this (“Hold Back the Tide” by Melinda Salisbury) managed to get me out of it. This was a nice, creepy start to me enjoying reading again, the timing being perfect now that we’re in lockdown in the UK. Go read anything Juno Dawson has written! I haven’t met a bad book yet!

My rating: 8/10