ARC Book Review: Mary: The Summoning

Mary The Summoning CoverBook: Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

Expected Publication is September 2, 2014 by Disney-Hyperion|Expected Number Of Pages: 256

Where I Got It: I received the e-book review copy from, which hasn’t influenced my review in any way.  Promise!

Series: Jess Tennant #1

Genre: YA Horror/Paranormal Ghost Story

You can find The Summoning on goodreads & Hillary Monahan on Twitter, Facebook and her website

Goodreads Summary: 

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?

What I Thought:

I haven’t been super-impressed with the few paranormal books dealing with ghosts out there, but I did like Mary: The Summoning!

I actually love that it’s based on summoning Bloody Mary Worth (not to be confused with Queen Mary, the daughter of Henry VIII) and I am curious about Bloody Mary as inspiration for the book.

There are definitely some creepy moments throughout the book, and I really liked what actually summoning Mary meant for anyone who did manage to “successfully” summon her.  It was definitely different.  What was also interesting was the interest Jess had in summoning Mary, especially when you learn more about Mary.  However, the random tidbits Jess dropped throughout the book did get annoying and frustrating, because she definitely knew more than she was letting on, and it was very much like she didn’t want anyone to know her real interest in Mary.  And it also very much felt like they were going to know what she wanted them to know.

I did like the relationship between the girls, which is what is standing out as far as the characters go.  I did feel like they didn’t particularly stand out as individual people. and I found like it was a little bit hard to care about them.  I did find that I found some of the things that Jess did to be completely horrible, and she seemed like a horrible friend- to the point where I was wondering why the girls were friends with her in the first place.

Jess is a big reason why I didn’t love Mary, and as someone who just knows that saying Bloody Mary 3 times in front of a mirror is supposed to summon her…I liked what Monahan did with the story, and how it connected with the present, and even the letters that we have from Mary, but part of me wishes Monahan had gone more into Mary’s story.  But this is also the first book in the series, so it would make sense that we don’t get the whole story just yet.

Let’s Rate It:

I liked Mary: The Summoning, but I found that my feelings toward Jess resulted in me not liking the book as much as I would have liked.  Mary: The Summoning gets 3 stars.

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