Mary: The Summoning

Mary: The Summoning

3.73 (2,049 ratings by Goodreads)
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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?
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 147 x 222 x 23mm | 422g
  • Los Angeles, United States
  • English
  • 1423185196
  • 9781423185192
  • 777,538

Review quote

2Q 4P S Like many American girls, Shauna and her friends, Jess, Kitty and Anna, love their sleepovers, and love to partake in minor scares. The old urban myth of Bloody Mary, in which a nineteenth-century killer is summoned through a s ance, is their favorite. One night, with the proper words and proper methodology, the girls succeed in summoning Mary through a bathroom mirror. That uncorks a horror story that only grows as Jess's obsession with the myth leads to more and more summonings and Mary takes over Jess's body. High school girls in need of an easy scare to remind them of slumber parties past will find something to like in Mary, but the book reads mechanically, like a sketch for a television special. After the promising opening letter from the original nineteenth-century Mary, characterization is sparse. Narrator Shauna is actually a secondary character in the novel (Jess is the one obsessed with the Bloody Mary myth), so the sense of doom is told through a lens rather than shown with immediacy. Too often Jess tells and explains her relationships and past events instead of showing readers the stories. Still, there are some worthy shocking moments, and girls who can put themselves in the place of the characters might have themselves a good jolt or two.-James Nicosia. VOYA"
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About Hillary Monahan

Hillary Monahan lives outside Boston. This is her first novel. Learn more at
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Rating details

2,049 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 27% (561)
4 33% (675)
3 28% (571)
2 8% (173)
1 3% (69)

Our customer reviews

Is there really a creepier legend than 'Bloody Mary'? Honestly, not to me. There is something nasty about the idea of being alone in a bathroom, shutting out the lights, staring in the mirror, and trying to invoke this legendary ghost. The anticipation... the nerves.. the acrid stink of fear. I never quite understood the attraction. And yet... I do. But who was Bloody Mary, and how did she come to be this terrifying figure hiding in mirrors, waiting for daring teenagers to call to her? How could I not ask for a copy of a novel that may give me some fictional insight into this exact question?? This story really is as exploratory and terrifying as I hoped it would be. Many times I cursed the absolute selfishness and stupidity of young Jess, as out of her own daring curiosity, she convinces her circle of friends to humor this scary ritual. To Jess' delight, and her friends' absolute horror, the invoking of Bloody Mary actually works, and she appears in all of her undead glory, nasty as can be. I admit, my heart was hammering away, and continued to do so for many parts of this story. As Mary focuses her attention on one of Jess' friends and begins to terrorize her, I could just feel and smell her constant fear. I could not fathom living in so much fear 24/7. My anger for Jess grew throughout the book, as we come to discover that she had more information that she initially discloses to her friends, and it becomes evident she was aware of not only the possible psychological but physical damages that could occur from going through with this.. but her obsession with Mary drives her to put everyone at risk to get answers, and drove ME to wish I could punch a fictional character through book pages. I really enjoyed the diary pages from Mary throughout this story, and it made me even more invested to want to know who Mary really was when alive. Mostly, I wanted to know what events drove her to become the wretched wraith of a being she was in present time. Surprisingly, I began to feel empathy for her, and just as abruptly, I would lose that empathy while reading a horrid scene in present time, to then be transported back in time and begin to feel empathy for her all over again. The writer certainly took me through a rollercoaster of emotions in this novel, effectively making me anxious for answers that, unfortunately, I do not yet have... To be continued.... I can't wait for the second installment in this series. This was well written and provoking, and gave me the right amount of goosebumps. Think twice about reading this novel before bedtime, though you will find it hard to put it down if you are as fascinated by this legend of 'Bloody Mary' as I am. *I received a eBook copy of this book for free to review from the author/publisher through Netgalley; this in no way influenced my review, all opinions are 100% honest and my own.*show more
by Lily
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