Cruel Summer by Juno Dawson – Book Review

cruel summer

One year on from leaving High School and the disastrous Ball, friends Ryan, Katie, Alisha, Ben, Greg and his girlfriend Erin are catching up on a villa holiday in Spain. They are all still struggling to move on from the suicide of their best friend, Janey, at the end of the Ball last year. Everything seems to be going well as the group relaxes in the sunshine, until an unexpected visitor arrives claiming Janey’s suicide was not only a murder but was committed by one of them.

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Say Her Name by Juno Dawson – Book Review

say hey name

One night, a group of friends decides to try and summon the ghost of Bloody Mary, just for a laugh. Anyway, what’s the worst that could happen? With a camera ready, they chant Bloody Mary five times into their bathroom mirror. Strange things begin to happen when one of the friends, Bobbie, discovers a message in the mirror – “five days,” it says. As they try to unravel the mystery, they learn that while many have tried to say her name for a dare, all Mary wants is the world to know the truth…

Say Her Name is based on a version of the legend of Bloody Mary. Piece by piece, the story is uncovered and it is not until the very end that there is an explanation of some of the scary goings-on in the book.

Even then, there are some things that are left open for you to interpret yourself. It was so gripping that I didn’t want to put it down over the two days during which  I read it. The dialogue between the teenagers was so realistic that it really made the characters come to life and made it even more believable.

The book was scary in parts, mainly because as the story went on, there were many plot twists and details added that meant that you couldn’t predict how the story would work as the story progressed.

Overall, I loved this book – when I thought it couldn’t get any scarier, I really struggled to construct any theories about what was really going on. There was always something around the corner that would make me want to read on!