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Mary, Will I Die?

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Bestselling author Shawn Sarles' most terrifying YA horror yet... It starts innocently enough. Four kids - three girls, one boy - are at one of their houses, playing games. One of them has read about "Bloody Mary" and the idea that if you look into a mirror and say her name thirteen times, she will show you the future. Some legends say she'll show you your one true love or Bestselling author Shawn Sarles' most terrifying YA horror yet... It starts innocently enough. Four kids - three girls, one boy - are at one of their houses, playing games. One of them has read about "Bloody Mary" and the idea that if you look into a mirror and say her name thirteen times, she will show you the future. Some legends say she'll show you your one true love or a skull to mark your death within five years. Others say that conjuring Bloody Mary will bring her into your world. Both sets of legends are true. The kids go through with the act, saying her name thirteen times. One girl looks in the mirror and sees her longtime crush. One girl looks in the mirror and sees the boy in the group. But she pretends to see something else. One girl looks in the mirror and sees a girl she's never seen before but can't get out of her mind. And the boy . . . he sees a skull. But he pretends to see something else. They try to laugh it off. And mostly they forget about it. Or at least they don't talk about it. Yes, over the next few years, whenever they look into a mirror, it's like there's always another figure standing in the background, getting closer. Just short of five years later, the four of them are no longer friends, having gone on separate paths. The girl whose house it was has always tried to avoid the mirror they used - because she always sensed someone in the background. One morning as she's passing by, she sees much more than her own reflection - it's a scary figure taunting her. She startles and breaks the mirror. When the pieces are put back together (barely), the figure is gone. That day in school, a new girl arrives. Her name is Mary...


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Bestselling author Shawn Sarles' most terrifying YA horror yet... It starts innocently enough. Four kids - three girls, one boy - are at one of their houses, playing games. One of them has read about "Bloody Mary" and the idea that if you look into a mirror and say her name thirteen times, she will show you the future. Some legends say she'll show you your one true love or Bestselling author Shawn Sarles' most terrifying YA horror yet... It starts innocently enough. Four kids - three girls, one boy - are at one of their houses, playing games. One of them has read about "Bloody Mary" and the idea that if you look into a mirror and say her name thirteen times, she will show you the future. Some legends say she'll show you your one true love or a skull to mark your death within five years. Others say that conjuring Bloody Mary will bring her into your world. Both sets of legends are true. The kids go through with the act, saying her name thirteen times. One girl looks in the mirror and sees her longtime crush. One girl looks in the mirror and sees the boy in the group. But she pretends to see something else. One girl looks in the mirror and sees a girl she's never seen before but can't get out of her mind. And the boy . . . he sees a skull. But he pretends to see something else. They try to laugh it off. And mostly they forget about it. Or at least they don't talk about it. Yes, over the next few years, whenever they look into a mirror, it's like there's always another figure standing in the background, getting closer. Just short of five years later, the four of them are no longer friends, having gone on separate paths. The girl whose house it was has always tried to avoid the mirror they used - because she always sensed someone in the background. One morning as she's passing by, she sees much more than her own reflection - it's a scary figure taunting her. She startles and breaks the mirror. When the pieces are put back together (barely), the figure is gone. That day in school, a new girl arrives. Her name is Mary...

30 review for Mary, Will I Die?

  1. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Okay, I'm down for some Bloody Mary this Fall. Loving this cover!!! It's giving me early 90s-vibes. I'll bite. Okay, I'm down for some Bloody Mary this Fall. Loving this cover!!! It's giving me early 90s-vibes. I'll bite.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cindee

    I loved this book it was even better than the other book this author has written the atmosphere in the story had just the right amount of creepy I loved the suspense it was a perfect spooky month read. I loved the character even if one took a little while for me to like I especially liked Grace and Calvin they fit so well together I just loved reading about them. The cast of characters were really interesting to read about it shows how people could change and how something like a demon can bring I loved this book it was even better than the other book this author has written the atmosphere in the story had just the right amount of creepy I loved the suspense it was a perfect spooky month read. I loved the character even if one took a little while for me to like I especially liked Grace and Calvin they fit so well together I just loved reading about them. The cast of characters were really interesting to read about it shows how people could change and how something like a demon can bring people back together and change them for the better. I really loved the story I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I really enjoyed reading about this different take on the Bloody Mary urban legend it was made into a monster they accidently unleashed. I really enjoyed how this story was told and I most of all loved that happy ending it made everything that happened during the story worth it by the end.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus If this had been scary enough to live up to the absolutely terrifying cover, I might have bumped it to three stars. However, there really isn't anything other than mildly creepy for the entire first third of the book. On top of that, the characters are all very one dimensional in very stereotyped ways that tend toward the harmful side. Elena is the mean, vain, popular girl; Steph is a bit shy and very tall; Grace is still grieving the death of her mother, and feel E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus If this had been scary enough to live up to the absolutely terrifying cover, I might have bumped it to three stars. However, there really isn't anything other than mildly creepy for the entire first third of the book. On top of that, the characters are all very one dimensional in very stereotyped ways that tend toward the harmful side. Elena is the mean, vain, popular girl; Steph is a bit shy and very tall; Grace is still grieving the death of her mother, and feels bad about her appearance to the point where it's just about every thought in her head. Calvin is a bit more fleshed out, but still a very flat character, and his relationship with Grace makes very little sense. The writing is a bit stilted as well. This all improves a bit in the end of the book, so high school students might be willing to hang in there for the creepy pay off, but I don't know that my middle school students are willing to do that. Comparisons to Christopher Pike may be apt, but this does not have the interesting characters, suspenseful writing, or scary events of a Stine Fear Street book. Perhaps I am missing something? I really wanted to like this one because of the Bloody Mary inclusion and the great cover, so perhaps my expectations were too high.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Avid Reader and Geek Girl

    3.75 stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I’m too old for this book. While some YA transcends the reader’s age, this is not that kind of YA. This is great for middle-graders who are curious about horror but don’t want to dive in the deep end just yet.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Decided to rewrite my review after I gave myself some more time to think about how I felt about this book. Overall it was ok. The writing was kind of one dimensional and the characters were annoying in my opinion, especially Elena. Some of the horror elements were fun, but with a cover like that, I was really expecting more. At the end of the day this book just wasn't for me. I guess I would recommend it to people who wanted a retelling of Bloody Mary, or a horror novel focusing on a group of fr Decided to rewrite my review after I gave myself some more time to think about how I felt about this book. Overall it was ok. The writing was kind of one dimensional and the characters were annoying in my opinion, especially Elena. Some of the horror elements were fun, but with a cover like that, I was really expecting more. At the end of the day this book just wasn't for me. I guess I would recommend it to people who wanted a retelling of Bloody Mary, or a horror novel focusing on a group of friends. Also, there was a lot of volleyball mentioned, not that volleyball is a bad thing, but wasn't expecting such a huge sports aspect with the storyline.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Erin Stanley

    Things To Know: -Multiple points of view -Violence/Blood -Creepy -Teenage drama Synopsis: It starts innocently enough. Four kids - three girls, one boy - are at one of their houses, playing games. One of them has read about "Bloody Mary" and the idea that if you look into a mirror and say her name thirteen times, she will show you the future. Some legends say she'll show you your one true love or a skull to mark your death within five years. Others say that conjuring Bloody Mary will bring her into y Things To Know: -Multiple points of view -Violence/Blood -Creepy -Teenage drama Synopsis: It starts innocently enough. Four kids - three girls, one boy - are at one of their houses, playing games. One of them has read about "Bloody Mary" and the idea that if you look into a mirror and say her name thirteen times, she will show you the future. Some legends say she'll show you your one true love or a skull to mark your death within five years. Others say that conjuring Bloody Mary will bring her into your world. Both sets of legends are true. The kids go through with the act, saying her name thirteen times. One girl looks in the mirror and sees her longtime crush. One girl looks in the mirror and sees the boy in the group. But she pretends to see something else. One girl looks in the mirror and sees a girl she's never seen before but can't get out of her mind. And the boy . . . he sees a skull. But he pretends to see something else. They try to laugh it off. And mostly they forget about it. Or at least they don't talk about it. Yes, over the next few years, whenever they look into a mirror, it's like there's always another figure standing in the background, getting closer. Just short of five years later, the four of them are no longer friends, having gone on separate paths. The girl whose house it was has always tried to avoid the mirror they used - because she always sensed someone in the background. One morning as she's passing by, she sees much more than her own reflection - it's a scary figure taunting her. She startles and breaks the mirror. When the pieces are put back together (barely), the figure is gone. That day in school, a new girl arrives. Her name is Mary Review: I rate this 3.5/5 stars. Mary, Will I Die is a YA horror book. I am a huge fan of horror and I really did enjoy this book. I liked that it was a spin of a “game” that I’m sure we have all heard of at one point in our lives. The story varies but it is always scary. I think this book would do well as a television adaptation. If I was scrolling Hulu (which seems like where I would find this) and I stumbled upon this I would definitely watch it. It was a very quick read and I would recommend this book to people who are fans of other YA horror books. It was interesting, somewhat predictable but still very creepy. Thank you Shawn Sarles and thank you Edelweiss for early access to this book!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Misty

    The story starts with a prologue where the characters are 9 years old and playing the game Blood Mary. The rest of the story takes place 5 years later, when the characters are 14 years old and freshmen in high school. It surprised me that the characters were so young in this book, but it turned into a nice change of pace from the vast majority of the YA books I read. But I did want to warn you, because it was not what I was expecting and threw me for a second. The story has 4 points of view: Elena The story starts with a prologue where the characters are 9 years old and playing the game Blood Mary. The rest of the story takes place 5 years later, when the characters are 14 years old and freshmen in high school. It surprised me that the characters were so young in this book, but it turned into a nice change of pace from the vast majority of the YA books I read. But I did want to warn you, because it was not what I was expecting and threw me for a second. The story has 4 points of view: Elena, Steph, Grace, and Calvin. The chapters were not that long, and it was fun jumping from the different characters who were mostly separate at the beginning of the book, but came back together eventually. It had mean girls and loners and a certain girl coming to terms with her sexuality, which was a really good portrayal. The genre is horror and the cover is pretty intense, but I would call this book 'baby-horror'. Which was great for me, because I am so not a horror, scary-movie person. But I do remember playing the game Blood Mary in front of a mirror when I was a kid at a sleepover. So, this book was a fun, easy read that was not that scary, but will still put you in a nice Halloween, nostalgic mood, thinking back to when you were a kid at Halloween. It's not a favorite, but I did enjoy it, and I might even come back to read it again when I'm in a Halloween-spooky-young-YA mood. I'm giving it 4.5 stars.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Maggie May

    I read a lot of YA and even middle grade books, but they aren't usually so immature. The characters don't seem like real people so much as what harried adults think teens are like. The Bloody Mary storyline was fun and creepy, but it wasn't enough to overcome the childishness. Also, there was an unusual amount of detail about volleyball, which I suppose might appeal to volleyball fans but just bored me. Overall it was disappointing, if not terrible. I read a lot of YA and even middle grade books, but they aren't usually so immature. The characters don't seem like real people so much as what harried adults think teens are like. The Bloody Mary storyline was fun and creepy, but it wasn't enough to overcome the childishness. Also, there was an unusual amount of detail about volleyball, which I suppose might appeal to volleyball fans but just bored me. Overall it was disappointing, if not terrible.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Robby

    You might want to cover your mirrors... A fresh take on the chilling Bloody Mary urban myth, this book is so much fun! It's eerie and chilling, with a cozy and creepy autumnal setting. It follows a memorable and engaging cast of characters, each with their own fears and unique story. If you like spooky stories, you'll love this one!! You might want to cover your mirrors... A fresh take on the chilling Bloody Mary urban myth, this book is so much fun! It's eerie and chilling, with a cozy and creepy autumnal setting. It follows a memorable and engaging cast of characters, each with their own fears and unique story. If you like spooky stories, you'll love this one!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mehsi

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I received this book from The Book Terminal/publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. So, of course I had to sign up for this tour, hello? The book has been on my must read for some time now. I just LOVE LOVE Bloody Mary stories and I was hyped to get started. But, right from the bat I have to mention that I found this one very tame and so not scary. I mean, there were one or two moments that I was scared a bit, but nothing more. I will talk more about it later in my review, we are first I received this book from The Book Terminal/publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. So, of course I had to sign up for this tour, hello? The book has been on my must read for some time now. I just LOVE LOVE Bloody Mary stories and I was hyped to get started. But, right from the bat I have to mention that I found this one very tame and so not scary. I mean, there were one or two moments that I was scared a bit, but nothing more. I will talk more about it later in my review, we are first starting with the good. I love the cover, it is so scary and terrifying and I love that the title is mentioned x times on the cover to fit with the times one has to call her in this book! We have 4 different POVs and while I wasn’t a fan of one of them (more on that in the next part about things I wasn’t a fan of), I really loved the other POVs. From haunted Calvin, to shy Grace, to Steph who is kick-ass in sports but is unsure about many other things. I loved that we got to see the events unfold from these POVs and I love that each of the three characters is written well and that I was looking forward to them. I am still not sure who is my fav of the three here. Mm, I think I will go with Steph. This one is a bit hit/miss so it will also be mentioned in the things I wasn’t a fan of, and that is the romance. On the one hand I enjoyed the romance. Calvin and Grace, soulmates or not? Steph and her figuring out about how much she likes girls. I loved that Grace and Calvin, unlike Henry and Elena, aren’t together yet, but are both interested in each other and I had a bit of giggle seeing these two get cute during some of the less fortunate moments. XD I loved the Bloody Mary we are presented with in this one. I just love how there are things that match with other stuff I read (the calling her, the mirror, soulmates or death), but also that there are other things. Like the German fairytale book, what is up with Elena’s grandmother, the letters on the mirror, and some other stuff. It made for an interesting read as it just went a different direction than I had thought. I loved that things didn’t immediately start after that (then) kids checked that mirror, instead we go to 5 years from then and see how events unfurl there. How the group is now. How the friendships broke apart. Now for some things I wasn’t a fan of. I do need to mention these as they do influence my rating. But I will put it all in one spoiler so that the review stays one happy space: One of those and the biggest one of all, it just wasn’t scary. Not at all. I had maybe one or two OH SNAP moments, but that was all. It was just all very tame. And I had the scariest setting to read this book. I was camping on a camp site. It was in the middle of the night so it was pitch and pitch black. The only sounds were frogs and our annoying snoring neighbour. It was just perfect to read a horror book and I was ready for no sleep! Instead… I slept like an angel and had no problem sleeping. I think the biggest problem where that it never felt very threatening, I mean, no one dies or gets very gravely injured, even Henry just has a few stitches and his arm broken, which is terrible but hey the next day he was back at school. Not to mention we get visions that Calvin pens down… it just gets rid of the surprise element. Also I had expected way more stalking of Mary in mirrors and other reflective stuff. Oh and then there is Mary. I won’t spoil anything, but I had expected grander things. While I did say I liked the romance… I did feel it took away from the book’s creepiness. It was just a tad too big on the foreground for me. I don’t mind romance in horror, but it needs to be in the background for me. Next is Elena. Or bitchy McBitch face. I guess she wasn’t inherently evil/bad (given that she had that voice in her head), but really, this girl was just the worst and ruined the story for me. Starting with her 9-year old bossy mode and entering the 14-year age with being a total snob, bitch, and what even is team-work? Also girl, flirting with another guy is CHEATING. You have a perfectly sweet boyfriend who loves you and instead you just go for the next hot candy? Bah. I hate people who cheat and this was just horrible, especially given her reaction that he (Henry) was just overreacting. There are many other moments were I was just hoping for Mary to eat her or take her to another dimension. So yeah, not scary at all, but still a very good read with mostly good characters and an interesting Bloody Mary story. Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessica (a GREAT read)

    I received this ARC from the author in a contest I won. I offer my review honestly and freely and was not compensated for writing this. Shawn Sarles has taken on a new horror story and this time it involves the urban legend, “Blood Mary” in Mary, Will I Die? This was a creeptastic tale that will leave you chilled to the bone and being leery of mirrors! Mirrors have always been something that fascinated me as a child after reading Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There. Of course i I received this ARC from the author in a contest I won. I offer my review honestly and freely and was not compensated for writing this. Shawn Sarles has taken on a new horror story and this time it involves the urban legend, “Blood Mary” in Mary, Will I Die? This was a creeptastic tale that will leave you chilled to the bone and being leery of mirrors! Mirrors have always been something that fascinated me as a child after reading Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There. Of course in later years, I became a little terrified of them when they started taking a darker turn! When four friends decide to amuse themselves with a game of “Bloody Mary” no one expected anything to come out of it. But five years later, these teenagers are realizing just how dangerous that game became. Steph sees the face of a girl she has never met, Grace sees her crush, Calvin, Elena sees her own longtime crush (not Calvin), and Calvin sees a terrifying face. They were all changed by what they saw that day and somewhere down the line, they all drifted apart. Five years later they are all freshman in high school and living their lives in the most normal of ways. Calvin sees terrifying things now and is always sketching the outcomes, Grace has become a social outcast, while both Steph and Elena are vying for volleyball team captain. But then things start to happen. Little things at first that are barely noticeable and then they escalate. After a classmate is gravely injured the teens find themselves drifting back together as they become connected to something far greater and darker beyond their imaginations. Then when a new girl comes to school, Steph is taken aback when she realizes it’s the girl she saw in the mirror all those years ago. Is it coincidence that she is showing up just as all the strange things start happening or is it fate? The fact that her name is Mary is also pretty telling! This book was downright creepy! I love how Shawn was able to incorporate those little instances where you see something out of the corner of your eye or we, the reader see that hand lashing out of the mirror just as the main character walks out of the room! It was just so freaking creepy! Definitely not a story you want to read next to a mirror…or other reflective surfaces, just to be safe (thanks, Supernatural!)! The story alternates between the four teenagers in third person point of view. I enjoyed getting inside each of the character’s heads. They were all mostly relatable. You had Grace, the social outcast with her social awkwardness (hello self!), there’s Steph who’s going through some self-realization about her identity, there’s poor Calvin who has been haunted by his visions for the last five years and then there’s Elena who I really did not care for the majority of the novel as she has that stuck up, Miss Popular thing going on. But I can happily say that all these characters go through growth and changes and that I was rooting for all of them by the end! The pacing to this one was pretty moderate. It was a speed that had you needing to find out what would happen next though there were bouts of more “ordinary” moments as well that weren’t really filled with horror or weirdness. Luckily, those didn’t last too long. It did make for a rather quick read as well in that sense as I read over half the book in one day without even realizing it! I liked that Shawn also included a reason for the spooky happenings, the terror didn’t really come about for no reason. Though I would have liked a little more detail to why and how it happened way back when it started. We get enough of answer that things make sense, but you know me, I always want to know more and find myself asking “why?” a lot! Lol. If you’re looking for a creepy read this Halloween I would be sure to add Mary, Will I Die? to the list as it was quite the bone-chilling tale! It will have you rethinking the amount of mirrors you want to keep in your house for sure! Overall Rating 4/5 stars Mary, Will I Die? releases September 7, 2021

  13. 5 out of 5

    ♡Ellie

    Yes, Yes, Yes to this creepy, suspenseful horror novel, and it’s here just in time for Halloween!! We’ve all been there, talked about scary legends, talked about scary things, some even have tried the Uiji Board.. but very few have done what these characters do.. they say those two words into the mirror, the two words even I’m too scared to write. LBH. Strange things happen, some unexpected, and others, well.. did they really happen? You’ll wonder what is real, and what is.. real. Elena, Grace, Ca Yes, Yes, Yes to this creepy, suspenseful horror novel, and it’s here just in time for Halloween!! We’ve all been there, talked about scary legends, talked about scary things, some even have tried the Uiji Board.. but very few have done what these characters do.. they say those two words into the mirror, the two words even I’m too scared to write. LBH. Strange things happen, some unexpected, and others, well.. did they really happen? You’ll wonder what is real, and what is.. real. Elena, Grace, Calvin, Steph.. they all said the name, they all saw something in the mirror, they each have their versos of what happened that day, but what no one saw coming.. Sometimes, nightmares become a reality.. eek! This spooky story, is a MUST read for the season, welcome autumn, and all things scary and haunted with this creepy, cringy read!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Ann

    I cannot express to you the fear I had of Bloody Mary as a child and the YEARS it took me to get over the fear...so why is this book peaking my interest so much? I suppose I'm a glutton for punishment. I cannot express to you the fear I had of Bloody Mary as a child and the YEARS it took me to get over the fear...so why is this book peaking my interest so much? I suppose I'm a glutton for punishment.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Wuerker

    Enjoyable tropes, reminding me of a spooky and fun CW movie. Highly recommend for a fun fall read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Waltz

    The cover is scarier than the book

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kajree Gautom

    Looking at the cover of this book, I was super excited. Mostly to read a horror book based on the bloody Mary ritual gone wrong. And that cover is so creepy and I love it so much, so I was really expecting from this book. Mary, will I die? wasn't disappointing, per se. But it surely was a little underwhelming. In the prologue, we follow a stormy day with four kids, trying to kill time as they stayed in. When they go into Elena's grandma's room and sees the ancient mirror, they decide to call B Looking at the cover of this book, I was super excited. Mostly to read a horror book based on the bloody Mary ritual gone wrong. And that cover is so creepy and I love it so much, so I was really expecting from this book. Mary, will I die? wasn't disappointing, per se. But it surely was a little underwhelming. In the prologue, we follow a stormy day with four kids, trying to kill time as they stayed in. When they go into Elena's grandma's room and sees the ancient mirror, they decide to call Bloody Mary. Elena sees her long time crush, Grace sees Calvin, Steph sees an unknown girl, and Calvin sadly sees a scary skull. Everyone is unfazed but of course a little spooked. The story then shifts to five years later, all of them four friends now on different paths in life. Yet, a spooky figure or feeling seems to never leave them. Everything gets crazier when a girl named Mary arrives in school. Well, this book was interesting. The beginning was creepy and I was very much hooked. When the year shift happened, it was still good. I was thrown aback to see the huge difference and changes, especially in Elena, but okay. I also hated Elena's character haha. We have multiple POVs in the story, so we get to see it unfold from all four of their eyes. Which was, tbh, good. There was a change in scenery and happenings and it acted as a great way to keep the readers wanting to flip the pages, know more, head forward. I liked Calvin's character and his chapters, his art and abilities. His friendship with Grace was adorable and I loved seeing the two of them together. Grace was adorable and I really felt for her. Even Steph. I wished the author would have delved deeper into Grace and Steph's story. Most of the times, the characters' stories felt like very on the surface and not deep enough to properly connect with them, root for them. The plot moved very quick and the story as a whole was fast paced. I loved the way the author showed these friends growing apart and then one anomaly bringing them together to give each other support. I really liked the way friendship was handled in this book. It was during the last few chapters that really unraveled for me a bit. First was the coming in of Mary, mid-book. It wouldn't have mattered a lot if she were to play a grander role, you know. But she didn't and while I understand her purpose, I would have probably loved more depth to her arrival. Then of course there was the whole thing including the creepy figuring haunting them, their curse and how to get rid. Well, I don't know what exactly I was expecting, but it was so much less scary than was promised. For a horror with that creepy cover, it could have pushed more even if its a YA. The build up was for grand something but then the result was pretty - meh. At the same time, I also wished that some of the explanations and scenes were given more time to sink in. Like, we got to know about the literal family curse for just a few sentences and then it was all other things happening, which made grasping and having it sink over really hard. Same with the last battle type scene. It was so haphazardly put that I just got lost and gave up trying to understand. And I'm well aware that this is a very subjective personal opinion. Anyhow, the end was not really it for me. I liked the way the book began and proceeded, and the author's writing was super fine. As a fan of horror, I would have loved for it push the boundaries and be much grander, use the new girl arrival trope properly for something sinister and all that. I did enjoy the way the climax turned out. The end felt very Disney-esque like though haha. Mary, will I die? was an okay read for me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Paige

    Disclaimer: I received this arc and e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: Mary, Will I Die? Author: Shawn Sarles Book Series: Standalone Diversity: Lesbian MC, sapphic romance Rating: 4/5 Recommended For...: young adult readers, paranormal, horror, Mystery Genre: YA Paranormal Horror Publication Date: September 7, 2021 Publisher: Scholastic Press Pages: 296 Recommended Age: 14+ (Death, Gore, Bullying, Catfishing) Explanation of CWs: There's a fair amount of blood and a good bit of Disclaimer: I received this arc and e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: Mary, Will I Die? Author: Shawn Sarles Book Series: Standalone Diversity: Lesbian MC, sapphic romance Rating: 4/5 Recommended For...: young adult readers, paranormal, horror, Mystery Genre: YA Paranormal Horror Publication Date: September 7, 2021 Publisher: Scholastic Press Pages: 296 Recommended Age: 14+ (Death, Gore, Bullying, Catfishing) Explanation of CWs: There's a fair amount of blood and a good bit of death in this book. Bullying is a central arc to this story. Synopsis: It starts innocently enough. Four kids - three girls, one boy - are at one of their houses, playing games. One of them has read about "Bloody Mary" and the idea that if you look into a mirror and say her name thirteen times, she will show you the future. Some legends say she'll show you your one true love or a skull to mark your death within five years. Others say that conjuring Bloody Mary will bring her into your world. Both sets of legends are true. The kids go through with the act, saying her name thirteen times. One girl looks in the mirror and sees her longtime crush. One girl looks in the mirror and sees the boy in the group. But she pretends to see something else. One girl looks in the mirror and sees a girl she's never seen before but can't get out of her mind. And the boy . . . he sees a skull. But he pretends to see something else. They try to laugh it off. And mostly they forget about it. Or at least they don't talk about it. Yes, over the next few years, whenever they look into a mirror, it's like there's always another figure standing in the background, getting closer. Just short of five years later, the four of them are no longer friends, having gone on separate paths. The girl whose house it was has always tried to avoid the mirror they used - because she always sensed someone in the background. One morning as she's passing by, she sees much more than her own reflection - it's a scary figure taunting her. She startles and breaks the mirror. When the pieces are put back together (barely), the figure is gone. That day in school, a new girl arrives. Her name is Mary... Review: For the most part I really like this book. I thought that it was a really good introductory read into the spooky season and I really liked how the author broke up the book into multiple points of view. I thought that the character development was pretty good and the plot was really well done. However, I did think that the World building was lacking in this book and that the book was a bit too fast-paced for a horror book. The book isn't really that long either so it's a very quick read if you're looking for that, but I kind of like my horror books to be a little prolonged and antagonizing. Verdict: it was good! I'm ready for spooks.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jodie "Bookish" Cook

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Book Review Title: Mary, Will I Die? By Shawn Sarles Genre: Young Adult, Horror Rating: 3 Stars Before I start this review I want to clarify that I have a love, hate relationship with young adult horror at the best of times because horror to me is gory, gritty and dark and young adult books like Mary, Will I Die are sadly lacking in all of those elements. However, there was some great character work and a really creepy atmosphere that kept me feeling on edge all the way through the book. We are in Book Review Title: Mary, Will I Die? By Shawn Sarles Genre: Young Adult, Horror Rating: 3 Stars Before I start this review I want to clarify that I have a love, hate relationship with young adult horror at the best of times because horror to me is gory, gritty and dark and young adult books like Mary, Will I Die are sadly lacking in all of those elements. However, there was some great character work and a really creepy atmosphere that kept me feeling on edge all the way through the book. We are introduced to our main characters, Elena, Steph, Grace and Calvin. One day as a tornado arrives they decide to play Bloody Mary as it is rumoured that if you say her name 13 times she will show you your true love or that you will die in the next five years. When they play all three girls see someone else that is supposedly their true love but only Calvin sees that he is going to die but almost all of them lie about this. Five years later the group are no longer friends and the game of Bloody Mary has receded into their memory. They have all changed in the last five years as Elena is now the most popular girl in school and Steph is a star on the volleyball team while Calvin in a loner and Grace is horror movie obsessed outcast and I actually quite liked this divide in their characters. However, the four are forced to reunited when an evil entity emerges that only they can deal with. I have to say honest the female characters were horrible in this book Grace and Steph were really unlikeable and Elena I flat out hated even at the end when they were supposed to have improved. That being said I did read the entirety of Mary, Will I Die? In less than a day despite not really loved it. It is a fast read and the Bloody Mary urban legend is always something I enjoy reading about especially the different interpretations of the legend. Despite the things I enjoyed about this book I did have a few issues, the main one being it is labelled as a horror but it isn’t scary at all. It is mildly creepy during the first third of the book but other than that it really lacked on the horror elements that drew me to this book in the first place. In addition to this the characters apart from Calvin aren’t very likely and seem very one dimensional but even I will admit Calvin’s relationship with Grace made very little sense. In terms of writing for a younger audience it is completely fine but for an older audience it can come across as quite stilted and the dialogue seems a little forced as well. While these issues due improve towards the end of the book it wasn’t enough for me to really enjoy the book so it only earns 3 stars for me as it was decent but there wasn’t anything special about it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    An ARC was provided by Scholastic Books in exchange for an honest review. Spooky season isn’t far away and Scholastic will release a new Young Adult horror novel.  Inspired by the “Bloody Mary” urban myth, four teenagers begin to realize that it’s not just a myth when they look into a mirror and say her name 13 times.  Read on for a book review of “Mary Will I Die?” by author Shawn Sarles. Mary, Will I Die? starts on a stormy afternoon when a group of four friends hang out after school.  Amongst t An ARC was provided by Scholastic Books in exchange for an honest review. Spooky season isn’t far away and Scholastic will release a new Young Adult horror novel.  Inspired by the “Bloody Mary” urban myth, four teenagers begin to realize that it’s not just a myth when they look into a mirror and say her name 13 times.  Read on for a book review of “Mary Will I Die?” by author Shawn Sarles. Mary, Will I Die? starts on a stormy afternoon when a group of four friends hang out after school.  Amongst the topics they discuss is the Bloody Mary myth. The Bloody Mary legend indicates that Bloody Mary will show you your one true love or a skull to mark your death within five years. Others say that conjuring Bloody Mary will bring her into your world.  Bored, they look into an antique mirror and say “Bloody Mary” thirteen times to see if the legend is legit. Elena sees her crush Henry, Calvin sees a skull, Grace sees Calvin and Steph sees a girl she doesn’t know.  Shaken, the group denies seeing anyone or anything to each other but Bloody Mary isn’t done with them just yet. I liked that each Mary, Will I Die? chapter was from a different viewpoint of the group of friends.  They each deal with uncertainty of their future and the terror of being stalked by the Bloody Mary entity.  There’s a ton of drama and I realized that some of the characters are really hard to like especially Elena.  Because this is a young adult novel I do think it could have been scarier even with the creepy happenings when the characters have their backed turned.  Mary, Will I Die? is a quick read and and a fresh take on the Bloody Mary myth.   About five years later none of the teens are friends.  Elena has started a relationship with her crush Henry and and has turned into the ultimate mean girl.  Her and Steph compete for the the role of captain of the volleyball team and Elena stops at nothing to get her way.  Strange things begin to happen as Calvin begins getting visions and Elena keeps seeing “Bloody Mary” all around.  The former friends try to put their differences aside and delve deep into some folk lore to put Bloody Mary back into her place.  

  21. 4 out of 5

    Autumn

    So this is one of those books that I bought based on the cover; y'all, and I was not too impressed with the storyline. I thought it was going to be super scary, but I was wrong. The story was not horrible, but it was not scary, which I wanted to read. When I think of anything to do with bloody mary I think of death and mirrors. Four teenagers played a game and what they brought to life is something that is sinister. As our story unfolds we see just how dangerous playing that game is. They stoppe So this is one of those books that I bought based on the cover; y'all, and I was not too impressed with the storyline. I thought it was going to be super scary, but I was wrong. The story was not horrible, but it was not scary, which I wanted to read. When I think of anything to do with bloody mary I think of death and mirrors. Four teenagers played a game and what they brought to life is something that is sinister. As our story unfolds we see just how dangerous playing that game is. They stopped being friends after the accident it seemed and now they will have to come together to stop it all. I think the only reason I have to give this rating is that I would have loved more backstory to who is Mary, not just the skim of it but the nitty-gritty of it. The characters were decent and you can see the mean girl-nice girl scenario play out with these characters. If you are looking for something that is not super scary and not long. This would be the book for you.

  22. 5 out of 5

    roadtopages

    I think the plot had potential but the stereotypical characters and mediocre execution didn’t hold it up. To be honest, I didn’t care for any of the characters and that was a grave problem, considering the entire story is to save them. I didn’t care for any of the relationships they had with each other. They didn’t seem realistic and felt that the problems were just created as a plot driver. I loved the concept of the drawings that Calvin drew. I really wanted to explore more of that. I wished t I think the plot had potential but the stereotypical characters and mediocre execution didn’t hold it up. To be honest, I didn’t care for any of the characters and that was a grave problem, considering the entire story is to save them. I didn’t care for any of the relationships they had with each other. They didn’t seem realistic and felt that the problems were just created as a plot driver. I loved the concept of the drawings that Calvin drew. I really wanted to explore more of that. I wished the characters would have studied the drawings, tried to analyse it. It would’ve impacted better. I never got the feeling that they were in danger till something actually happened. And the grimoire was very random. I don’t think their 5 minute research would make any difference. There was really so much that could have been done with this plot. The entire concept was amazing but it fell short, by a lot.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Karen Bullock

    While not an original themed story, this one still provides some creepy jump scares & a chilly atmosphere. Perfect for this upcoming Halloween season! A cast of four main characters that start out as carpool buddies in elementary school and grow through their terrible teen years. The ringleader of all their troubles dares her friends to chant a phrase 13 times in her grandmothers mirror and this is where the trouble begins. As everyone knows, sometimes things wished for usually have consequences th While not an original themed story, this one still provides some creepy jump scares & a chilly atmosphere. Perfect for this upcoming Halloween season! A cast of four main characters that start out as carpool buddies in elementary school and grow through their terrible teen years. The ringleader of all their troubles dares her friends to chant a phrase 13 times in her grandmothers mirror and this is where the trouble begins. As everyone knows, sometimes things wished for usually have consequences that follow. Fast forward to high school and the original four friends are no longer friends and each has changed drastically. As pressures are applied and the ring leader stirs the pot, a beyond creepy atmosphere rolls in like fog and the remembrance of the mirror and the things that were seen, heightens the anxiety. A great spin on an old urban legend.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mindy Rose

    a group of 9 year olds play a version of 'bloody mary' where they're meant to either see their soulmate in the mirror or mary herself, signifying their own early death; five years later as freshmen in high school, the kids find themselves facing off against mary as she begins wreaking havoc. eeehhhh. i don't know, this wasn't poorly written or anything, but it's a #yalit book and reads much more like a young reader. the protags are only 14 which, granted, is younger than the protags of most ya b a group of 9 year olds play a version of 'bloody mary' where they're meant to either see their soulmate in the mirror or mary herself, signifying their own early death; five years later as freshmen in high school, the kids find themselves facing off against mary as she begins wreaking havoc. eeehhhh. i don't know, this wasn't poorly written or anything, but it's a #yalit book and reads much more like a young reader. the protags are only 14 which, granted, is younger than the protags of most ya books, but even so i think this was a bit immature. i could see middle schoolers enjoying this, and the subject matter was all very appropriate so i think it would be s good fit. the plot is decent, there's some drama and some thrillery aspects.. i just think a freshman would feel it was childish, so i'm going with 3/5.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Danveshka Wong

    This book is perfect if you want a binge-read option. It doesn't take long for you to read it and the author doesn't make the book longer by adding unimportant additional info (thanks for that!). Overall, the book is not scary at all. The last pages of the book (view spoiler)[are where the 4 kids (now teenagers) confront the demon. The rest of the book is just like small references of you know, your typical demon trying to get out stuff. (hide spoiler)] . The ending was good, though there are thi This book is perfect if you want a binge-read option. It doesn't take long for you to read it and the author doesn't make the book longer by adding unimportant additional info (thanks for that!). Overall, the book is not scary at all. The last pages of the book (view spoiler)[are where the 4 kids (now teenagers) confront the demon. The rest of the book is just like small references of you know, your typical demon trying to get out stuff. (hide spoiler)] . The ending was good, though there are things that really didn't make sense (view spoiler)[ especially this whole, we successfully sealed the demon, but none of us speaks German (and please, we have Google Translate, if you can chat, you can Google Translate it!) (hide spoiler)] , the author does leave like a small open ending, but nothing that we can call a cliffhanger.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Miesha (BookedAnBusy)

    This one wasted no time getting to the action which I appreciated. Told in perspectives from the young protagonists, there was a point of view from Elena, Steph, Grace and Calvin. I didn’t care for Elena from the beginning, as I found her to be a bratty child who then grew up to be an even worse character in her teens. She really nailed the mean, vapid, popular girl stereotype. Steph was the rule follower, but when it fast forwarded to her as a teen, you see her go through self realization about This one wasted no time getting to the action which I appreciated. Told in perspectives from the young protagonists, there was a point of view from Elena, Steph, Grace and Calvin. I didn’t care for Elena from the beginning, as I found her to be a bratty child who then grew up to be an even worse character in her teens. She really nailed the mean, vapid, popular girl stereotype. Steph was the rule follower, but when it fast forwarded to her as a teen, you see her go through self realization about her identity. Grace was a follower from the beginning, who then became an insecure social outcast as a teen. Calvin was shy as a kid, and as a teen he is very artistic, but haunted by what he saw in the mirror. I enjoyed the multiple povs, and the growth that was shown. By the end of the book, my attitude towards Elena did not change. I just did not like her at all. I did like how the author explained the reasoning behind the spooky happenings, but I also would have liked a little more detail why and how it all started. This book had its moments of something happening from the corner of the eye, or a hand reaching out. But, I did want this one to be spookier. I do read a lot of YA that is more heavy, and creepy. I wanted more boundaries being pushed, and wanted something more sinister. Overall, this was a fast read, but I feel like this was geared more toward younger teens.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mary Donegan

    OCTOBER 2021 : 3 STARS. Debut Young Adult book. It starts innocently enough, 4 kids playing games. One of them read a book about “Bloody Mary” and the idea that if you look into a mirror and say her name 13 times, she will show you the future. The kids go through the act and each sees something different. They laugh off the results but as the years pass, the figure in the mirror never leaves them. The eerie parts of the book were great for Halloween-time. There’s always a girl in young adult boo OCTOBER 2021 : 3 STARS. Debut Young Adult book. It starts innocently enough, 4 kids playing games. One of them read a book about “Bloody Mary” and the idea that if you look into a mirror and say her name 13 times, she will show you the future. The kids go through the act and each sees something different. They laugh off the results but as the years pass, the figure in the mirror never leaves them. The eerie parts of the book were great for Halloween-time. There’s always a girl in young adult books with no redeeming qualities; maybe Elena will get scared enough to change by the end. I don’t usually read Young Adult books so I did struggle a little; puts you right back in high school. Overall this book was good for Halloween.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Skye

    3.5/5 I was really excited to read this book, even a little apprehensive as bloody mary was my childhood nightmare, and still to this day creeps into the back of my mind if I'm passing by a mirror in the middle of the night. Very quick read (I finished it in one day). My BIGGEST complaint was that Grace claims to have binged all of the "Winchester Brothers" and yet is clueless to legend of Bloody Mary?! That episode of Supernatural still scares me to this day! Overall it was an enjoyable book if y 3.5/5 I was really excited to read this book, even a little apprehensive as bloody mary was my childhood nightmare, and still to this day creeps into the back of my mind if I'm passing by a mirror in the middle of the night. Very quick read (I finished it in one day). My BIGGEST complaint was that Grace claims to have binged all of the "Winchester Brothers" and yet is clueless to legend of Bloody Mary?! That episode of Supernatural still scares me to this day! Overall it was an enjoyable book if you are into YA thrillers and don't get paranoid that merely thinking the name "bloody Mary" can summon her into existence.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gina Malanga

    This book was recommended to me by one of my new freshman who is a big fan of the horror genre. I’ll admit that I scare easy so I was worried that I was not going to make it through this book. It is based on the myth/folklore of Bloody Mary, and in this case kind of mixed with a Candyman aspect involving the mirror. These four friends have gone their separate ways as they enter high school but their experience with a particularly nasty mirror and a restless demon bring them back together to try This book was recommended to me by one of my new freshman who is a big fan of the horror genre. I’ll admit that I scare easy so I was worried that I was not going to make it through this book. It is based on the myth/folklore of Bloody Mary, and in this case kind of mixed with a Candyman aspect involving the mirror. These four friends have gone their separate ways as they enter high school but their experience with a particularly nasty mirror and a restless demon bring them back together to try to end the curse. There was one Point where I had to stop reading because it was too late at night in the book was scary LOL but an entertaining read for sure.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Melinda

    This book was REALLY good!!! I read like two reviews on here before I jumped into the book and they were suggesting the book was very centered on teenage drama. HOWEVER, even though teenage drama was involved in the plot it was NEEDED to make the story work so welll!!! I lovedddd the writing and the characters, I also really LOVED the new take on Bloody Mary it was AMAZINGGG. I can't recommend it enough. It had the PERFECT amount of suspense and scary themes I was terrified of mirrors growing up This book was REALLY good!!! I read like two reviews on here before I jumped into the book and they were suggesting the book was very centered on teenage drama. HOWEVER, even though teenage drama was involved in the plot it was NEEDED to make the story work so welll!!! I lovedddd the writing and the characters, I also really LOVED the new take on Bloody Mary it was AMAZINGGG. I can't recommend it enough. It had the PERFECT amount of suspense and scary themes I was terrified of mirrors growing up and this book literally made me scared to go to the bathroom by myself lmfao. I loved itttt 5/5 stars.

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