Ohhhhh, a horror movie turned into a book. It was really good, and it gave me the chills several times. I don't think I would be ever brave enough to say "Bloody Mary" five times in front of a mirror.. ever.
Besides the gore, Mary is presented exactly as a Japanese female ghost: long black hair, pale hands getting out of mirrors and water's reflections, and once out, she walks funnily, like she has not used her limbs in a while (Sadako, anyone?). And people who said her name could see her always in a mirror... how cool and creepy is that?
As in a movie, the 3 students who said her name, Bobbie (MC), Caine (MC's crush) and Naya (MC's BFF) have 5 days to find out what happened to Mary before they vanish. Every little and creepy thing they go thru (dreams, cuts all over the body, etc.) is a sign. To make things darker, the setting is in UK, in a All-Girls school (Mary died with her uniform, isn't that very Japanese-like?).
I will not deny that the romance part was a bit... MEH for me, but I am grateful that it was totally different from all those Paranormal Romances out there. For instance, it is not ALL about Bobbie and Craine (thank you!), their hormones are not in full charge every 5 seconds and it is not dramatic but actually simple.
Some of the mystery was kind of obvious, like **spoiler** Principal Dr Price being the Professor's daughter. If the author is describing his color of hair and her color of hair, and it is a different color of hair, it is definitely a clue.** And the whole story may be a bit predictable, like "Didn't I watch that movie already?". But although I have watched many movies with this kind of plot, I have never read one, so I am delighted.
Other things I loved: the names! So simple: Roberta, Naya, Grace, Sadie, Mark, Caine... No pompous names in a YA book, that is a miracle. And the school was divided in 4 different blocks, not A, B,C and D, but Austen, Brontë, Christie and Dickinson. Very original, IMO.
And the ending made me decide my rating. **spoiler**If it ended all goody-goody, I was going to be disappointed. A horror movie ALWAYS ends bad. And luckily the author did not disappoint. Ohh the chills.**