Review: Scary Mary by S.A. Hunter

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Title: Scary Mary

Author: S.A. Hunter

Series: Scary Mary #1

Genre: YA Paranormal

Self Published

Summary (from Goodreads)

Mary just wants to be left alone, but the cheerleaders, jocks, guidance counselors, and ghosts won’t stop harrassing her. When a new boy starts school, he surprises Mary by befriending her. That’s a rare thing for the school freak, but her unusual abilities put a rift in their budding friendship when Mary has to tell Cy that his home is haunted and not by Casper, the friendly ghost.

Review

So two of my younger siblings have been telling me that this book is a must read. In Taylor’s words, ‘It’s like Carrie 2 bad. Bad in a really good way.’

I have to say, I agree.

Scary Mary reads like every Scary Movie film made. Predictable, yes; entertaining, yes; going to stay in you mind for more than ten minutes afterwards, no. The characters were all  comfortable cliches – Mary the outcast, Rachel her wacky friend, Vicky the evil cheerleader, there was nothing groundbreaking or original. But I think sometimes that’s nice. It’s like watching a film where you know all the lines before the actors speak them, but you enjoy it any way.

The plot was reasonable, though the signposting was so obvious I had the ending figured out about three chapters before, and some of the friendship drama was a bit random – Cy ran a bit hot and cold at times, and Rachel’s decision to randomly stomp off seemed a bit contrived to make Mary have to go somewhere alone. Again, it comes back to the cliche thing. Scary Mary has all of them, but if you go in knowing that (‘Carrie 2 bad. Bad in a really good way’) it’s still an entertaining read.

It didn’t take me long at all to read – I finished off most of it while in the bath, before the water even got cold – and while that’s partly because it’s quite short, it’s also because the writing style is fairly engaging and easy going. There were some clumsy passages – a few bits of unintentional repetition and some phrasing that didn’t read right, which comes from being copy-edited not properly edited – but overall the writing was pretty clean and straight forwards. The formatting and copy-editing were good too – I didn’t spot any mistakes, and I’ve read published books that weren’t as neatly formatted for Kindle.

And this one’s free, so definitely worth checking out. If you hate it, it won’t have cost you anything but the time it took you to realise. And like my sister, Charlie (who has bought the sequel), you might just find it’s your new favourite book.

Rating: 3.5/5

S.A. Hunter’s Website: http://www.sahunter.net/

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