Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Review: Scary Mary by S.A. Hunter

Scary Mary
by S.A. Hunter

Genre:  YA Paranormal
Formats avail:  ebook, paperback
Publication Date:  August 16, 2006* (print)
Word Count: approx. 35,990 (Novella)
Page count on Sony Reader:  79
Print Length: 144 pgs
Source:  ebook provided by author

*Smashwords ebook release July 29, 2010

DESCRIPTION from Goodreads:
Mary just wants to be left alone, but the cheerleaders, jocks, guidance counselors, and ghosts won't stop harassing 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 Shy that his home is haunted and not by Casper, the friendly ghost. Mary has to get rid of the ghost, thwart the school bully, do her homework, and not get detention. Mary's sure she can do all of that except for the last part. 

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MY REVIEW:
As soon as Mary opened her mouth, I knew I was going to like her character.  She is the school “freak” but doesn’t take guff from anyone, even the adults…or the ghosts.  Then there is Cyrus, the new kid.  I loved it when he totally dismisses the popular crowd and immediately takes an interest in Mary, much to her surprise. Cy ends up taking a trip to asshat land when spooky things happen in his house and he blames Mary for it.  But then he has a redeeming moment that brings his character back into my good graces. I did think the whole jerk phase was a bit out of character for him so I felt it was only a matter of time before he came around.

Don’t let the “Scary” in Scary Mary fool you. The cover has a dark tone and it is not something I would have been drawn to normally, but it really isn’t scary. This novella starts out with a light and snarky tone then takes a wee bit of a darker turn when the malevolent spirit in Cy’s house enters the story.  However, there are some lighter paranormal elements like the playful ghost dog that takes a liking to Mary and just wants to play catch (I guess dogs don’t change much in the afterlife).  There are also some other ghosts that are not so mean and actually help Mary along the way.

The dialogue is snappy and snarky and helps the story move along at a good clip.  The writing style was comfortable and it was easy to fall into the story. You have all the normal YA features:  high school angst, mean girls (and boys), he likes me/he likes me not moments, and a quirky BFF.  But you also get a ghost dog and a fortune-telling Grandma.

Color me hooked -- I want to know what happens next!  I want to know what happens with Cy and Mary, I want to know if the mean girl stays mean, I want to know if Kyle is affected at all by what happened and I want to see more of the ghost dog.  I’m looking forward to seeing what ghostly situation Mary and her not-quite-Scooby-gang get into next.  I’ll be waiting for the downloadable version but if you like reading on line, you can catch the next book, Stalking Shadows, which is available as a free online read.  It is recommended that you read Scary Mary first.

Rating:  4 – I Really Liked It

Typos found:  8

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This book is available in both paperback and ebook versions.  You can find S.A. Hunter on the web at:

Website/Blog: http://www.sahunter.net/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/sa_hunter

Get the book!  
- This ebook is available FREE at Smashwords and B&N, and as a free online version.
- Also available to purchase from Amazon for Kindle and in Paperback.



  

7 comments:

  1. Hey MIchelle! I like the typo count, that's really helpful to people like me who get distracted by those darn things ;) Nice review!

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  2. I downloaded Scary Mary a few weeks back when I saw it mentioned in the blogosphere. After your review I might have to bump it up in my TBR pile.

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  3. Hi Grace! Good to know it is helpful. I suspect the authors work hard to eradicate them (I do send them a list). One of the upsides for indie authors and for ebooks is that stuff like that can be fixed and a new version uploaded.

    Hi Chrizette! I hope you enjoy it. It's a quick read.

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  4. I really appreciated the list. Having just fixed the typos, hopefully there aren't too many left. (Though I know there are probably still a few.) And Michelle, I had no idea that so many of the italics that I specified were lost. It didn't happen during conversion but sometime while on my computer. I was surprised by the number and quite chagrined. I hope I fixed them all. I just uploaded the corrected draft to Smashwords. I don't know when the new edition will be pushed through to B&N and other sites.

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  5. Hi S.A., thanks for letting me know. I'll go through it and update the count on the review as soon as I get a chance. I'm glad it was helpful to you :)

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  6. Oh please, if you look again you may find more than 8. Don't trouble yourself. ;-)

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  7. lol! no worries - I promise to only check the ones I found :)

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