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Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre

Revenge is sweet until you lose control.

Interests/Topics: bullying, revenge, paranormal/supernatural activity, romance, family relationships, friendship, suicide, physics, time travel, death, conspiracy

Curriculum Connections: English, Physics

Gender: F/M

Age: 14+

Blurb: A couple of years ago my daughter became adamant about not sleeping in her own room. We couldn’t convince her otherwise, and often woke up to find her asleep in the dog bed. When we finally got to the bottom of the problem we had to remove the mirrored doors from her closet. It turns out that someone at school had told her the story of Bloody Mary.

If you’ve ever attended a sleepover you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s the classic party game, along with Light as a Feather/Stiff as a Board and Truth or Dare. Bloody Mary supposedly appears in the bathroom mirror if you light candles and chant her name. Good stuff if you’re into scaring yourself half to death.

Edith, in Mortal Danger, never gets invited to sleepovers. The only interaction she has with her classmates at the prestigious Blackbriar School is as the target for their sadistic bullying. After three years of relentless abuse, Edie, broken and alone, climbs the guardrail of a high bridge determined to end it all.

In her last moment of life she is offered a deal she can’t refuse. What if she could exact revenge on the people who showed her no mercy?

But no deal comes without consequences, something Edie learns too late. Revenge is sweet until your nightmares become real.

Close your windows, cover your mirrors, and be very, very careful what you wish for.

Flavour: “But the older I got, the meaner the kids became, particularly the beautiful ones. To get in with their crowd, you needed a certain look, and money didn’t hurt. Teachers fell in love with whatever the Teflon crew told them, and most adults had enough secret cruelty to believe somebody like me had it coming—that if I tried harder, I could stop stuttering, get a nose job, dye my hair, and join a gym. So clearly it was my fault that I’d rather read than try to bring myself up to the standards of people I hated.” (8)

“No, this was a disguise for my undercover work at Blackbriar. To infiltrate the inner circle, the beautiful people needed to think I’d changed enough to become one of them. Hence, the camouflage. I’d always been an overachiever in the academic world, now it was time to apply that trait to my social life.” (66)

“’Is this because of me?’ I asked as he put the car in drive. Kian should have answered right away with a firm denial. He didn’t. ‘I don’t know,’ [he said.] ‘Did I do this somehow?’ A shriek bubbled in the back of my throat as I saw that crimson splatter over and over, out from the raw hole that was Brit’s mouth, cheeks eaten away, so much pain, so much. Her eyes were wild with it and swimming in fear. ‘Of course not, you’d never hurt anyone, Edie,’ [Kian said]. You wanted them all to suffer, a little voice said in my ear. So it begins.” (157)

“’Bloody Mary,’ Davina chanted, and Jen chimed in. I didn’t say a word; I couldn’t. Fear crept up my spine on caterpillar feet as the other two whispered. They were smiling until the glass darkened. Our images distorted, warped sideways, and then it was like the creature in the mirror wiped us out of existence. She was a wraith of a thing in a ragged white nightdress, her face all bones and eye sockets, with a mop of tangled dark hair stringing down her cheeks like damp seaweed. The dead girl on the other side pressed her fingertips to the glass in front of the candle, and the flame winked out. When she smiled, it was like staring into an open grave. Jen shrieked and stumbled, dropping the other candle; it rolled across the floor and went out, bathing the room in shadows.” (184)

“I had no idea if the Lit teacher had anything to do with this, but I couldn’t dump a supernatural conspiracy on them, especially with me at the center. If I mentioned sides and games pieces, immortal monsters, diabolical corporations, and faceless evil, they’d just point and laugh before leaving.” (208)

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