Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Goodreads Summary:It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on.
His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.
Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.
Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.
Right off the bat I want to say that I didn’t enjoy Girl of Nightmares as much as Anna Dressed in Blood. So I’m going to do a list type review and tell you what worked and what didn’t.
Things that didn’t work for me:
The pacing of this novel was very slow. It took me a while to really get into it. I have
very limited reading time, so when I finally sit down and read at night, I need a book that
can suck me in and not let me go. If the book doesn’t do that, I find myself distracted by
twitter and YouTube. That’s exactly what happened with Girl of Nightmares. It was the
first book I read in October, and it took me from the 1st to the 13th to get through. Even
when I finally sat down and decided I needed to finish it, there wasn’t a point in the novel
when I found myself excited to turn the pages. It was just a very mellow read.
The second thing that didn’t work for me were the characters. If you’ve read Anna
Dressed in Blood you’ll understand that the main character, Cas, has great reason to be
depressed at the start of this novel, but I wasn’t feeling his attitude. Everything annoyed
him, and most of Cas’ thoughts were hoping his friends wouldn’t do something stupid or
that they would just leave him be. He was unnecessarily rude at times, and I didn’t
appreciate that. The only character I found myself loving, as always, was Cas’ best friend
Thomas. He’s loyal, adorable, lovable, and even when he’s going through some things he
just asks for time, like a reasonable person, flaws and all.
Another thing that was missing was the scare factor. Anna Dressed in Blood had a really
great creepy tone with scary scenes interspersed throughout and I found Girl of
Nightmares to be missing this. Cas wasn’t hunting down terrifying ghosts, he was too
busy brooding over Anna. I guess I just wanted more.
Things that worked for me:
As I mentioned earlier, Thomas’ character was great for me. Along the same lines, even
though Cas wasn’t great at the beginning of the book, his friendship with Thomas was
fantastic. I love the dynamic the two of them have together. They work well, and
although it’s carrying all the weight most of the time, when Thomas was hurting and
needed a friend, Cas was there to offer the awkward shoulder.
I also thought that the third musketeer in their club, Carmel, was a very real teen.
Kendare Blake did a good job portraying the real difficulties that teenagers face. It’s not
all about the paranormal drama. Carmel having second thoughts about being involved in
the paranormal world was realistic, God knows I would be having ALL THE SECOND THOUGHTS.
The ending kind of redeemed the book for me. We get more Anna, which I always enjoy, and things wrap up pretty nicely. I enjoyed the ending more than I did the rest of the book. I would say, if you loved Anna Dressed in Blood then you can pick this one up if you want some conclusion, but it's not an essential sequel. If you haven't read the first book then it's a definite must read. Go pick it up now!