Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

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Girl of Nightmares
Kendare Blake
Series: Anna, #2
Release date: August 7th 2012
by Tor Teen


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.

 *A copy was provided by Macmillan for review purposes*

This is one example of a book I would read for the cover alone. Heck, slap this cover on a 9000 page Spanish history book, and I will read it ALL! Even though I don’t know Spanish >.< Luckily, what's inside this cover is just as incredible as the outside and will leave you equally spellbound!

It was clear from the beginning that Anna was not going to be as big a character as in the first novel. I was a bit disappointed at first because Anna is fabulous and crazy, but I can assure you that her absence is filled so formidably that you will not be left with any longing for her. She’s not completely absent either, she has her way of making herself present in the story. Cas, though, he’s still there in his full glory. He’s got a fabulous sense of humor and incredible charm that fill the pages yet again. His loyalty to his friends, the determination behind his wants; it’s admirable and makes him a positively strong, enchanting character. He’s definitely kept his place as my favorite YA male protagonist.

Along with Cas, comes the laughs. (This was a totally unintentional rhyme, I swear!) It’s really one of my favorite aspects of this series: How Blake can easily blend in laugh-out-loud funny dialogue inside such a creepy, dark story is a great feat! It makes it not only scary, but just plain fun and entertaining, too.

“Every time I question him about the feasibility, he smiles at me like he’s Yoda and I’m just a dumbass without the Force.”
-Quoted from the uncorrected proof.

Aiding him in his mischief, Carmel and Thomas are worthy of mention as two fantastic supporting characters that have just as much soul in this series as Cas himself. The group dynamics make them a powerful trio and I was pleasantly surprised by the direction Blake takes them in this sequel.

In Anna Dressed in Blood, the plot was creepy and horrific. In Girl of Nightmares, it is turned up a notch. Although it may be a tad less creepy, I felt much more afraid in this one; it has a more serious, all encompassing tone. The vibe is more sinister and the scary parts are downright terrifying. Let’s just say, things get pretty out-of-hand-serious. I loved it. I’ve been a fan of horror my whole life and while I truly enjoyed the first book, I completely fell in love with its sequel!

As for the ending: Perfection! True, immeasurable perfection!

An absolutely thrilling sequel that will render you speechless in awe, Girl of Nightmares is filled with compelling characters and spine-chilling events. Fans of Anna Dressed in Blood will not be disappointed!

5 Hot Espressos
 The Anna series:

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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52 Responses to “Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake”

  1. slayra

    Aah, I can’t wait for August 7 (or for my copy to arrive, eheh)! This one seems great, I’m only disappointed that Anna doesn’t appear as much, but oh well… 🙂

  2. Nick

    I’ve got to agree about the cover. It’s absolutely stunning. I can’t wait to read this book, Giselle! Good thing it comes out next week, so I won’t have to wait for long. 🙂
    It’s disappointing that Anna doesn’t appear too much since I love her for her freaky and crazy nature as well. Plus, her ability to rip people is pretty fantastic.
    Still, I’m glad to hear that Cas is still as funny in this book! 🙂
    Yay for more creepiness!
    Great review, Giselle! 🙂

  3. -Ria xo

    LOL! I’m not as in love with this cover as you are, but it is super pretty!

    I didn’t even know Anna Dressed in Blood has a sequel! Anna was such an amazing character, so it’s a shame she doesn’t appear more in this. ):

    Yes, Cas is awesome! As are Carmel and Thomas. So it’s great to see the gang back together! I could just about handle Anna’s creepiness, I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle something that’s even scarier!

    Thanks so much for an awesome review, Giselle!

  4. Amy

    Squee!! I am reading this right now!! (Well, obviously not right this second, but you know what I mean.) I am loving it so far. I love the chilling vibe of this one. I’m not too far in yet, but I can tell this is going to be fantastic. I love Thomas and Carmel! I thought I was going to have to wait until August 7th for my pre-order like mostly everyone else. I just about died when a surprise finished copy showed up for me yesterday!! OMG the cover is so freaking gorgeous for real. Anna and the letters are a bit raised up and they are glossy.

  5. Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian

    Oh gosh, I am SO looking forward to this one! Awesome review, and you must be super talented to unintentionally come up with that rhyme, Giselle XD Yes, I’ve heard that there isn’t too much of Anna in this one, but it’s great to hear that the holes are filled up very well. Gosh, I miss Cas >_< Thanks for the review! <3

  6. Mary @ BookSwarm

    YAY! I loved the first novel and am glad to hear the second one lives up to it. Cas is so awesome and I do love how, even though it’s a horror story, there are still humorous moments. Very Joss Whedon!

  7. Silverlight

    I love when your excited about a great book! Your reviews shine even more!! I really need to get on the ball and start this series! Hell w/ a review w/ the words “perfection” in it, it must be perfect! 🙂

  8. Sam

    I can’t wait to read this! I loved the first book! I’m glad to hear Cas is still his humorous self. That was one of my favourite things about Anna Dressed in Blood. Great review, Giselle! 🙂

  9. Kat Balcombe

    Oh I KNEW I shouldn’t have clicked this link – you’ve made me want it even MORE *jumps up ‘n’ down in 5-year-old tantrum stylee*.

    Six days to go, isn’t it ?!

    Glad you enjoyed it 😀

  10. Kindlemom

    I am so glad you loved this one too! I have heard some people say they were disappointed in it and I loved Anna Dressed in Blood so I was really hoping this one would be great too!
    Nice review!

  11. Camille Picott

    Seriously Giselle, you really know how to sell a book. 🙂 I don’t like horror, but based on your review these really sound like books I want to read. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Shooting Stars Mag

    I really love that cover. I still haven’t read Anna Dressed in Blood but oh so want too. I’m glad the sequel was everything you wanted. LOVE the addition of humor, always fun.


  13. Addie R.

    I completely agree with your review. I loved the character’s sense of humor and the creepiness turned up a notch. I did miss Anna, but the rest of the bookd definitley makes up for it. Awesome review!:))

  14. Katie @ BlookGirl

    I haven’t read the first book yet, but I am buying it this week! I didn’t want to read your whole review of this book, so I don’t accidentally spoil anything, but I must say, that Yoda comment is HILARIOUS! Great eye 😉

  15. Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue

    I SO need to get off my butt and read ANNA so that I can snag this one. It sounds absolutely spine-tingling and creepy and AWESOME. I’m pleased you enjoyed it, Giselle! FAB review that has piqued my interest in this series even MORE!

  16. Karen @ Book Light Graveyard

    I didn’t fall in love with the first book, and since the main thing that i did like in that book was Anna, I’m not sure how I’ll feel about her not being in this one very much. I’m still on the fence about whether to read this one or not, so we’ll see.

  17. Sarah (saz101)


    Seriously, you’re driving me NUTS. This sounds epic, and… ha! I misread the sentence about the cover a couple of times! I thought you were saying you read it in Spanish, or you WOULD read it in Spanish if you had to, and… ha!

    Seriously, Giselle, this sounds AMAZING, and your review kidn of has me salivating… I feel like one of Andy Fukuda’s creepy-ass ‘People’ *shudders and goes back to drinking my latte*

    AWESOME review. Like always ;D

  18. Rachel

    Cas is such a wonderful protag. While I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first, I was sad to say goodbye to the characters. Wonderful review Giselle. 🙂

  19. Candace

    I agree about that cover, love it! I enjoyed this one and I loved the humor thrown in but I didn’t like ut AS much as the first. Ca’s was a bit broody, which I understood, but I guess it was a bit depressing. But still, it was fab and I would read about Ca’s if the books kept coming, he has great snark!

  20. The Teen Book Guru

    Oh em gee Giselle, I cannot even being to tell you just how happy I am that you loved this. My review copy should be arriving any time now, and I’m so excited to dig in! I hope Kendare won’t disappoint. 😉 YAYAYAYAYAY! OMG I’m so haapppyy! I can’t wait to read this. Thanks for the lovely review, Giselle.

  21. Meg K.

    Great review! I still have YET to read ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, and GIRL OF NIGHTMARES have been getting lots of rave reviews lately. 🙂 Your review definitely pushed ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD up a few more spots on my TBR list!

  22. Melliane

    One day I’ll definitely read this series. I need to! I’m glad this one was amazing it’s always so nice to have a great sequel like that.

  23. Kathy Ann Coleman

    I just grabbed Anna Dressed In Blood at WalMart the other day and haven’t sat down to read it yet. Might need to move it up my list. This series seems to have a lot of promise and the cover for this new one is totally gorgeous.

    Great review. 🙂

  24. Sharon ObsessionwithBooks

    An awesome review Giselle! yours is the first I have read for this book and I am so pleased it was just as satisfying and as creepy as Anna (which I absolutely loved).

    I can’t wait for release day!! Thank-you for sharing 🙂

  25. Alexa

    I’m glad to know you enjoyed this book. I did like Anna Dressed in Blood but I struggled with liking Cas so I hope his personality shines a little brighter in this book. While I’m not a huge fan of horror I thought the first book wasn’t that scary so if this takes it up a notch it might just be what I was looking for.

    Thanks for the great review! Glad you loved it 🙂

  26. April

    glad to see you liked this! I’m dying to read it.. I’m a bit miffed about anna not being as big in it, but I trust your judgement. and yay for perfect ending! 🙂

  27. Carina

    Oh, I soooo need to buy a copy of this one. 😀 I’ve been reading quite a few reviews for GIRL OF NIGHTMARES today and yours just tops it off. I’m glad that this sequel can live up to its predecessor and I can’t wait to delve into its creepiness myself. 😀

  28. Tammy

    I love this cover also. I hate to admit but I do buy alot of books based on the cover. This book is on top of my tbr pile. Thanks for the great review.