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I Belong

Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

TitleGirl of Nightmares

Author: Kendare Blake

Genre: YA Horror/Paranormal

Series: Anna (Book 2)

Publication Date: August 7, 2012

FormatHardcover, 332 Pages

ISBN-10: 0765328666 (Tor Teen/Macmillan)

ISBN-13: 978-0765328663 (Tor Teen/Macmillan)

Reviewed by: Bridget


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.

Quick & Dirty: Hauntingly scary book filled with freaky moments, sweet romance, great action, and a uniquely intriguing plot. This was an amazing sequel that is sure to be loved by all fans of the young adult horror/paranormal genre.

Opening Sentence: I think I killed a girl who looked like this once.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

It’s been months since the beautiful ghost of Anna Korlov sacrificed herself to save Cas and his friends.  No matter how much Cas tries to forget her, no one holds a candle to the ghost girl that captured his heart.  Cas knows that Anna is where she belongs, but he can’t help but wish that she could come back. Then he starts to have nightmares filled with visions of Anna being tortured.  She is supposed to be at peace now, so why do all of his dreams seem like she is in excruciating pain? Then Cas’s nightmare’s start to become more real and he soon realizes that they aren’t dreams after all, but reality.

Cas will stop at nothing to save Anna from the hell she is living in, even if it means going there to get her out.  As he researches how to save her, secrets start to surface about the athame that he has wielded ever since the death of his father, and its connection on how to save Anna. Cas and his friends are taken on a very dangerous journey to try to save the girl that once saved his life, and he has to decide what he is willing to give up to accomplish his goal.

Cas is the perfect hero. He is a kick butt fighter, but he is also humble about it.  He is a very loyal friend and a genuinely good person.  He is very courageous and makes some really tough decisions throughout the story. But he never backs down and is willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to do the right thing.  I admired Cas and found him really easy to relate to.  Being inside his head is exactly what I picture it would be like inside your average teenage buy (minus the whole host hunter thing). I loved his character and I am sad to see his story end.

Probably my favorite character in this book is Cas’s best friend, Thomas. He is a witch and he was the one that sent the tip in to bring Cas to Thunder Bay. While he is slightly awkward and dorky at times, he is also extremely brave and funny. He is the best friend you could ever ask for. He supports Cas 100% even when what Cas is doing seems crazy or dangerous. The loyalty and friendship he expresses is remarkable and makes him really endearing.  He is dating the other member of the group, Carmel.

Carmel is your average gorgeous and popular teenage girl.  Being a ghost hunter isn’t in her blood like it is for Thomas and Cas.  So for Carmel it’s hard for her to give up her normal life to chase around the supernatural.  She cares about the guys more than anything, but at times she wants things to go back to normal.  I love Carmel’s spirit, she is strong and brave, but she’s not afraid to say enough is enough.  She speaks her mind and has a pretty spunky personality.

I loved this book, it was a unique read. It is an amazing ghost story with just the right amount of horror thrown in. It took a little bit for me to get into the story but once I did I devoured it.  The cast of characters are so engaging and developed to perfection. The action and adventure is creepy and suspenseful.  While I wish there would have maybe been more romance, the little there was, was super cute.  I loved Blake’s writing, she really knows how to captivate you and make you want to keep reading.  This is the end of the Anna series, which makes me sad because I loved the setting she created, but she left me very satisfied.  I look forward to whatever Blake comes up with next, I’m sure it will be wonderful.  I would highly recommend this series to anyone that is looking for a great young adult book with a good scare in it.

Notable Scene:

“I’m coming for you,” I shout over the drum. “And I’m coming for him. Tell me how. Tell me how to get there!” She cringes. There’s smoke, and wind, and screaming, and it’s impossible to tell which side it’s all coming from. I lower my voice. “Anna. What do you want me to do?”

For a second I think she’ll stonewall. She takes quaking, deep breaths and with every exhale bites down on her words. But then she looks at me, straight at me, into my eyes, and I don’t care what she said earlier. She sees me. I know she does.

“Cassio,” she whispers. “Get me out of here.”

Anna Series:

1. Anna Dressed in Blood

2. Girl of Nightmares

FTC Advisory: Tor Teen/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Girl of Nightmares. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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