[REVIEW] Girl of Nightmares

Series: Anna #2
 Kendare Blake
 young adult, horror, paranormal, ghosts, fantasy, romance, supernatural, urban fantasy, magic
 June 17, 2014 (first published August 7, 2012)
Publisher: Tor Teen
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

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, pining for her. 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... Therese 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. 

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This is one of the books I've been holding off. I read Anna Dressed in Blood maybe two years ago. It was more of an 'okay' read for me. A LOT of people were raving about it then so when I didn't find it amazing or unputdownable or 'spellbinding' I just thought that it isn't for me.

And well.. it still isn't.

In all honesty, I found Cas' voice to be so generic. or neutral. It's kind of unrecognizable if he's a girl or a guy (or what!). He just didn't stood out in that aspect. I'd say that there's nothing very distinct about Cas. I never cared about him but admittedly there was a part of me that kind of care during the first book but here? Barely. I just read to finish.

Let me say this though: Cas is obviously overwhelmed by his emotions. All of these things happened because he can't seem to let go. He's too scared. He's too in love (?). He's too guilty. Of course, Anna may really be in a place where she's greatly suffering but why did his mind came back to her? It's because he never stopped thinking about her in the first place!

Despite that, I like how there's actually a tinge of friendship here. Okay. Screw that. There's a good amount of friendship here and I like it. A lot. Girl of Nightmares isn't just about Cas and his unhealthy obsession with Anna's ghost, it's also about his relationship with other people and their lives. Thomas is definitely my favorite character here - he's strong and he's everything you'll want for a friend. Carmel, on the other hand, is the character that felt a real to me. I like her fear and how she backed out for a while. I like how she took the courage to jump back but still carrying that fear inside her.

Girl of Nightmares barely absorbed me. Even though that's the case, it still had those moments when it gave me chills. I imagined the things happening to Anna and it was plainly sickening! Blake really knows how to pull a gruesome image. Also, I was greatly thrilled at certain parts particularly when they were in the Suicide Forest. It kept me at the edge of my seat! It gave me scare. It made my heart run fast. My mind kept on going: what if I'm Cas? Can I handle this? Nope. Glad I'm not him.

The climax had that feeling of urgency. Time is greatly involved. If Cas doesn't hurry he may die of blood loss. But I was never truly scared though because how/why in the world would Cas die? He's the bloodydamn main character for crying out loud! This is certainly not one of those moments when I had my doubts. I was so sure he'll survive. I don't even have to spoil that for you because you already know that.

OVERALL, Girl of Nightmares is a sequel that perhaps isn't very needed at all. If you ask me, it felt like a forced sequel - trying to make a problem out of something that's already been resolved. But if you like more of Cas and Anna, I'd say you should go for it. Cas and Anna just didn't exactly work for me right from the beginning.

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