Jul 10, 2012

Review: Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Girl of Nightmares: Kendare Blake

Publisher: Tor Teen (Tom Doherty Associates, LLC)
Publishing Date: August 7, 2012
Pages: 332 (ARC)

*This review contains some Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares spoilers. Why? Because I absolutely cannot review this book without doing so. I just can't.*

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.

Initial reaction of book in one word: WHAT?!

This book. I don't even know where to start. When I read Anna Dressed in Blood I felt that the book was about the budding relationship between Cas Lowood and Anna Korlov, and the mystery behind Anna herself. When I finished that book, I wanted more (which is typical for me when I read books). I read Girl of Nightmares and it's completely different--don't worry, that's not a bad thing. It still gave me some chills and fear while I was reading in the dark (maybe not the best thing to do if you're easily freaked out) which I liked. I feel like Girl of Nightmares was more of a mystery-thriller, with a little bit of Nancy Drew mixed in. And I liked it. No, I loved it. If you haven't read Anna Dressed in Blood, please do so before your not-so-friendly neighborhood ghost comes after you. If you have, pre-order Girl of Nightmares right now. Here's why.

How many books these days contain ghost hunters who fall in love with ghosts who drag their father's killer into Hell, taking themselves with it, and then the ghost hunter gives up everything trying to find said ghost he loves who is haunting him so he can free her and be with her? I'm going to say just about none. There are not very many books in the Young Adult genre that are like Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl Of Nightmares. These books are unique, and I love that.

That said, there are some parts of the book that I distinctly remember and must share. (SPOILERS!)

Okay, so this isn't really a scene, but I loved how I was constantly surprised. So much happened that I didn't see coming: the role of the athame; Jestine (who I originally thought was male and a killer and a backstabber); Carmel's change of heart; everything that happened in Europe; that darn Order; THE END.

Now, for some specifics. (MAJOR SPOILERS!)

When Carmel arrived in London and made a scene, I couldn't help but smile. I couldn't believe that Carmel would leave Cas and Thomas, but she did. Of course, it wasn't going to last. So when she barged in and was all angry and freaking out and handing out a piece of her attitude I just loved it. 

Suicide Forest. That whole scene was scary and creepy and really uncomfortable to read in the dark at my aunt's house surrounded by woods. However, the scene was still good. Really good. When the bodies kept getting closer and closer to Cas, Carmel, Thomas, and Jestine I was getting more and more freaked. The dead in the Suicide Forest were extremely zombie-like, which was an extra horror factor. For a second I actually thought one member of the group was going to die. (Who? Did they die? To find out, read the book.)

Believe it or not, but I thought of The Hunger Games when reading this book. When Cas and Jestine both had to go to Hell and only one could come out, I couldn't help but think of tributes going into an arena with only one coming out alive. This is totally a good thing and was totally cool! I loved it.

One of the best parts about this book was that I only had two problems with it. (I'm a picky person so this is pretty typical; no hard feelings!) 

It was missing something. What, I don't know. That's the problem. Sometimes I read a book and it lacks something, but I can't put a name to what that something is. Which makes things difficult. It might be that the book didn't have enough romance for me (I'm a hopeless romantic, what can I say?). Nevertheless, just because the book was missing something for me doesn't mean it will be missing something for you. And this book is totally worth reading again, so the missing of something isn't a big issue.

I'm a stickler with conclusions. I read books and I expect and want them to end a certain way--my way, of course. When I finished Girl of Nightmares my WHAT?! reaction was born. Then I had a sad face when I found out there will be no more Cas, Anna, Thomas, and Carmel after Girl of Nightmares. No. More. The conclusion wasn't bad, it just wasn't what I was expecting and had wanted. What did (do) I want? MORE.

I'm still new to blogging about books, so I'm not sure how well I portrayed Kendare Blake's Girl of Nightmares. However:

Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? Yes.
Would I reread it? Yes.
Would I purchase it? Yes.
Would I recommend it? Yes.

Now, run along and get ready for ghosts, blood, death, comedy, shockers, a great read, and more ghosts! (Oh, and I'd like to add how much I LOVE the covers of Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares. Very poster worthy!)

For more information on Kendare Blake and her novels, please click here.


  1. Ooh, your review has me so torn! I'm really looking forward to Girl of Nightmares but I have a feeling I may not like the ending! I don't know, I just get this vibe that it's going to leave me WHATing all over the place too!

  2. So I only skimmed your review because I am afraid of spoilers (thank you for the warnings, by the way!) but I am really excited to read this one! I am glad you enjoyed it. :)


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