gonGirl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: Library
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

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.

Review:
Ahhhhhhh!  I am so incoherently happy to have this in my hands!  Anna Dressed in Blood was one of my top books of 2011, and Girl of Nightmares was one of my most anticipated sequels (right up there with Insurgent)! I was not disappointed either! Not only is Kendare Blake an awesome person in real life, she’s an excellent writer. Cas Lowood couldn’t have let me down if he tried, and he is in amazing form in the beginning of this book, despite still being distraught over the loss of Anna.  I think we’re all curious to know how this plays out, and I have a feeling it will be bittersweet.  This is the last novel according to Blake’s twitter, so savor it while you can! Cas did manage to annoy me with his “I’m going to keep my hallucinations a secret” buisness, but what bugged me more was how cryptic all the adults were. You let this teenager go out and kill ghosts that could murder him horrifically, but you won’t help him with Anna? That’s ridiculous! Who are these people anyway?

I love Thomas and Carmel. They are perfect two-dimensional friends for Cas. They’re so different and they give up a lot, but they remain who they are throughout. The love story between Thomas and Carmel seemed doomed from the start, at least to me. The popular girls and the weird loner? But this novel doesn’t focus on their relationship, because it’s so easy between them all (though Carmel understandably is having some doubts). What really made me happy was Anna. Just seeing her again made me want to cry.  I love Anna.  I want them to save her, but really, how many ways can this story end, you know?  (No spoiler, just musing.)  I liked how Carmel provided relevant counter-arguments to Cas’s search, even if I didn’t agree with her.  I like that these friends don’t always agree, despite their easy camaraderie. Carmel fucks up, though, and hard. I won’t spoil it, but some of her decisions in this novel made me sad. And mad.  Very, very mad.

We meet someone new, Jestine, but I won’t go into details since she brings the spoilers with her. There’s a ton of creepy, terrifying adventure in the second half of this one, and I loved the journey the friends took, physically and emotionally. I wish we’d seen more of Anna, but I really believe that the first book was Anna’s story, while this one really belonged to Cas. It’s his time for discovery and growth, and he’s given a lot of opportunities for both.  The whole thing is a little bittersweet, because this is the last book, but I am so happy for the time I got to spend in Thunder Bay with Anna, Cas, Carmel, and Thomas.