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.
OPINION: 5 STARS
Intense yet emotional, Girl of Nightmares has the same thread of creepiness interwoven into a beautiful and engaging story that we saw in Anna Dressed in Blood. Cas continues to be a favorite of mine, witty and funny yet endearing and so charming. I loved the plot of this one, from the depth Blake gives not only her characters but the implications of what they go through to the unexpected twists and the way she ties everything up in the end. This one had me completely captivated, and begging for more all over again.
I love Cas, so much. This boy cracks me up, from the wisecracks he makes to the intensity of what he feels. He is smart and perceptive, yet he isn't so perfect as to automatically figure everything out. Even when he knows something is off, he can't always put his finger on the specifics right away, and I love that not only about but him the way Blake has built him and the story. Cas is that guy who is a little bit of a mess, yet he is such a good friend, so loyal, and so honest in some ways, that you can't help but fall for him. He goes through even more character strides in this one, starting out in a different place than the opening of Anna Dressed in Blood, certainly changed after those events, and the way that impacts him shows beautifully in this one, while still continuing to change.
Blake has a knack for amazing characters, building them in a realistic and relatable way, even when they do things that either frustrate readers or just break their hearts. My love for Anna rivals my love for Cas, from the slight brokenness about her to her fierce determination. She has an amazing role again in this book, stealing the show at all the right moments yet letting the spotlight otherwise remain firmly on Cas. Then there's his two friends, who have some problems of their own in this one which add a great element to the book without detracting from the overall focus.
Then there's the plot, which is so well executed, and so dang brilliant. Creepier in some places than others, and always throwing something new to keep the pacing going, this book had me thinking about it while I was at work, itching to get home to finish. Blake definitely knows how to throw punches, and she even pulls in an awesome new location to this one that definitely feeds not only the gross factor but the creep factor as well. There are some elements to this one that will just rip readers apart in the best way, and even months after reading, I still can't get over everything that happens in this one, or the fitting way Blake rounds things out.
Tying out the awesomeness of this book is the writing, spry and full of life in a way that totally brings Cas to life, yet also paints some stellar pictures. Building in not only the atmosphere of the different place Cas ends up, but having an emotional note as well, this is the kind of the writing that says so much with so little. Completely enamoring from start to finish, Girl of Nightmares is an amazing and brilliantly woven tale that has earned its place on this reader's Favorites shelf.
Source: ARC received from author in exchange for an honest review
Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: August 7, 2012