Girl of Nightmares: review and giveaway!

August 6, 2012 2012, 4 star books, ghosts, giveaway, kendare blake, Wendy 119

anna dressed in blood girl of nightmares kendare blake giveaway

Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2)
by Kendare Blake

“It’s probably going to be blood,” Thomas says in a regretful tone that doesn’t match the devious excitement in his eyes. “It’s almost always about blood.”

If your dead, ghostly girlfriend sacrificed herself for you, you’d hope she’d at least finally be at peace, right? But it turns out poor Anna is still a lost, unmoored soul, and Cas Lowood is still haunted by her face everywhere he goes. In this sequel to Anna Dressed in Blood, which was one of my favorite books from 2011, Cas must find out what’s happened to the girl he loves, all the while uncovering more long-held secrets from his past.

Sequels are always a tricky business, so I breathed a sigh of relief when I found that it was easy to immerse myself in this world again. I love the dark beauty of Kendare Blake’s writing and her macabre humor, and I think most readers who enjoy a bit of levity with their horror will appreciate the way this story is written.

His skin is black as a struck match, cracked and oozing liquid metal heat, like he’s covered by a cooling layer of lava. The eyes stand out bright white. I can’t make out from this distance if they have corneas. God I hope they have corneas. I hate that creepy weird-eye shit.

There are some fantastically spooky scenes, particularly a jumpy one involving a Mrs. Bates-type of moment, and a tension-filled chapter set in the depths of an eerie Suicide Forest similar to this one. I do wish there were more spooky scenes, however, and that we spent more time with Anna. She is such a crazily vengeful, strong-willed spirit that her absence was keenly felt. What can I say, I love wallowing in ghoulish excess! I think I was a bit spoiled after the last book’s non-stop creepfest, but it truly doesn’t mean I enjoyed reading this book any less.

The tone in Girl of Nightmares is a little more serious than its predecessor, but we also get more emotional content as well since Cas is struggling with the loss of his girlfriend. I liked that the vividly imagined world we were introduced to in Anna is expanded here and that the story follows a logical progression, although I’m a little sad that it appears we won’t be seeing more of these characters. I didn’t realize when I started the story that this would be the last book in the series, but this conclusion is exactly what I would have hoped for. It feels…right, and I am very satisfied with the end of Cas and Anna’s story.

If you enjoy dark humor with your YA ghost stories, you’ve probably been salivating after this book as much as I have. But if you haven’t met Anna yet, what are you waiting for? She’s one ghost you really, really don’t want to make angry.

Release Date: Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Rated 4 out of 5 stars

This review also appears on GoodReads. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.

Here is Kendare’s doodle in the ARC she sent me:

anna dressed in blood girl of nightmares kendare blake giveaway

Nothing could set the tone for this book better, hah.

Win an autographed copy of Girl of Nightmares!

While I wouldn’t give up my doodled copy for all the magical athames in the underworld, we do have an extra autographed ARC to give away to one lucky winner! It features the first design with a bloody red cover, which is slightly different from the final one that matches the colors of the first book a bit more.

All you have to do is fill out the RaffleCopter form below and leave a comment. Since we’ve been hosting so many contests recently (and have so many more to come), this one is limited to U.S. only this time, however–sorry about that, international friends! We’ll have another contest for you soon.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

anna dressed in blood girl of nightmares kendare blake giveaway

119 Responses to “Girl of Nightmares: review and giveaway!”

  1. Vanci Le

    I loved the ending to Cas and Anna’s love. It made me tear up a bit for what he did for her. Now that was true love!

  2. SaraO

    Geeze Louise! I’m the 113th commenter…lucky number 13 (sorta, lol). Oh my gosh. After finishing Anna #1 I was constantly checking Goodreads and Author websites to see when the sequel was coming out. However did I miss that it already happened…Days ago! lol. I’m a bad reader. Plus, is it weird to be simultaneously happy/sad that this is the end to the tale? I always want more but hate to wait for the ending…Thanks for the alert that this one is the end. I probably would have read it expecting #3 and been a bit shocked at the ending…like finding a wall where you expected a cliff ;) Excited to read it!!
    P.S.
    I’m coming from http://thelibrarianreads.com OpenId won’t verify me! boo!!, lol

  3. SaraO

    Geeze Louise! I’m the 113th commenter…lucky number 13 (sorta, lol). Oh my gosh. After finishing Anna #1 I was constantly checking Goodreads and Author websites to see when the sequel was coming out. However did I miss that it already happened…Days ago! lol. I’m a bad reader. Plus, is it weird to be simultaneously happy/sad that this is the end to the tale? I always want more but hate to wait for the ending…Thanks for the alert that this one is the end. I probably would have read it expecting #3 and been a bit shocked at the ending…like finding a wall where you expected a cliff ;) Excited to read it!!

  4. Green Machine

    I read Girl of Nightmares on my Kindle and the ending was beautiful and it made me cry and if I could get my hands on an autographed copy I just sldkfja

  5. Green Machine

    Anna Dressed in Blood was awESOME I loveloveloved Anna so much and it totally had the creepiness factor down. And the covers for both of the books are just BEAUTIFUL and I WANT

  6. Jamie

    Honestly, I loved that this book was told from a male PoV and I loved the creepiness factor. Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. javalotta

    I loved Anna Dressed in Blood! It was a male POV – so nice for a change and it was such a great new twist on paranormal YA. The plot was not predictable. I never knew what to expect so it was a really fun read and very well written. I can’t wait to read the sequel!;)

  8. Rachel

    I crack up every time I see that doodle, Wendy! So sorry that we have to say goodbye to these characters. So nice of you to do a giveaway. :)

  9. Cassie Frye

    I am hoping that a lot of my unanswered questions in the first Anna book will be answered! :D Awesome giveaway and pretty neat doodle by Kendare!

  10. Shirley

    This is the last book in the series? So there’s only 2 books? Wow…I was hoping for more! (even though I haven’t read Anna yet, but I DO believe I’ll LOVE it when I eventually get to it!) Awesomeee review Wendy!<3 I'm so glad you loved this :D

  11. Jessie

    Is Kendare Blake awesome or what? I have Anna and have yet to read it, but I just want to hang out with the author. This sequel looks so good — I saw Steph Sinclair’s review and it rocketed up my “acquire now” lists.

    Awesome giveaway :) Thank you!

  12. Keira Nightingale

    I’ll have to give this, and the first, a read. Thank you for the review. I was tossing up whether to have a read but I definitely will now.

  13. Heidi

    Bwhaha, every time I see that doodle of Kendares I get incredibly happy. I loved the dark humor of Anna Dressed in Blood, and am so looking forward to this sequel. I have high hopes, am looking forward to the creepiness, but am sad to hear there isn’t more Anna. Because I like Anne. I was kind of rooting for her to kill a lot more in book 1…>.>

  14. Vegan YA Nerds

    Hmm, I don’t know if my comment went through so delete one if you get two of the same ;)

    I never really found the first Anna book appealed to me, plus I am a big scaredy cat, but there’s something about this book that makes me think I could read it!

  15. Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings

    I know I keep saying this but I am so glad you are back! I enjoyed this one, but I like you wish there were more spooky scenes in this one. This one lacked a bit of that tension that I loved in book one. I did enjoy that there was more of Carmel, Thomas and Morfran. I wish that there was just one more book. Yes, Anna got her happy ending but what about Cas and company? Still a good solid read! Can’t wait to see what Kendare does next!

  16. fourheadjen

    Anna Dressed in Blood was really unique and it was fun to get inside a guy’s head for once! And who doesn’t love scary ghost stories? :)

  17. Stephanie T.

    I really want Girl of Nightmares because this book has A LOT of great reviews by some harsh bloggers. I”m so excited for it and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

  18. Ashley

    Holy cow, that doodle is AMAZING! I seriously loved it! Best ever! :P

    Also, I’ll admit that I love these covers so much that I would own them even if they sucked… Which, lucky for us, they totally don’t! :P

  19. Lexxie

    This is one of the books I look forward to the most this year! I would love to win it, I feel like I just can’t wait :D

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway, Wendy :)

  20. ladykatebond

    Man, I loved Anna Dressed in Blood so much. That wry, Buffy the Vampire Slayer-meets-Neil Gaiman humor, with the heartbreakingly realistic characters living in a world of fantasy, really got me.

  21. Maria pronounced Mariah

    I actually just read Anna Dressed in Blood last week and so being the series junky I am I am ready to jump into the second book and see what happens to all the gang in Thunder Bay!

  22. readingdate

    I just bought this book so I’m not entering your very generous giveaway. But I’m so excited to see you gave it 5 stars! I loved Anna and am thrilled to hear the sequel doesn’t disappoint. That doodle is priceless too :)

  23. Donna Smith

    As you know, Anna was one of my favorite books of last year! She’s also one of my all time favorite characters in a book.

  24. E

    I loved Anna! It was such a perfect combination of paranormal and lovely. Cas is such an incredible narrator, and I can’t wait for Girl of Nightmares because of the cliffhanger?! Where did Anna go, and how will Cas find her?

  25. alicia marie

    I LOVE Anna Dressed in Blood. It’s just dark and creepy enough that it’s so good!! I cannot wait to read Girl of Nightmares : ) I love Cas and Anna!!

  26. Jill Marie

    The first book was so unique and haunting!
    I loved it!
    Can’t wait to see what is in store in the sequel!
    Thanks for the chance to win :}

  27. Melliane

    you know what? I really need to start this series! Well with the first one but it sounds so great! thanks for your review!

  28. Bookworm1858

    I’m excited to enjoy more of the darkness and humor from the first book; I never thought of myself as someone who likes ghost stories but it was one of the books that showed me that I do.

  29. Shelver506

    *blush* Actually, the first book is on my to-read list. But it looks really, really, really good, so naturally I’ll want to read the sequel right after!

  30. Sam

    I loved Anna and Cas in the first book and can’t wait to read the sequel soon. It’s a shame there weren’t as many creepy scenes in this as the first book – that was one of my favourite aspects – but I do look forward to finding out what happens next. Another fantastic review, Wendy! :)

  31. me9na

    So looking forward to the second book! Anna is one of my favorite characters of all time.

  32. Aspen Firefly

    I have not read Anna Dressed in Blood yet, but I am reall excited to read it and Girl of Nightmares! I’ve heard nothing but good things about the series.

  33. Kayla Beck

    For me, everything worked about Anna Dressed in Blood. It scared the crap out of me, and the characters were so well-developed. I was even surprised a bit in some instances, which is very rare for me. I can’t wait to read this!

  34. KaribbeanIsland

    I absolutely loved Anna Dressed in Blood. It reminded me a lot of Supernatural in a way. I thought all the characters were well written and worked really well together. I can’t wait to read about Cas and Anna in the next book.

  35. erin

    OOOHHH… thanks for a fun post and giveaway! I’ve heard such awesome things about this series :)

  36. Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian

    Fantastic review! So glad that this one got such a positive review from you, even though it is a tad darker than the first book. I loved Cas as a male narrator in Anna Dressed in Blood, and I also really loved the different colour of the font ^_^ That was just so cool XD

  37. Krispy

    I loved Cas’ voice in Anna Dressed in Blood. He was tough and funny and so believable. His relationship with his mom and with Anna was sweet too. I can’t wait to see more of him, and of course, I’m excited to find out what happened to Anna and to see her again too.

    Thanks for this giveaway!

  38. Krispy

    My favorite thing about Anna Dressed in Blood was Cas’ voice! He was tough and funny and totally believable. I also loved his relationship with his mom. Can’t wait to spend more time with him and to see what happened to Anna, who was fantastic as well. :)

    Thanks for this giveaway!

  39. Drake

    I have the first book, but haven’t had a chance to read it yet. I’ve heard both it and the sequel are amazing. I can’t wait to check them out!

  40. Mallorie Colvin

    I loved Anna Dressed in Blood (although I didn’t think I would) and I can’t wait to learn more about the power of the athame and the obeahman

  41. Neyra

    To be honest Wendy, I still haven’t read Anna Dressed in Blood >.< I was afraid that reading your review would contain spoilers, but I should have known better, you always have a way with making sure you describe a book without having to use any kind of spoilers :) Looking forward to these books, hopping over to my local B&N soon to buy the first one! :D Lol Neyra-

    • Wendy Darling

      I do try to avoid spoilers as much as possible in my reviews–I kind of enjoy the challenge! And yes, hurry up and read the first book, Miss Neyra. :)

  42. The Teen Book Guru

    WENDY!!!! I’m so happy you love Anna just as much as I do. She’s one hell of a ghost, and I just love her character so much. She’s vengeful and angry, at times, but her heart (if she has one???) is definitely in the right place. And I adore Cas to death (hehe get it? :P) so I really hope they get together in the end. Do they?? Wait don’t tell me! LOL Sorry. :’) LOVELY, smart-ass review, Wendy-doll! I can’t wait to read GoNM even more now! Although I really don’t want Kendare’s amazing series to come to an end.

    Amazing review, Wendy! I’m loving your blog and all of your fabulous reviews. P.S. I love that doodle that Kendare drew inside your ARC! LOL. <333

  43. Best Tan

    I already have a copy of the first book but haven’t got around to read it yet. I’ve heard awesome reviews about Anna Dressed in Blood and now your review of the sequel makes me want to read it more! I expect a lot of killing and blood. And it has to be scary. :D

  44. Sandra

    Can’t wait to continue on with this series! Most looking forward to more scary, bloody, creepiness.

  45. Sandra

    Can’t wait to continue on with this series! Most looking forward to more scary, bloody, creepiness.

  46. Sandra

    Can’t wait to continue on with this series! Most looking forward to more scary, bloody, creepiness.

  47. Emily

    I liked that it was written in a male POV. There aren’t enough books written from a boy’s perspective! This is the first real “horror” book that I ever read and loved. I’m dying for book two and seeing Anna again!

  48. Scarlett

    thanks so much for hosting this giveaway! I really want to read this sequel because I want to know how they get back in contact with Anna. Didn’t she go to hell or something like that? How does she break away from that evil strong power? These are just a few of the questions I would like some answers to!

  49. Becca

    I loved Anna Dressed in Blood, so I’m really excited about this sequel. I’ve definitely been counting down the days!

  50. Becca

    This is one I’ve been counting down the days for. I really enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood, so I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here.

  51. Ash @ Paranormal Indulgence

    Damnit, Wendy, I’d promised myself I wouldn’t get into this creepy shizz. I’m too much of a scaredy cat to handle it. But, you’ve managed to convince me to read this book where others have not. I honestly think it was that quote and the way you reacted to it that did me in.

    I’m not sure if I’ll thank you for keeping me up at night, but we’ll see. ;)

    • Wendy Darling

      Um, just be sure all the lights are on and all the doors are locked, Ash. Although I really don’t know if that would stop Anna! o.O

  52. Tasnim R.

    One of elements I like the most in the Anna Dressed in Blood series is the male narrator who is not perfect. He’s a little douchey! I mean who wouldn’t feel a little badass after chasing ghosts all over the country.

  53. greenduckiesgirl

    I hate it when wordpress logs me out! Anyway, second time trying to comment. I loved Anna dressed in blood so much and it really surprised me. Ghost stories freak me out and I really don’t like horror all that much. But Anna was so much more than that. I am very much looking forward to reading Girl of Nightmares!

  54. greenduckiesgirl

    I so absolutely loved, loved, loved Anna Dressed in Blood. Did I mention that I loved it? Because I did. Kendare Blake’s writing style was so fantastic and she sucked me in. Here’s the thing. Ghost stories creep me out so I was a little worried about how I was going to react. But it wasn’t just a ghost story or a horror story or a teen story. It was unbelievable and I recommended it to many. Was I thrilled to know there was a sequel.

  55. kindbooksandcoronets

    Even though I wasn’t completely overwhelmed by the first book, I keep thinking about it and am thinking of rereading ADiB and am really interested to see where the story takes off from where it left off.

  56. kindbooksandcoronets

    Even though I wasn’t completely overwhelmed by the first book, I keep thinking about it and am thinking of rereading ADiB and am really interested to see where the story takes off from where it left off. Besides the creepy scenes were really well done.

  57. Jessi (Geo)

    Anna Dressed in Blood was my first experience in the horror! It opened my mind to the genre.
    Thanks for the giveaway, couldn’t help but notice you have 1111 followers, 11 is my lucky number ;)

  58. dani_nguyen

    I really like this new horror trend in YA. Anna creeped me out pretty badly, so I can’t wait for Girl of Nightmares! Thanks for the chance to win!

  59. Sarah

    Okay, for a second comment I also loved that Kendare Blake made it possible for me to read in the male POV- because I usually go for women’s POV!

  60. Vivien

    I did enjoy Anna but I wasn’t blown away by it. For some reason I just couldn’t connect to the male pov. But that being said, I’m still really eager for this sequel. I hope I enjoy it more!!

  61. Rachel @ Unforgettable Books

    Thank you so much Wendy for this giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I absolutely loved Anna because it had real, scary and dangerous ghost, funny lines and fantastic characters!
    I’m so sad to hear that this book is the finale, but at least its a grand one!!!!! Wonderful review and thanks for the excerpts!!!!!! I also love the “dark beauty” of Blake’s writing.
    Thanks again!
    Rachel

  62. Katharyn Vela

    There were so many things I loved about Anna Dressed in Blood! I just loved how creepy it was and how much it reminded me of Supernatural!

  63. daydreamer11691

    Ok, I’m really excited for the creepy suicide forest. Ever since I heard about the one in Japan, I’ve been waiting for someone to incorporate it into a scary book.
    -Katie Marrone

  64. Unknown

    I enjoyed the first one, although I dont even remember how it ended. I need to recap before I read this one.

  65. Unknown

    I enjoyed the first one, but I dont even remember how it ended. I need to recap before I read this one.

  66. Stamanah

    I can’t wait to read this! Anna Dressed in Blood kept me up at night, the first time that has EVER happened to me.

  67. javalotta

    I loved the first book.-great plot and new twist on the paranormal genre+ boys POV for a change! Can’t wait to read book #2!:)

  68. starryeyedjen

    I love that these books are told from the POV of Cas, who is all snark and dead-pan honesty. And I love that Cas helps Anna overcome the trauma of her ghostliness and actually falls for her while doing it. I love that Anna gave me nightmares for DAYS. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like Anna.

  69. Ashley

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway! Anna Dressed in Blood is such an incredible and unique story! I can’t wait to see it continue. :)

  70. Ems

    I loved that even a ghost could find redemption in the end and I loved that Cas could see beyond Anna’s ghost-ness to what really made her tick. Brilliant book!

  71. Ashelynn Hetland

    oh my gosh, I LOVED everything about Anna Dressed in Blood, but mostly that it was narrated from a boy’s POV. I also really loved that it reminded me of Supernatural. <3

    I’m dying for the second book because I need to know what happens to Anna. Very very excited for it.