(Published August 7th, 2012 by Tor Teen)
Summary ***Spoilers for book one***: When Cas realizes that Anna--the ghost he loves who sacrificed herself to save him and his friends--is trapped in hell, he sets out to bring her back.
Characters: I love Cas. He is probably one of my all time favorite narrators. Even though he is constantly told that he is making terrible decisions, I understood what he was doing and never got frustrated with him. His badass witch sidekick, Thomas, was just as loveable in this installment as he was in the first one, but most of the other characters grated on my nerves. Cas's mom felt superfluous and I wished she would grow a backbone, while Carmel seriously pissed me off and I never had a moment that made me feel she was worthy of forgiveness. Newcomer Jestine is hard to explain without giving away major parts of the book, but let's leave it at... Cas is occasionally attracted to her and I hated her for it. I never felt like the story went deep enough with any other character for me to really understand them, except Morfran, who is (again) hilarious.
Plot/Pacing: I didn't love the sequel as much as I loved the first one, but I was happy to see Cas deal with some of the unresolved issues from Anna Dressed In Blood. It took me a while to get through, part of which was because I was busy, but mostly because the plot meandered. I love Cas, but he rarely has more than a vague goal with little knowledge that he is actually able to act on. The last 20% of the book really improved for me, though, and I was extremely satisfied with how the book resolved things between Cas and Anna.
Moments I Loved: When Jestine and Anna meet, it is hilarious. Even though Anna's spirit has pretty much been destroyed, talking to someone like Jestine forces her to remember what a badass she is. I love badass Anna.
WTF Moments: Suicide Forrest. Wow, what a scary, creepy scene. I don't know what I would have done if I had been reading at night. It is an awesome scene, but one that I wasn't expecting.
At one point, Jestine tricks Cas into sending an "innocent" ghost away. She believes that all ghosts should be sent on using the athame, while Cas only sends on those who kill the living. She makes a comment about he shouldn't be so close minded about other people's beliefs after setting him up so that he is forced to do something he thinks is wrong and then basically telling him to deal with it, because his beliefs are wrong. She is beyond closed-minded.
Overall: This second installment felt slower to me and I had a hard time warming up to any character besides Cas and Thomas. I love Cas's voice and would love love love to read more books about him, but I don't think that can happen without completely ruining Girl of Nightmares.
Reading Challenges: This book counts toward the following challenges: 332 pages toward the 15,000 page challenge and the e-book reading challenge. Track all my progress on my 2012 Challenges page.
Girl of Nightmares gets a FakeSteph rating of...