16 May 2015

Girl of Nightmares: Book Review

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake 

No. of pages: 378
Genre: Teen Fiction/ Horror
Main character(s): Cas Lowood

Intro: Girl of Nightmares is a sequel to Anna Dressed in Blood, first published in 2012. Even though the ending leaves a dedicated human-ghost- relationship devotee in deep longing for more, there is no actual news that there will be a 3rd part. However, there are hopes and plans for the first book to be developed into a movie but no official date has been yet issued...boo hoo hoo.

Brief Summary: After Anna sacrificed herself to save Cas's life, everyone advised him to move on. But how can he move on when haunting visions of her appear on every step? Anna is trapped in hell- tortured and harmed and Cas cannot live with the thought of her being tormented even after her death, He doesn't know why she didn't rest in peace, but he knows he's got to save her- get her out. The task however seems to be harder done than said. Who will try to stop him? And what secrets are held in the athame- his weapon that sends dead to the other side?

''Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-gets-sucked-into-hell story''- ref. from blurb.

Likes: -When referring to both parts of the story I have to say that I really appreciated the fact it was not just another typical romance-based plot. Yes, I am mad about those but keeping a balance between love and action is really hard to find- especially in teenage books! And therefore I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out too be an exciting story line without all the excessive, over-sweetened romantic pieces.

-General idea. I liked the plot- a lot I would say. I do consider a story about a boy who kills ghosts an original enough. It was interesting and definitely inspiring.

-The ending. Those who read it will get it. But basically, it is one of those endings you would love to change but on the other hand, you love them to death!

Dislikes:  -The characters: as much as I love realistic characters, there is a difference between typical people and exaggerated stereotypes. I think here the author went back to the traditional cliche of school-aged teenagers: a muscular, brave and tough main character, the sweet and pretty, blond bee-hive queen, glass-wearing, thin nerd (who also happens to be a witch), a loving mother, and a sarcastic, British ''Lara-Croft-type-of-girl''. I just found it so ''too-perfected'', it was as if I could almost predict the types of characters before I even got 1/4 through the book. It surly didn't add anything new to the plot and was simply... plain.

- Boring beginning. I do understand that books need time (preferably 50 pages) to get the reader pulled in. But in my opinion a good book begins and ends with climax, Here, it took around 150 pages for me to finally enjoy my free time with a novel in hand. The climax came later on but if I was to be totally honest I would argue with the fact there was some climax at all. I need those cliffhangers...please!!!

-Lack of reality. I figured a long time ago that there are two types of books in industry: fantasy who supply no realistically at all, or fantasy that suck. To be honest I'm undecided on which one is worse. I mean yes, when we read a fantasy all we can think about is getting away to a different world and creating a new, impossible surrounding... but I do like to have some reality in it whatsoever (I still question why Suzanne Collins managed to send her characters into a filmed, murdering games for two weeks and not think about details such as going to the toilet!) Girl of nightmares was too simple, I think.

-Lack of horror. Despite the fact the book is described as ''horror'' on book-shop shelves, has a label ''not for younger readers'' and gets comments such as ''Stephen King ought to start looking over his shoulder'', all on one cover...it's not scary! The person who wrote that statement has either never read a piece of Stephan King, or he suddenly got his middle age crisis and created a literacy nightmare! Girl of nightmares is far from any works published by King- just to get it out there. If I was eight, reading this book I probably would get some creeps up my spine, but being 15 and reading those-even graphic enough- scripts, raises no emotion in me at all, whatsoever. Perhaps I'm just desensitized to these kind of plots but I truly believe this should not be a horror rated book.

Final note: As you probably figured, a bit more on the criticizing side this time- and I won't lie- it was not one of my favourites. Was it bad? No. Would I go and see the movie? Hell yeah. Would I rate it as must-read-before-die? Definitely not. But thank you Kendare Blake for sharing a piece of your imagination with us.

 My overall story rate: 4/10
My overall cover rate: 7/10
Recommend For: 10-12 year olds.


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