Publication: August 7, 2012, by Tor Teen
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Contemporary
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.
It's been three years since I last had a Kendare Blake book in my hand, and that book was Anna Dressed in Blood, the first book in this heart-racing ghostly duology. It shook me and left shivers on my spine, and I wanted more instantly. Little did I know that I would actually pick the sequel up three years later and still remember and adore the series as much as I did the first time.
This sequel was really anything but ordinary. Blake hasn't lost her magic in words and now that it's all over, I'm so depressed and am aching for more of Cas and Anna, together. And since everyone was raving about this for years until I've finally caught up with their crying and fears, I can say that I understand what everyone was so happy (and sad at the same time) with the ending. I just never saw it coming, and it left salty tears all over my face. It's been a while since a book hit me this hard and the romance just ruined it all, I'm saying. But it ruined it in a good, suspenseful way that we'll never find out about until Blake will give us more, but that's only a possibility as we look into the future today.
I shouldn't have told you that I'd like more because now you think I'm crazy and messed up in my lofty reader's mind, right? Right. I picture you nodding your head, people! And this event leads us back into the beginning of this book, and now I'm remembering what had happened at the start and everyone's attitude about it all and then what happened in the end, and I still can't believe it and I'm shaking.
Anyways, here we have Cas, again, who has just lost Anna as she went down to Hell and he believes that she's still onto something and is still trying to save everyone, including Cas and his dead father. He is unable to move on, as he still dreams about Anna and feels that he sees her in places that she's not. His best friends Carmel and Thomas are begging him to forget about it but still have gratitude that she saved them, but he can't let it go. Now that he's seeing her everywhere, he knows that something must be wrong and that someone or something in Hell is torturing her and he needs to help. But then, how could he help if he's alive and is only a ghost-hunter?
"It's a strange sensation, that feeling of intense awareness from somewhere behind you. When you're watched by the dead, the sensation is weirder, because you can't pinpoint which direction it's coming from. It's just there. Annoying, but there's nothing you can do about it. Sort of like Thomas's strobe-flashlight."Although everyone's been raving about this one since its release, I've been excited but hesitant. For the past few months, I can barely stand to see a paranormal-romance without wanting to throw the book out of the nearest window. They're just so cliché, and all the same. What am I supposed to feel if I've read the same story yesterday, you know? And after this, I can admit that this is one of the only series that I allow to capture my heart and never let it go.
I was also hesitant to think that there'd be some sort of recap by the author where we'll remember what had happened in the first book, as I was too lazy to go search up reviews of it and try to figure out the puzzle of the plot. Thankfully, I instantly somehow remembered and the plot commenced into my head pretty quickly without any problems. And let me tell you, the action scenes were on point and the whole plot was amazing for a finale to a duology.
I bet that if I got Kendare Blake to write the ending of every bad book that I've read and to change it somehow into her own, I'd give every book a much higher rating than I originally did. Her plots are always so fluffy and warm my heart as even the developments of the characters are done wonderfully. I began reading this and finished it in one sitting and was unable to put it down because I just was so anxious and curious to see what'd happen to Cas and Anna, and what's this amazing ending that everyone's talking about. Doesn't it suck to be left out, you may ask?
"My mom's words twitter through my ears, making it sound so easy. She talks like she thinks I'm a schoolboy with fantasies of heroes who get the girl and ride off into the sunset. What kind of world does she think I grew up in?"Cas is probably the best part of this series. I just fell in love with him at first read, and I am still loving him. He's probably one of the best male protagonists to ever walk into the minds of readers, and his mysteriousness and curiosity makes the series so much better itself. He's always willing to take risks for the people he loves and he'll never give up his goals. I just can't get enough of him, and his love for Anna was so strong and my heart warmed up when he was aching for her. No one except his own stubborn thoughts allowed him to change his thoughts, and that seriously was the cutest thing ever.
What kind of got me a little frustrated was Anna. I apologize, but I hated that she doesn't talk. She keeps trying to scare Cas, as I felt throughout the book and I was wondering if she was beginning to turn evil or something. And then everything that happened in the end? She just made herself look dumb, I have to say. And now, everything's different and she made everything like a waste of time for everyone. *frowns* I just want to see what her life is like now, huh.
This book was all about that climax, and I loved it. It was like 90% climax, and the rest was the ending which got me so SAD AND ACHY AND MY BREAKY HEART JUST COLLAPSED. I just can't believe what Blake did to us readers and there were tons of tears, everyone. And I bet that if I was reading this in a loud, party situation with tons of people around, I would've never felt the emotion and the sadness coming from the characters. This book held tons of emotion and so much action in the plot where everything was making my heart race. My thoughts around the time of the ending were really messed up, and I began to question and wonder if there were actually ghosts around me that were plotting to kill me. Seriously. o_o And then, the romance got deep and we all cried, people.
Overall, everyone should honestly binge-read this gorgeous series all together since any lover of any genre will be obsessed and wanting more. Pick this one up for the sake and love of it, since you'll adore the romance, plot and concept! Want to come and fight Hell with Anna and I? :)