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Reading Between Classes

A unique perspective on YA Literature from a junior high teacher. 

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Kami Garcia
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Girl of Nightmares (Anna Dressed in Blood)

Girl of Nightmares - Kendare Blake This and other reviews can be found on Reading Between ClassesCover Impressions: So pretty and creepy and oh so enticing. This cover fits very well with the previous Anna book and they both look lovely on my shelf - I just keep staring at them.The Gist: Cas can't say goodbye to the girl who sacrificed her soul to save the lives of him and his friends. When images of Anna start invading his life like waking nightmares, he realized that he will do anything to get her back - even walking into the depths of Hell.Review:Girl of Nightmares is one of those books that, no matter how busy my life was, I couldn't bare to put it down. I loved Anna Dressed in Blood and was really looking forward to jumping back into this world. I was little disappointed with the amount of time that was dedicated to Anna. I understand that we had to be introduced to a new character (will she get her own spin off?), but I wasn't particularly fond of Jestine and I missed my Anna! Cas was his old sarcastic self, but a little more angsty as he tries to figure out his feelings for Anna and whines a little more about how no one will give him any information. Thomas and Carmel continue to be great characters, though they don't get a lot of action in this book.In comparison with Anna Dressed in Blood, this installment is much more of an adventure or mystery than a horror story. There are horrific elements right from the beginning, but no real action or re-action to them until about halfway through. That being said, the inclusion of The Suicide Forest (which I can only assume was based on the forest in Japan) was fantastically done and super creepy. Once Cas managed to make his way into Hell (if that is what it was), things fell off for me. I felt like things happened a little too quickly and I was unable to stop and take a breath. I really wanted a minute or two to spend with Anna and for her and Cas to re-connect, but everything was a bit too fast-paced for that to happen. As a teacher, I have a bit of an issue with the amount of swearing that Cas does. I understand that it is unrealistic to expect teenagers not to utter that famed four letter word, but Cas' swearing is a little too frequent and a little too varied. Because I am constantly worried about the reaction of parents to the books that I provide for my students, this alone is enough to stop me from keeping the Anna books on my shelves - and that disappoints me, because I have students that I think would really love them. Teaching/Parental Notes:Age: 16 and upGender: BothSex: KissingViolence: Blood-letting, Torture, Knifeplay, Battle with Supernatural EntitiesInappropriate Language: Shit, Ass, Piss, Fuck, Dick, Jesus, BastardSubstance Use/Abuse: SmokingNotable Quotables:"It's the Monday of the last week of the year and if I have to sign one more yearbook I'm going to sign it in the owner's blood."