Rating 3.75 out of 5
"I apologise in advance for the trauma we are all about to experience together. Characters you love are going to suffer; characters you hate will triumph; you will grasp hold of one last shred of hope, only to have it pulled away from you at the last."
Anna survived the spirit, the demon and term one. Winter at Endymion College should mean only good things for Anna: books, friends and studying Gothic literature under the hot professor, who also happens to be her boyfriend. Unfortunately, just as she begins to relax and enjoy her place at the university, a dashing stranger arrives to turn it all upside down. Anna finds herself in a life and death struggle yet again with a new supernatural assailant. In addition explosive revelations and deep secrets are forced into the open as a tragic history comes back to haunt our group of friends. Friendships are put to the test as enemies, human and paranormal, threaten to destroy everything Anna has built. Will Anna get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding her haunted apartment? Can she resist the familiar charms of the dashing stranger? And keep her friends and herself alive?
A Study in Survival is described by the author as equally as Gothic, just as romantic, even more dangerous and packed with more ghost and demon stuff. I have to admit that this one really excelled with the ghost and demon stuff. I got a little nervous reading it at night at one point (haha). The book starts with a very Lemony Snicket type dedication from the author and continued to give off that vibe throughout. After describing how happy Anna was we start to get vibes from the author's writing story that this is not going to be a happy story at all.
This book has some insane reveals that I won't discuss here because I don't want to ruin the plot, but our ghost from book one was more important than we ever knew. I loved the elements of the story that developed and the background we got on the ghost. It felt like a lot of questions were finally answered, while presenting a whole new set of questions and problems. I am still reluctant to give this series four stars simply because Anna's character at times drives me up the wall. I mean you are being haunted and your friends getting possessed but all you care about is your boyfriend?
All I can say is thank god for Aubrey, at least for a bit, she has no issue calling them out! I loved how some of the creepy elements from book one were brought back up and given an insane importance. The revelations in this book, I must admit I didn't always see coming. Which was a nice change of pace. I loved the introduction of a few new characters, and the bringing back of a few others. I do think that this one does an amazing job of focusing on the paranormal aspect of the story which is what I craved from the first one.
Also I know I'm not supposed to like her but Eve's mom is a total boss. I loved how she casually told Anna "you never reproach a woman for doing what she had to do to survive." Granted the things she did weren't really that great and made her a terrible person. I could have done without the love triangle vibe I got from the book, mostly because Eve and Anna's obsession with each other is annoying. The book has some seriously dark and icky moments that I am here for 100%. Most importantly though, why with that ending??? Just know once again this ending leaves you with soooo many questions...