Title: Anna Dressed In Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: Hardcover; 316
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Violence
HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who are okay with some pretty graphic violence, and like a good scare.
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.
Number one thing I loved about Anna Dressed In Blood above anything else? Cas. Hands down, it's Cas. He is the best male character I've ever read! You know the brooding, mysterious boy that makes a debut in almost every novel? He is always the crush of the female character because he is so different. That boy? That's Cas. It's amazing to finally get to see things from that boy's point of view, and let me tell you, it's a pretty intense point of view. As a main character, Cas shows us what it is like to be the lone wolf. The person trying to keep others at bay to protect them. It's sensational!
I do admit that this book scared the pants off me for a bit. Let's be honest, this isn't a book for the faint of heart. In fact, if you're not a fan of slightly gory occurrences? This might not be for you. However if you are okay with some violence in your reading, then you'll love Kendare Blake's story. This is a darker story. One filled with grief, vengeance, and yet still the hope that there is something better out there. The multiple layers create something that is wholly immersive, and easy to read.
Anna Dressed In Blood moves at breakneck speed, and I promise you that if you pick it up you won't set it down until you've finished reading. The way that the characters all compliment one another, the way that just enough suspense gets placed in just the right places, it makes this a story that is massively addicted. In fact, by the time that I reached the end I wanted to throw the book across the room. Not because I didn't love it. Nay, because I wish I had more! I cannot wait.
Suffice it to say, if you couldn't tell from my above ramblings, this is a book that I just adored. Kendare Blake has taken all of the elements that I love in a good story and blended them together into something that is just too good to be true. I never though I'd find myself enamored with a ghost, but there you have it. Blake has managed to do that for me. I don't doubt you'll feel the same way when you pick up a copy of this book. Anna Dressed In Blood is amazing. Get it.