January 14, 2012

REVIEW: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1)
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Published: 30 August 2011
Format: 1st Edition; Hardcover: 316 pages
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.

My Review:
The cover of Anna Dressed in Blood was stunning and the blurb made it an irresistible read from the start. I’m a sucker for scary stories, especially ghost stories. I couldn’t help but be drawn to this book like a moth to a flame.

Kendare Blake did not disappoint with Anna Dressed in Blood. She had me power-housing through this book, it was insane. I was mind-blown by the fact that I literally could not put this book down. The plot of the book was everything I hope it would be. It was suspenseful, spooky, and mysterious. The perfect ghost story set up. It was like being sucked into a whirlwind.


Kendare Blake was able to creep me the heck out. Her descriptions of the ghosts and the scary moments were so vivid, it was like I was watching it happen on screen. I had goosebumps and chills throughout the entire book. I was freaked out more than once! So much emotion was pouring through me and out. She had me up in the wee hours of the morning, making me unable to tear my eyes away from this book, but also had me up because I did not dare sleep for fear of nightmares.

Not only did Kendare Blake manage to scare this tough cookie, she made me laugh out loud! I love how after freaky and scary scenes, the tension would lessen through something a character said that made me smile like a fool and laugh like a loon. It was the perfect touch of humor that made this book even better.

I love how Kendare Blake also added in magic and witchcraft (for a lack of a better term). I was always fascinated with Wiccan magic, so it was nice to read a book with that concept added into it. The combination of ghost lore and witch magic gave the book a plot twist that I sure as hell did not expect. It made things much more interesting.

Anna Dressed in Blood shines when it comes to male perspective. I usually have a hard time reading and connecting to male narrators, but not this time. I freakin’ loved Cas. His snarky, a smart-aleck, humorous, and his confident attitude was most enjoyable. He made the perfect MC. Cas is the bright light in this very dark book. 

The fight scenes were epic and very exciting. I loved how I knew something was about to go down, but was still surprised. I thought Cas was kick-ass when he fought the ghosts. He amazed me through and through. I found him to be very brave under the circumstances. The dead freak me out and with him fighting them like nothing is unbelievable. I give him my props for sure.

Even though she scares the wits out of me, Anna is a sweet girl. I sympathized with her. I still thought she was good even after all those murders. I was amazed that I would be able to feel sorry for her after what she’s done, but Cas was able to. Why not me? She’s a broken girl with a messed up past. Under her monster mask waits a girl in pain wanting to be loved, to be fixed. I want to know more about her. She’s the most interesting character I’ve ever read about and of course, the only ghost ;]

“She's my purpose and we're going to save each other. We're going to save everyone. And then I'm going to convince her that she's supposed to stay here. With me.” 

The connection Anna has with Cas was palpable. They bring teenage relationships and love to whole new level: the Living in love with the Dead and vice versa. But I must say, Anna and Cas are very very cute. They belong together. In some way, they make each other whole; like two puzzle pieces that fit together just right. I love how slowly their feelings grow for one another. It was great to read something not so intense, but still very real.

The other characters were pretty awesome too. I love how Cas found a friend in Thomas and Carmel. They’re like the unforeseeable threesome. They don’t have much in common, in my opinion, but they go together. They make it work. They’ve bonded throughout the book and I loved that. I hope to see more of them in the next one.

All in all, Anna Dressed in Blood was an excellent read. It has relatable and likable characters with an impressive, well-written storyline.

I cannot wait for the next one. I need more Cas and Anna!

Don’t wait and pick this one up. You won’t regret reading it. It’s just too good.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

1 comment:

  1. I loved this book, it was scary and creepy, yet also funny! Your review is brilliant and captured how great this book is! :)


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