Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood: A Review

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: 2011
Source: Library

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

Genre: Paranormal, slightly romantic, ghost hunter, male POV YA

Cover: <3 works perfectly for this book. The dress, the hair, the color choices—all spot on. Doesn’t it make you want to pick it up and have a look? Worked for me.

Plot: Really original. I went into this a little leery. I get tired of paranormal quickly these days, unless it is done well and in an original fashion, and this hit both points. I also worried about it having a male POV, but Blake also handled that well with Cas. Nothing about this book is stereotypical, and that’s a breath of fresh air, let me tell you. For whatever reason, I hadn’t heard of this one, but I’m glad I picked it up. It moved well and had enough action, with a little romance thrown in.

Romantic Element: Like I said, it’s there, but it isn’t really the focus as much in the beginning. It almost is too light—or too abruptly involved, but it doesn’t quite go that far. It works, and it left room for a follow-up, as most YAs do. No real googley-eyed moments, but that wouldn’t fit in for this kind of book. I was satisfied overall with this light touch of romance.

Overall: If you were ever remotely interested in the YA ghost scene, this is one to read. It is fresh, reads cinematically, and is worth a perusal. And come on, how great is that title? I can dig it.

Now to leave you with a song to write by, “Lighthouse” by The Hush Sound, because it too involves ghosts, and I find it quite lovely. :)


  1. This one sounds so intriguing! I'm definitely putting it on my TBR list. Thanks for the review!

  2. I've been dying to read this! It's up high on my list.

  3. I've wanted to pick this one up. Thanks for the review!