Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publish Date: August 30, 2011
Hardcover, 320 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal, Horror
 ISBN: 978-0765328656

My Review:
I will freely admit that I requested this book solely based on the title and the cover.  That said, the insides totally live up to the title and cover.  Or should I say the cover and the title live up the the storyline.  That would probably please the author more :-).  However I say it, Anna Dressed in Blood, is one of the best YA books I have read this year.  I will say something I have said over and over.  I really wish all of these YA authors had been around when I was actually a teenager.  That would have been great.  But now I will just have to read them in my second teenager-hood :)

Back to the book - Anna Dressed in Blood is so different from other books, it has romance in a way, yet it is a ghost/horror story.  Anna is so not nice in the beginning, yet she doesn't hurt Cas, but she seriously tears others limb from limb.  While gruesome, I don't think the book is overly gruesome, so if you're a little sensitive to this kind of thing, don't shy away from the book, there are just a few parts and you can easily skip over them, this book is well worth reading, trust me.  So you get this loner ghost-hunter (not ghostbuster) Cas who comes into town, but Anna throws a  monkey wrench into everything he knows.  For some reason he doesn't want to kill her and also he seems to be accumulating other people to help him and that has never happened before.  From geeky Thomas, to ultra popular Carmel, add in Cas's mom and Thomas' grandfather to help him out along with some magic thrown in there and poor Cas really isn't sure what to do anymore.  But really he takes it in stride.  I love some of the remarks and how the characters play off each other.  There really is some great dialog and I look forward to seeing these characters more in future books.

The ending is very climactic and ties up well, while still leaving open the possibility of more books (which I just learned about while setting up this post - yay for more books by Ms. Blake!).  I think Anna Dressed in Blood was a wonderful book, very exciting with interesting characters that I hope to see more of, with a great plot line and evil bad guys and bullies, and great good guys too.  It was another book that I found hard to put down, it was fast-paced and I felt very invested in the characters and really wanted to know what would happen next to each of them.  I truly cared about them and can't wait to read the next book.  So run and pick this one up - it's been out about a week now so you should be able to find it easily or have your local bookseller order it for you.  You'll want to read it - I promise you :)

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

About the Book:
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.

About the Author: 
Kendare Blake holds an MA in Creative Writing from Middlesex University in northern London. She lives and writes in Lynnwood, Washington.


FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.