Anna Dressed in Blood {Book Review}


Published Date: July 3, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Author: Kendare Blake
Pages: 316
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Horror

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered 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. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, 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, now stained red and dripping with 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.

Yet she spares Cas’s life. -Summary from Goodreads

The book starts out with Cas, our main character, killing a hitch-hiking spirit who runs anyone who picks him up off the road. It was a super cool start and made me have the chills all over!! Cas and his mom, who is a witch, travel around the country hunting and killing ghosts. Cas’s father was a ghost hunter until his death, leaving Cas to carry on in his stead. The ghost who is next on the chopping block is one called Anna. In 1958 Anna was killed at the age of 16 on her way to a party. She had her throat slit and the blood soaked her white party dress, thus giving her the name Anna Dressed in Blood. Anna is mean, appearing in her stained dress dripping with blood, and she kills anyone who enters her home. That makes her Cas’s Spook Number One {the ghost version of Enemy Number One of course}. Unfortunately, Anna isn’t like any ghost he’s ever encountered. She’s more aware and in control and this makes her special. Cas, with the help of his new friends and family, takes on this ghost but gets way more than he bargained for.

I’m from New Orleans, La which has been called one of the most haunted cities in the world. Growing up in this eclectic city exposed me to more folklore and ghosts stories than I would’ve liked. I can tell you all about the voodoo queen Marie Laveau, Chloe at the Myrtles Plantation and the LaLaurie house ghosts. And even though I’m mega scaredy cat, these stories have always intrigued me. Now, imagine if a kid came through town and slayed the spirits that made up our haunted history. HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE?!? Or at least, I think it would be cool as heck.

For those who know me, I don’t do scary things. Scary movies? Dream on. Scary Books? No, Gracias. But I have been wanting to read this book for so long and decided to give it a try. To my surprise, I really liked it! Anna Dressed in Blood was a well written, creepy ghost story that had me looking over my shoulder and jumping with just about every noise. I only had two complaints. The first being the romance. WHAT THE HELL, KENDARE BLAKE!!??? Really? *shakes head* I mean, I would’ve rather read about a love triangle or insta-love and that isn’t a good thing!! The second being Cas and Will and some other forgettable characters….Cas came across as ungrateful and sometimes unlikable, Will was a turd and the rest, I forget. I loved Thomas and Tybalt the cat. But despite this RIDICULOUS love match and douchey characters, I really enjoyed the story. And will be reading the second novel!!

So, if you’re looking for a quick read that’s well written, a scary premise with cool ghost stories and the dumbest love match in the history of ever, then this is your book!! πŸ™‚

Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or The Book Depository.


11 thoughts on “Anna Dressed in Blood {Book Review}

  1. Sounds like something out of the show Supernatural! I think the romance and forgettable characters are going to keep me from reading this one. I’m more of a character-driven story type person. Gotta connect with and love the characters to keep going.

    Great honest review!

    • Thank you, Lauren! You’re right. Normally a great storyline can’t carry weakish characters but in this case, it did. There were enough redeeming qualities in the supporting characters, and the story line, to keep me connected even though I found myself disliking Cas. A lot. He seemed demanding and ungrateful at times. I’ve never watched Supernatural but it seems to be a favorite among a lot peeps. Maybe I should watch to see what the fuss is about πŸ™‚ thank you for your comment!!

      • Well, if you don’t like scary stuff….I wouldn’t recommend it! Haha, I love the scary stuff and a few episodes had me cuddling my favorite stuffed animal all night.

      • Hahaha! Seriously?? It seemed so jovial and light-hearted based off of all the gifs I see on tumblr. Aw man. Maybe I’ll watch it…during the day? πŸ™‚

  2. Great review! I’ll definitely give the book a look. I hate bad romance storylines though. I hope it doesn’t take over the story.

    As an avid Supernatural fan I think you should definitely check it out. This book does sound a little like the Supernatural pilot. And Supernatural isn’t that scary once you get past season 1 (and I’m a major wimp).

    • I’m a major wimp too!! And honestly, the “romance” literally takes up a total of 1 page. It’s more Cas’s emotions and very brief physical contact. But still *eye rolls* πŸ™‚ I’m glad you’ll give it a shot, the story is super cool! I’m a major wimp too!! So you’re in good company!

  3. Glad you liked this one! I really liked Cas. He reminds me of Dean from Supernatural. I with you on Will though but then I think he’s supposed to come off as an ass. Girl of Nightmares is good but not as good as this one. Still worth a read.

  4. Great review! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading the book although I feel like I’m the only one now who hasn’t read the book yet πŸ˜€ But I’ll definitely put this book on top of my wish list!

    • Hi! Thank you!! And thank you for the follow! Nah, you’re not alone:) definitely add it to your wish list. I read on a fellow booknerd’s blog that this will be turned into a movie. I hope they don’t butcher it :/

      • Aww, I’m so in love in the design of your blog! Anyways, REALLY!? omg, well, then I think it’s about time to read the book for me!

      • Thank you πŸ˜€ I’m trying to access yours but my app is acting up *pouts* I’ll peruse when I get home! Yes!! Stephanie Meyers (Twilight lady) is producing it. You may have some times yet, I’m unsure of it’s slate date. πŸ™‚ but yes, read it read it!!!

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