14 April 2012

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) by Kendare Blake

Published: 30 August 2011 by TorTeen

Pages: 316 (hardcover)

Genre/s: Young Adult, Horror

Source: Own Library

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository


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.

My Thoughts

I'm not one to gush about book and be all fan-girly - have you ever seen me do that?  No.  So mark down this day in history 'cos - I LOVED THIS BOOK!  I read it in a day - a day I'd planned to do a lot of other things, but I just couldn't put this down.  I loved the story, I loved the spookiness and I especially (brace yourself) loved Cas.  Yep, I'm confessing my first EVER book boy crush.

Right - I need to justify all this gushing *takes deep, calming breaths*.

Anna Dressed in Blood is unusual in the YA-paranormal genre in that it is written in first-person perspective of a male character, Cas.  And Cas is a great character - he's snarky and smart-arsey, clever and funny, brave and strong (yeah, there's the gush again) - his looks aren't really described but I did imagine him as kinda like Dean from Supernatural, it's the personality that I loved so much!  And Anna, my heart broke more than a little when her story was revealed......

Although Anna Dressed in Blood is not one of the scariest books I've ever read, the creep factor is pretty high - the ghosts are scary as all get-out and any scene featuring them got my heebies jeeby-ing, it's subtly written but quite intricately detailed as well.

There's also romance (which had me all misty-eyed), magic and some surprising characters - the popular girl from the local high school Cas attends, Carmel, actually isn't the stereotypical bitchy bimbo at all, and Cas' mother is not the overbearing overprotective character I would have assumed the mother of a ghost-hunting teenage boy would be.

The writing is awesome, pace is maintained even when the ghosts aren't around and the action scenes had me sitting on the edge of my seat.  The dialogue is great - it really cements the personalities of the characters and I could almost hear them in my head (I can't admit that I DID hear them, that sounds slightly crazy!).   Of course, being a series, there is a cliffhanger - but not the kind that made me want to throw the book across the room, more the kind that had me hugging the book and beginning to stalk Ms. Blake to see when the next book is being released....

Anna Dressed in Blood is one of my favourite books of 2012 so far, if not THE favourite.


  1. So glad you loved this book. I didnt though, the last part was ruined for me. But Id still say that this was a creepy book. Great review Kat. x


  2. Wow, what a *GORGEOUS* cover! That compelled me to put it on my "to be bought" list, even before I read your review...but, having read it, I feel even more enthused to pick it up! :-)

    Some Dark Romantic

  3. I get so excited when people like this book! It was my favorite YA book for 2011, and I was wanting it for months before its release. I am dying from waiting for Girl of Nightmares. :-D

  4. Anna was pretty kick-ass, so even though the book wasn't that scary, I really liked her and the story.

  5. This book's been on my TBR since long but now that you have gushed so much about it, I think I need to pick it up asap.

  6. I read it a while ago. Loved it and all of its creepy crawliness.... :D

  7. I havent read this book yet, because i am not ale to read whole book in english, but it will be published in czech republic during autumn, so i am relly looking forward to it :)



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