Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Anna Dressed In Blood - Review

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Source: Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“It feels so separate, like I’ve touched something that’s taken the color out of me. Or maybe I’m in color now and they’re in black and white.”

"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."

This was amazing. I had a really tough time choosing between 4 and 5 stars. I decided to settle for 4 stars (the actual rating I give it is 4.5), because it did have some flaws in it.

The first half of the book is very very slow, and wasn't very interesting. Only after Cas meets Anna does it finally pick up and get to the point. For some reason, I could never read this straight through, so it took me over a week to read it O___O. That's partially why I docked off a star. It's not that it was boring, it's just that sometimes it got complicated and confusing. There was a lot of witch slang that got a bit confusing around the middle to the end.

This version of a ghost story is a very unique one. Kendare Blake's ghosts can be touched and "killed" with a powerful athame. They can't read minds or walk through walls or anything, which I kind of respect. I respect how she didn't go all out and make them invincible.

All of the characters in this book are very strong. Anna especially. You can't help but loathe the "dark goddess" side of her, but you also can't resist feeling sorry for the "small, innocent" Anna. My least favorite character was probably Thomas. It seemed to me that he was just another nerdy third wheel sidekick like in a bunch of other stories. However, things turned around for him when Carmel started having a thing for him. That was unique! I liked how Carmel was like a normal girl -- she wasn't a snobby brat like so many other Queen Bees in other stories! I respected Blake for writing her like that. And of course, Cas, the main character. How can I forget about him?! He is made to be very snarky and witty in his internal monologue, which adds humor to such a dark and dreary story. All of these characters are very round; like I always say, I felt what they felt, I thought what they thought. It was like having a bunch of friends that I've known since forever.

This book takes a profusion of twists and turns, and a lot of events are going on throughout the entire book. As soon as one thing is taken care of, and you sit back and say "phew", another disaster pops up and you are constantly hoping for the main characters' safety! Also, this book is very gory and just like.. of the Horror genre, because that is essentially what it is. While I read the gross/scary parts, I didn't really feel grossed out. However, after I finished it and reflected back on those events, I realized that those parts, especially the end, were so disturbing. I was surprised that I didn't think they were disturbing as I read it, lol. I'm one crazy weirdo~

One more thing-the romance. I personally thought that Carmel & Thomas were a cute item, but I wasn't feeling it with Anna & Cas. Their relationship seemed more best-friend like (if you could even call it that). I didn't understand how they were treating each other like strangers, but then the next moment they are all lovey-dovey with no explanation.

Overall, Anna Dressed in Blood is an exciting read- slow-paced at first, but it picks up very fast in the last 100 pages or so. The chapters were divided awkwardly (there were barely any cliffhangers at the end of the chapters!), and some parts were a bit confusing, but nevertheless, this is an excellent book that will make you think about life and death. Covering a brooding and haunting topic, it shouldn't be taken lightly!

Don't forget to check out my Children's Book Giveaway!


  1. I love thecover of the book and the dark feel that it puts off. I am glad that you enjoyed it. This is the first review I have actually read for this book, but you did a great job!

    New Follower.

    Chelsey@Charming Chelsey's

  2. I want to read this book but I migth wait because May has awesome new releases

  3. Excellent Review. I will remember to push forward knowing that it gets better.

  4. I really liked this book too - and totally agree with you on the romance part of it ... seemed a little forced.


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