Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

3:20 PM

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication date: August 30, 2011
# Of Pages: 316 pgs Hardcover
How I got the copy: Library


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 Rating: 2/5 Stars

þ Real fearless ghost busters in action
þ    Male Main Character
þ One word description: Creepy
This is going to be a confusing review because that is how I felt during and after confused.  I am giving it 2 stars because there were a few things that really turned me off.  Yet, I still want to read the second book that comes out in August 2012.   Let's break it down. 

What I didn't like 
1. The ghosts are solid.  One human character kisses a ghost.  This repulsed and I'm not sure why. I mean, I like twilight and that is a 108 yr old vamp kissing a human, but somehow this seemed worse.  I mean I know Edward was dead, but the ghosts in this story seemed extra dead if that's possible.
2. One "ghost" doesn't have eyes.  Instead it has buttons or something.  I don't remember, but I do remember it creeped me out and didn't make sense.  How could it see?  Why didn't it have eyes?  
3. There was only one major plot twist and one surprise.  I like when plots are fast paced and action packed.  This was kind of slow moving.
4. It didn't seem realistic.  What 17 year old boy would give up having a girlfriend or normal life to kill ghosts?  What mom would let her son give up everything, skip school, etc. to kill ghosts (especially since that's how her husband died)?  And when one of the character's die no one seems to really care or grieve.
5. I didn't know the main character was a guy until around the second chapter.  His name is Cas and I thought that stood for Cassidy.  There were no descriptors really at first.  
6. I still have no idea how the voodoo type stuff works.  I hope it explains it in book two.

What I liked
1. The cover.  It pulled me in right away.  The red stands out against the gray.  It looks really creepy and foreboding.
2. Anna is strong yet vulnerable.  I liked seeing her change yet I feel she changed too fast.
3. Thomas was my favorite character.  He reminded me of Stiles from that show Teen Wolf on MTV.  He was a great sidekick and brave even though he's nerdy.  He felt the most real to me.
4.The creepiness.  For some reason this book thoroughly creeped me out, but in a good way.  Like sitting around a campfire telling ghost stories...not like watching Paranormal Activity in the dark before sleep (I don't recommend that to anyone) lol.  
5. Addie from Bookworm Recommendations makes a good point in her review that I hadn't thought about, but I definitely agree with 100%.  She says: "I loved the fact that Anna was the ghost and Cas was the mortal. Sometimes I get tired of the girl being the weak human and the boy being the supernatural being saving her from everything. This time, it’s the other way around.  Anna was everything I expected her to be! She was sweet and innocent, yet deadly."
Overall, the negative outweighed the positive for me.  I just was left wanting more at the end.  I'm hoping book two will answer some of the questions I have and hopefully  it'll have more action.  If you're interested, I linked two reviews that gave this book 5 stars below.  I follow these blogs and trust their opinions so before you decide not to read this book look at their reviews.  I think I'm just one of the very few that didn't think this book was amazing so I'm not sure you should take my word for it on this one.


Kendare Blake
“You f*ck - you ate my cat!” 
― Kendare BlakeAnna Dressed in Blood

“I peek over the back of the couch and there she is, my goddess of death, her hair snaking out in a great black cloud, her teeth grinding hard enough to make living gums bleed.” 

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Have you read this book?  What did you think?

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