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Anna Dressed in Blood

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

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. (goodreads.com)

I’m not sure why I took so long to read this book. I only bought it just this year (over Christmas, I think). Part of me thought that Anna Dressed in Blood was just another run-of-the-mill YA paranormal story with a girl falling in love with a ghost. I was way wrong on all counts. First off, the protagonist isn’t even female!

I’ve been going through a bunch of things and I have been unable to get my head in the game when it comes to reading, yet once more. This has been an ongoing frustration for almost a year now. I was at least able to read a good chunk of books while I was on my 2-week holiday from work, but since then? Blah.

So I picked up Anna Dressed in Blood when I saw a post from my friend JuJu (Tales of Whimsy)’s blog about the audio book of the sequel The Girl of Nightmares. Thing is, if Juju likes a book, I know I probably will. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I started, but I was immediately distracted by the one thing that can automatically make me fall in love with a book – the text is RED(ish)!

I don’t know why I immediately love a book that has a total artistic experience to it, but I do. 🙂

As soon as I started reading this book I knew I was in for a great ride. Cas’ narration was wonderful and I was charmed by him from the moment he started telling the reader his tale. I also loved that the book was about to take place in Canada. Heh. The proud Canadian in me did a little dance when it found out Cas and his mom were moving to Thunder Bay.

The atmosphere, the story, the characters…everything was so interesting to me. I enjoyed this one thoroughly and I had gone into it thinking I wouldn’t care much one way or the other. I love book surprises!

I love that Cas’ mom knows what he does and moves all over the place to let him do what he needs to do – kill ghosts. Put them to rest so they stop hurting others. I love that Cas is normally always alone, yet ends up with a group of friends to help him and keep him safe.

I even loved Anna, whom I generally wouldn’t because I don’t like ghost relationshippy things. But Anna is different. Anna was a likable character from the start, even when she was ripping people in half.

Part of me is very curious about how the sequel to this book will go because I felt that things were nicely tied up in the end. Part of me wonders if I should read it or just leave things as is. Who am I kidding, I will read it. I wanted to order it the second I finished this book, but I held myself back. I have way too many other books to read AND I will be having some Required Reading happening very soon and I want to make sure I devote myself to that Required Reading so I don’t fail things.

Bottom line… Anna Dressed in Blood is a thriller-mystery with relationships, friendships, some wit and a lot of atmosphere. It’s one of the better books I have read this year and I am sort of sad I didn’t pick it up when it came out last year!

Also awesome? The covers for both of these books. I love them so much.

Anna series

  1. Anna Dressed in Blood
  2. Girl of Nightmares

7 comments to Anna Dressed in Blood

  • This one is in my TBR. I’ve heard even better things about Girl of Nightmares.

  • A. I’m SO honored that you feel that way. *hugs*
    B. YAYYYYY you read it and loved it.
    C. The next book is different (Anna is around as much) but the stakes were higher and some intense stuff happens so I still loved it.
    D. DUDE the ink is red? Awesome. I had no idea!

  • YESSSSSS. Cat, I loved this book. I haven’t typed up a review yet, but I seriously loved it. Why haven’t I bought Girl of Nightmares yet? Who’s to say. But I loved Cas and Anna. I love ghosty things, even though it’s pointless. They can never be together. One is DEAD. That doesn’t stop me from loving and totally shipping them (is that a nerd term? I think I just nerd termed this post) and wanting moar moar moar.

  • I just read this too! Loved it. Great ghost story, and yes, it was wrapped up well so that I’m not really sure how I feel about a sequel. Sometimes I just want a good standalone read. It’s the exception to the rule these days though, particularly in YA.

  • I NEED to read Anna Dressed In Blood soon! My coblogger loved it. You loved it. Jen loved it. Pretty much people I trust loved it which is always a good sign.

    Also, how cool is it that the ink is reddish? That is AWESOME.

  • I actually couldn’t get into this book. But I definitely loved that the text was red! I thought that was a fun addition to the book. And the cover is GORGEOUS.

    I just kind of thought Cas was annoying. I didn’t like some of the things he thought about his new friends. But I never finished the book, so, I don’t know if I should judge him too harshly.

    I’m glad you liked it though!