Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Hardcover, 326 pgs *read an ARC*
Published August 30th, 2011 by TorTeen
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Gift

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. 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: 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.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas’s life.

 There were a lot of things I liked about this book but when I think of it the thing I liked the very most was Cas.  He was a male character that I live to read about.  And male MC’s in YA aren’t terribly easy to find.  Cas reminded me a bit of Cassel in the Curse Workers series, personality wise.  He was pretty bold and snarky but was real in that he still made mistakes.  He still had feelings and emotions that he didn’t always want to have.  He had a thick skin and was incredibly brave.  And sometimes his bravery almost passed into stupidity but in his line of work his thick skin and fast thinking are what kept him alive.  But suddenly he’s come across something that he’s never had to deal with.  He’s never seen anything like the likes of Anna and she’s totally thrown him off his game.  
I really don’t want to get into much detail about this book because it’s best to not have a clue what to expect.  I will tell you that I scare easily and while this one had some good creepy/gory/scary scenes it wasn’t downright horrifying for me.  And while I can live without any scary {I generally don’t read horror} at all I still absolutely adored this book and it’s story line and it couldn’t have been what it was without the scary creepy stuff.  Also keep in mind that this is YA and it’s just not going to be as downright scary as adult horror.  This was definitely more my level of scary and so those who are big horror fans probably won’t find it too horrifying.
I inhaled this book like it was air and the second I finished I was dying for more Cas.  I’ll be desperately awaiting the sequel, Girl of Nightmares. 
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  1. I’m not into horror at all either which is why I have stayed away from this one. Although I did just read Jenny Pox and that had gore and some scary parts so if Anna Dressed in Blood is about that level I can handle it.

    Thanks for the great review, I would have just passed this one up if I didn’t understand the scare level better from your review. :)

  2. I also really liked Cas and his cynical attitude! I’m glad that you liked this one. I found it to be a fun little YA horror/supernatural book with just the right amount of creep factor. It was enough to make you glance around the room a bit, but not to keep you from sleeping. I’m also really looking forward to Girl of Nightmares, especially after seeing the cover!

  3. I really need to get this book, I keep hearing so great stuff about it ! I’m glad you liked so much Cas it sounds like an interesting character. great review

  4. I love your review of this book and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it everywhere. I think I’m going to have to break the book buying ban and get hold of a copy of this!

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