Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1)
Author: Kendare Blake
Pages: 316 pages
Format acquired: Hardcover
Publisher: Tor Teen
Published on: August 30th 2011
Source: Purchased from Fully Booked
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

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.

(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)


I don't think I've ever had so many heart palpitations reading a book before but reading Anna definitely had my blood pumping faster than normal, whether it was from fear or adrenaline, we'll never know. Kendare Blake definitely knows how to get your heart going, the way she intricately creates a story that is so simple yet leaves such a huge impact on you is astounding. She creates characters that you just can't help but fall in love with.

I have always been a huge horror buff, I practically live off of horror movies/books. There is just something so exhilarating about them that you can't help but get addicted. So when I heard about Anna Dressed in Blood and how bloody fantastic (pun, pun) it was, I immediately had a copy reserved at our local bookstore. I absolutely fell in love with the cover of Anna Dressed in Blood and when I read the summary of the book, I felt like I literally met my book soulmate.

Cas is a definitely a certified badass. If you're looking for the definition of what a "bad boy" really is, let us all just turn our heads to Cas Lowood. Anna Dressed in Blood is written in Cas's point of view and what I really like about it is that every page I read there's always a little snark happening. The things that go on in Cas's head is pretty... bad? I can imagine that this is how a real bad boy things, minus the athame and the ghost hunting. I am always left astounded and quite honestly, shell shocked every time I read something new in Anna. The way Kendare Blake writes with such smooth confidence makes you feel like as if the author is actually really a guy. Kendare Blake is definitely a talented author.

I honestly had no idea how anyone could write a romance between a ghost and a human without making it look ridiculous, but Kendare Blake managed to do it smoothly. There is a sense of realism when you read Anna because you know that you can't actually expect anything insanely WHOA to happen between them but that doesn't mean that there weren't any aww-worthy parts. Cas and Anna's relationship still feels like a mystery to m and reading their relationship progress was a pretty surreal experience as well. No matter how much we don't think horror books need romance in it, sometimes we need to concede that we are wrong because Cas and Anna's story is definitely an exception to that idea. Their relationship is so raw and heartfelt that you can't help but be affected by them. You'll keep wanting to root for them even though you know that what they have between them cannot possibly go on...

Anna Dressed in Blood is easily one of my most favorite horror books ever. And oh. My. Lord. Lots and lots of tears were shed, I honestly didn't know if the dam that was coming out of my eyes was ever going to stop. I never thought that I'd ever sympathize with a ghost, much less empathize with one. I really felt Anna's pain and the way she presents her back story, it was very heartbreaking. Anna Dressed in Blood is about sacrifice. Sometimes one thing has to go for you to survive no matter how much you feel like you'll die if you lose that said thing.

I demand that you all go out to the bookstore and pick up a copy of Anna Dressed in Blood and it's sequel, Girl of Nightmares, which I am currently reading after 8 years of waiting. (You should probably read it with the lights off to feel the full creeptastic effect.) The characters in this book will grip your hand and ask you to stay but in all truth, you'll never even contemplate leaving because you feel a sense of attachment to these characters that you can't help but not leave. Every line, every paragraph and every page will make you fall only more in love with Anna Dressed in Blood and there's really no stopping that.



  1. I LOVED THIS BOOK, it is definitely on my favorites shelf! Happy Reading for the sequel :)

    Great Review!