Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: August 30th, 2011
Source: Won a trivia contest at my book club

My Rating: 4.5/5 
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.

I want to start of this review by gushing about the cover. It's GORGEOUS. I love the greyscale background with the punches of blood red on her dress and in the wind. The atmosphere it creates is fantastic, and I can't help but stare at it! And I love that the font on the pages is crimson as well. It really adds to the story, and looks fantastic!

Now, on to the story. I heard about Anna Dressed in Blood when it first came out, and thought it sounded really interesting. It was getting a lot of high praise, particularly from Chandra at Indigo Teen Blog, and I knew I had to read it. I'm part of a teen book club at my local Chapters store, and during one of our meetings we had a trivia contest. The prize was an YA book of our choosing, and the quiz was on White Cat by Holly Black. I won, (it was a landslide I might add. No one messes with my Cassel Sharpe knowledge) and chose to get Anna.

The book kept calling me, and when I finally read it, I knew why. It was one of those stories that just grabs you. Filled with action, and so much heart, I just loved it. The ghost hunting element was very unique. I hadn't read anything like it! The only reason it got 4.5 stars was that I felt Cas wasn't completely developed at first. I felt I had to fill in the blanks for some parts, but I don't think it lessened the story. I might even felt that way simply because I was so wrapped up in the story I couldn't put it down. By the end though, I adored Cas. Seriously, loved him. He has gone through so much trauma in his life, but he still keeps fighting. It was great watching Cas evolve from this distant fighter, to a strong-willed leader. His passion and drive was heart-warming, and his relationship with Anna was a delight to read about. And Anna! Oh, Anna. She was my favorite. She was unlike any character I've read before: a murderous, unforgiving ghost, dressed in a bloody dress, and killing anyone who comes in her house. And I loved her. She made me love her. Because while she was all those things, she was also so much more. She had the soft, broken side to her, and it was such a treat to see it come out. Her fierce attitude was great as well, and the witty, adorable banter between her and Cas was fantastic. The two people touched by death, brought light into this dark tale.

What an intriguing and interesting story, Anna Dressed in Blood was! Kendare Blake is on my auto-buy list from now on and Anna and Cas have won a place in my heart. Read this book. You'll love it!

Be sure to check out Anna's sequel, Girl of Nightmares this summer! It's going to be fantastic!

- Ciara who is lost at midnight

Find this book: Amazon | Goodreads | Kendare Blake's Website


  1. Great review! I LOVED this book so, so much. Looking forward to the sequel.

    1. Thanks! I can't wait for the sequel either! I don't doubt it'll be one of my favorite reads of 2012 :D

  2. You may have just convinced me to finally pick up this book. I've been eyeing it for a while but never picked up.

    1. I really did love it. I think the characters really made the story. The plot itself was super interesting but Anna and Cas were just too good! I recommend :D And it's out in paperback soon I believe! So not even very expensive lol


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