Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

9378297 Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Cover Inspection:
One of the really attractive ones I have EVER seen.

SUMMARY (book description based on GoodReads):
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.

BOOK REPORT CARD:

Cover
3.0
Plot
2.5
Writing
3.0
Characters
3.0
Ending
2.5
Overall Rating
2.5
Good!
(85% to 88%)

* highest rating possible is 4.0
2 Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake


LOCATION/SETTING:
Modern day Thunder Bay, Ontario.

MAIN CHARACTERS:
The main character is Cas. He comes from a long line of ghost hunter/killers. So, he basically kills dead people, as absurd as it may sound. His father died killing a ghost when he was younger, and so he only lives with his mother. And now they move from one town to another hunting and killing ghosts.

WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT:
The plot is fairly simple. Cas moves in a new town (and even enrolls in school), and is tasked to kill a very strong spirit/ghost named Anna Korlov. However, Cas can’t make himself kill Anna. And instead of killing her, he falls in love with her.

LOVE:
First of all, I love that this book is narrated by a boy. There isn’t many books like this. More than that, Cas’s voice is authentic. It really does feel like it is narrated by a teenage boy. His comments and internal monologue are real and honest. So yes, I guess one could say that I love Cas’s character. He’s actually one of my favorite story book “heros.” He’s smart, brave, witty and at times, hilarious! Another thing I loved about this book are the action/fight scenes. In those scenes, one can see how Cas transforms from being a normal teenage boy to a lean, mean ghost-fighting machine. He fights like a super hero, although he doesn’t like to be called as one. Also, I love the Cas-Anna interactions. One could definitely say that there is tension between them, even from the moment they first saw (or tried to kill?) each other. I think it’s beautiful the way Anna and Cas wanted to kill each other, but they just have this inexplicable inability to do so. Oh yeah, they went ahead and developed feelings for each other – very slowly, very gradual. No instalove here at all.

NO LOVE:
Honestly, I expected this book to be some sort of ghost romance book. I was very wrong. This isn’t a YA paranormal romance at all. In this book, romance plays a very small role. (With this, I learned that I really shouldn’t expect a book to be something I want it to be, or I will just end up disappointed.) I can even say that this is more of a horror book. I think that there are too few private interactions between Cas and Anna. And whenever they have a moment, a friend just ruins it for them. So, it can be safely said that, the only thing I disliked about this book is the romance – or the lack of it.

FAVORITE CHARACTER:
Cas. Like I said, Cas is a ghost fighting machine! (For you to fully comprehend this, you would really have to read the fighting scenes in this book. It’s like watching a movie!) Plus, there isn’t a drop of emo blood in him, which is very refreshing! I needed a break from all those broody YA boys.

FAVORITE LINE:

…life doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t care about fair or unfair.

MUSINGS:
For the first half of the book, Anna was just a presence that works in the background. People are just talking about her. Fearing her. The reader will not meet her until about fifty per cent of the book. I wanted to meet Anna. Because of this, I became a bit restless, and even thought about setting the book aside. Now, don’t get me wrong! This book is not boring. In fact, it is actually very entertaining and is the complete opposite of boring. And it is well-written. I have no problems about the writing and the writer’s storytelling abilities. But I want books that are a complete package, meaning they have it all – action, romance, and suspense. And for me, this lacked that sweet romance for it to be a complete package. It is a horror book. In fact, there were some scenes that were just too creepy/scary for my taste. With that, I would say that, although there are a lot of people who loved this book, I am not one of them. Anna dressed in blood is just not my cup of tea.

DOODLES:

AUTHOR’S WEBSITE:
Kendare Blake

SIMILAR READS:
Possess by Gretchen McNeil
Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

CONTENT REVIEW:
profanity: moderate
violence: heavy
sexual content: mild
mature themes: moderate
age recommendation: 14+

 Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

JoAnne

My name is JoAnne and I am a sucker for fairy tales. When I was a kid, I dreamed of becoming a princess, finding my handsome prince and living happily ever after. But my parents talked me into taking up law instead. I get a strange high from reading young adult and new adult novels. I know people secretly judge me for reading books not for my age. But frankly, I don’t care. I know what makes me happy – coming-of-age stories, spine-tingling romances, fictional boyfriends, and fairy tale endings.

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