Review–Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake


Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1)

by Kendare Blake

Summary: 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. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: 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.
Yet she spares Cas's life

Source: I borrowed a Kindle copy from the library.

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Anna Dressed in Blood came highly recommended by most of my friends, so I decided to include it as the last book in the #30nightsofcreep Creeptober Readathon I hosted with Booknerderie for October. I’m glad I made room for it (and found it at the library) because it was awesome.

The book was written from a male perspective, which isn’t something I see a lot of in YA fiction (especially from a female author). I was intrigued, but also a little disappointed at first because so many male YA main characters are awful and I had no idea it was going to be from a guy’s perspective. I was definitely wrong in my initial unease because Anna Dressed in Blood was awesome and I loved Cas. I feel like the author did a great job building his character and making him seem cool without using tired teenage boy tropes.

While I’ve only ever seen a couple episodes of Supernatural (I know, I know), I feel like the book was very similar in the way that Cas exorcised ghosts and took them to the other side so they quit hurting people. His life was such an adventure and dealt with the paranormal without being cheesy. Anna was a legend that immediately interested him, as her story was tragic and her ghostly actions were quite violent.

Cas lived a nomadic life with his mom chasing after ghosts and following in his father’s footsteps. He realized that taking care of Anna would take some time, but he started to grow some roots in the town and actually made some friends. Everything about his adventure changed him, including the twists that led him to not make the same decisions with Anna as he had with other ghosts.

Anna Dressed in Blood concluded the Creeptober Readathon and I’m really glad I made room for it. Despite the fact that it could have easily been ridiculous, it surpassed all of my expectations and I was eager to read the sequel. I highly recommend it for any horror fans who also love a good YA with a bit of romance. It wasn’t your traditional run of the mill YA paranormal and I think that’s why I liked it so much.


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