Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Release Date – August 30, 2011
Publisher – Tor Teen
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 316 pages
My Rating- 10/10
**obtained from the library**
Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
Kendare Blake really has created something magical. This novel sucks you in and doesn’t let go until the very last fright. It’s spooky, heart wrenching, and funny all at various times. Her writing style is face paced, page turning and you’ll want to finish this one in one sitting.
Her characters are ones that you will fall in love with. I dare anyone to read it and not fall for Cas and Anna.
Cas Lowood is our main character. He’s snarly, confident, and I couldn’t get enough. His portrayal is a shining example of a male narrative done RIGHT. He was pitch perfect. I had no issues wanting to protect him. This boy who grew up too quickly after his father was murdered. This boy who wants to avenge his father, and maybe get through high school at the same time. He heartbreakingly pushes everyone away so they do not end up tangled in his intense lifestyle. His mom is present, and tries to help. They both realize though that some bumps and bruises are par for the course once he takes over the family legacy.
Anna’s story is heartbreaking. What happened to her is so horrific, so wrong, so tragic I wanted to reach into the pages and throttle those responsible for her death. This poor girl left in a white dress covered in blood (where she gets her nickname). As a ghost she is terrifying, nightmare inducing and bad ass. She’s all dark, twisty, and powerful., yet there is a softness underneath that is begging for redemption, for relief.
The book is blurbed as being a typical “Boy meets girl story” but with bite. The relationship that develops between Cas and Anna while intense, is actually rather sweet. I was rooting for them the entire time. It’s actually quite romantic and heartbreaking underneath all the scares.
Cas meets people in Thunder Bay that really complicate things. Not only is he having warm fuzzies for a murdering, intense ghost, but he has actual friends, something he tries not to have. He can’t push these people out. They are AWESOME! Thomas and Carmel. Sigh, I want to squish them and make them be together. The subtle chemistry between them is perfect for high school crushes and I love that they are so loyal to Cas. The two of them make the perfect Scooby Gang for Cas (please watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer if you don’t get that reference. Oh, and the series, not the movie!).
I think this may be one of my favourite 2011 releases this year. It’s touching, scary, and beautiful. I can’t wait to see what is next for Anna, and Cas.