Published by Tom Doherty October 17th 2011
Genre(s): Horror, Romance, Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 stars
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.
I KNOW, GUYS. I KNOW. This is my first review in…..such a embarrassingly long time that I’m not even going to tell you. Since I haven’t written a review in a while, I might be a little rusty, but please bear with me!
If you’re looking for an amazing YA horror novel, look no further. Anna Dressed In Blood has it all: the spookiness, the romance, the terrifyingly-descriptive writing style. And it’s perfect for Halloween!
The Characters: The protagonist of this book is Cas, an incredibly brave and loyal, but still realistic, character. What makes Cas so special? He has inherited a unique ability: he kills the dead. Just like his father did before him, before he was found brutally murdered.
Alright, on to Anna, the other main character. Yes, the girl on the terrifying cover with blood dripping down her beautiful white dress, AKA “Anna Dressed In Blood.” Anna is dangerous, powerful, and ultimately deadly. She’s full of vengeful fury, and she won’t stop until she gets what she wants. Even if it means killing anyone who gets in her way. Especially if it means killing anyone that gets in her way, for that matter. Until, for some reason, she doesn’t kill Cas. Though Cas is a truly wonderful and relatable character, it’s really Anna who takes the center stage.
The Plot: Terrifying. Seriously, truly terrifying. Anna Dressed In Blood had me on the edge of my seat the whole time, and it’s full of vivid and gory imagery. I actually had to take breaks in between chapters because it got too intense for me, and I never read it before bedtime because I was scared of having nightmares. So, basically: this book was awesome!
The only thing that I didn’t enjoy as much was the romance. It felt really insta-lovey and forced, and I didn’t really see the characters gradually get to know each other like I wanted them to. In fact, I didn’t even know the characters actually liked each other until they were suddenly kissing each other – Wait, what?!! However, I don’t think that took away much from the novel since I loved it so much as a whole.
The Writing Style: Kendare Blake is an amazing novelist, and she’s certainly not afraid to write some extremely disturbing or gory scenes. Her writing is vivid, descriptive, and flows perfectly. Cas’s voice sounded authentic and realistic, and was actually really funny in some parts, which helped lighten up the dark mood.
“She’s my purpose and we’re going to save each other. We’re going to save everyone. And then I’m going to convince her that she’s supposed to stay here. With me.”
“I’ve seen most of what there is to be afraid of in this world, and to tell you the truth,
the worst of them are the ones that make you afraid in the light. The things that your eyes see plainly and can’t forget are worse than huddled black figures left to the imagination. Imagination has a poor memory; it slinks away and goes
blurry. Eyes remember for much longer.”
“I can feel that photo of Anna staring at me from sixty years ago, and I can’t help myself from wanting to protect her, wanting to save her from becoming what she already is.”
Final Thought: Basically, if you want an amazing YA horror novel perfect for Halloween, read this RIGHT NOW. I promise, you won’t regret it. Unless you do, which would make me really sad. XD I loved this book, and definitely won’t be forgetting about this one for a long, long time.
Bonus: I just found out that Anna Dressed In Blood is going to be a movie! Stephanie Meyer (yes, that Stephanie Meyer) is going to be producing it, which I’m not too happy about, but it’s still going to be amazing! Find more information about the movie here.
Happy reading! 🙂