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Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
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Anna Dressed in Blood (edition 2012)

by Kendare Blake

Series: Anna (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1361797,212 (3.92)53
Member:sedelia
Title:Anna Dressed in Blood
Authors:Kendare Blake
Info:Tor Teen (2012), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Audiobook, Owned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:2012

Work details

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

None
  1. 40
    The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (kaledrina)
  2. 20
    The Restorer by Amanda Stevens (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Both novels involve creepy, angry ghosts and the narrator's attempts to deal with them in the tradition of their father's teaching. Anna Dressed in Blood is YA and involves ghost-slaying, while the heroine of The Restorer simply wants the ghosts to ignore her, but there is a similar creepiness about them.… (more)
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*Shakes head in disappointment*

You know when you walk into a book store, and you see a beautiful cover that catches your attention and you immediately think, "That looks good!" and you read the blurb and review quotes and you think, "Yep. This looks great. I need to read it."

And then you start reading the book and it fails in every single aspect, and you're left with nothing but bitter disappointment?

That's [b:Anna Dressed in Blood|9378297|Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)|Kendare Blake|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1398637405s/9378297.jpg|14261925]. The premise was interesting, but everything else just failed.

Summary

"Cas Lowood is no ordinary guy - he hunts dead people.

People like Anna. Anna Dressed in Blood. A beautiful, murderous ghost entangled in curses and rage. Cas knows he must destroy her, but as her tragic past is revealed, he starts to understand why Anna has killed everybody who's ever dared enter her spooky home.

Everyone, that is, except Cas..."


When I read the blurb, it sounded incredibly interesting. So interesting that I bought it straight away and didn't even bother reading the reviews here on Goodreads (which I usually do before spending money).

When I then read the review snippets, I thought it was going to be a scary, gory, sleep-with-the-lights-on book, but I couldn't have been more wrong.

The premise

Cas Lowood has accepted a new job -- to banish the spirit of Anna Dressed in Blood, a murderous, spiteful spirit who dismembers every human that dares step across the threshold of her home.

From page one, I could see that I wasn't going to like it as much as I expected to. Cas Lowood is a dick. He's cocky, shallow and very much in your face. He does nothing at all to win over the readers or even his cat, Tybalt. I felt incredibly sorry for his mother, who has to put up with a son like Cas, someone who doesn't give a flying fuck about other people's wishes except his own. He's very selfish that way and his mother just goes along with whatever he wants to do. So when they decide to go to Ontario, Canada to hunt Anna, his mother didn't even bat an eyelid.

Cas

Throughout the entirety of the book, Cas constantly says, "I'm the only one who can do this job. I'm the only one who can kill ghosts." Which left me screaming, "Why? Why are YOU the only one who can? What if there are others out there? Hm? HMMM?" I think Blake could've given us an explanation for this, even if it was just a theory, as I know there is another book in the series.

Cas likes to think he's the super macho hot guy. The second he steps into his new school, heads swivel in his direction and girls fawn all over him as if he was Depp-hot, which I highly doubt.

"Or maybe I'm just damn easy on the eyes."

Are you, Cas? Because I have no fucking clue what you look like! We are never given a physical description of the MC. EVER.

He's the kind of guy who thinks he's 'all that':

"When I walk by, I pointedly ignore her."

And he obviously thinks he's drop dead gorgeous because...

"At lunch, Carmel flags me down, but I don't go over right away. I'm not here to date anyone, and I don't want to give her the wrong idea."

Cas, honey, you're not going to give her the wrong idea if you sit with her at lunch.

"I make my way to her table, seeing eyes growing wider as I do. Ten or so other girls just developed instantaneous crushes on me."

I STILL don't know what you look like, mate!


Anna

*sighs*

So when you hear the name Anna Dressed in Blood, and you hear that she tortures and maims any human that walks into your house, your first thought is, "My, she must be terrifying."

Anna wasn't terrifying at all. I scare easily, but Anna made me laugh. Sure, her appearance was a bit off putting, but other than that, she's a pretty boring ghost. Emphasis on pretty.

"Her feet drag horribly along like she can't use them at all. Dark, purplish veins cut through her pale white skin. Her hair is shadow-less black, and it moves through the air as though suspended in water, snaking out behind and drifting like reeds. It's the only thing about her that looks alive. ... There is the dress. It's wet, and red, and constantly moving. It drips onto the ground."

Scary, right? Sounds pretty terrifying, huh?

Well after a few scenes she's then described as 'beautiful', 'ethereal' and 'gorgeous' -- nothing like the crazy killer from a few pages back. In the end, Anna is nothing but a damned spirit who falls in love with Cas.

Which brings me to my next point!

The romance

You haven't known instalove until you read this book. The romance fell from the sky and landed on their laps. It came from nowhere. One minute Cas is going on about how he must banish this awful murderous spirit, and the next he's in love, and thinking about their future, and talking to Thomas about how he doesn't think he can live without her.

It's awful, disconcerting and inconsistent and it just didn't sit right with me. There was no build-up, no grand revelation, just 'omg I'm in love with her'.

Overall, I was incredibly disappointed. If you want blood, gore, hair-standing-on-end, sleep-with-the-lights-on book, this isn't it. If you want plot holes, random mythology thrown at you, flat characters and cheap romance, then this book is definitely for you.

1.5 stars
( )
  Aly_Locatelli | Jan 26, 2015 |
This book actually didn't scare me (too much...), and there were a few things that kept this from a five-star read. One time where I think the author may have confused Saturday with Sunday, which confused me, so I'm taking off a star. You don't like it, Blake? DEAL WITH IT.

Honestly, it's just because there were a few too many loose threads at the end. But the difference between this and, say, [b:Insanity|18910286|Insanity (Mad in Wonderland, #1)|Cameron Jace|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1385232610s/18910286.jpg|26915698] is that the plot actually makes sense and was still gripping, even with the loose threads. And yes, Cas could be a bit of a jerk sometimes, but I think after all the stuff he's been through, he has a bit of a right to be a jerk. Also, can someone please come up with a ship name for Thomas and Carmel? So then I can just say it 24/7? Please? ( )
  IsaboeOfLumatere | Jan 14, 2015 |
One boy takes on his father's job of killing ghosts..until he meets Anna. Unusual power for a ghost, she doesn't go quietly into that good night, not like most. He has to find out her secret and maybe avenge his father in the process. ( )
  bookwormteri | Jan 5, 2015 |
One again I've lowered myself to reading a young adult book that seems more interesting than many of the adult books I process. I found this tale, of a young hero who falls in love with a teenage girl ghost infamous for her cruelty, to be gory for an old man's taste if not for today's teenagers. The girl turns out to be not only redeemable but cursed and therefore not responsible.

I liked the story fairly well. The author made her Romeo and Juliet not only bearable but likable. She also had a nasty and color imagination for horrors. I wished she wrote better but I am always wishing that about the YA authors I read. ( )
  Coach_of_Alva | Dec 26, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this book. I've been reading horror for ages, and (likely because it's YA) the horror aspect of this book seemed tame compared to what I'm used to. That wasn't an issue for me, just an observation to pass along. The story was very well-written and the characters well-developed. I particularly liked how the core characters seemed like teenagers who were so different that were it not for the unique situation they faced they would never enter each others' atmosphere. The only pet peeve I have is the relationship between Cas and Anna. There was really no reasoning or explanation as to why it went the direction it did. I didn't sense any chemistry between these two, unlike with the other characters. Despite that, I still very much enjoyed this and look forward to the sequel. ( )
  Kelly_Mills | Dec 13, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kendare Blakeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
NekroCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Just your average, boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...
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The grease-slicked hair is a dead giveaway—no pun intended.
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COPYRIGHT PAGE NOTICES:

All rights reserved.

This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.
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Book description
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.
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For three years, seventeen-year-old Cas Lowood has carried on his father's work of dispatching the murderous dead, traveling with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat, but everything changes when he meets Anna, a girl unlike any ghost he has faced before.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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