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Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood (edition 2011)

by Kendare Blake

Series: Anna (1)

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1,5132094,889 (3.9)61
Title:Anna Dressed in Blood
Authors:Kendare Blake
Info:Tor Teen (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:ghosts, witches, young adult, ghost hunter, canada

Work details

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

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    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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Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)
So, ghost-hunting boy meets murderous ghostly girl that suddenly shows she has a heart. Does that come over as lame to you guys? I don't know, but it did to me. I immediately had a feeling of cliché. Fingers crossed my gut feeling was mistaken.

After reading about a fifth of the book, I felt like the story had the potential of being good. Unfortunately, I'm missing the skin-crawling writing-style that's necessary to give it that really creepy edge. Kendare Blake uses very straight-forward and to the point descriptions. That, my Munchworms, is what makes it impossible for me to feel the creepiness. It should've been written in a way to suck you right in. To make you envision everything. Disappointment all over, since it didn't have that effect on me.

The fast pace of the story itself also doesn't help in that department. Yes, it makes for an easy read since I flew right through it in about two days time, but since it went so fast, the lack of creepiness and suspense is, once again, explained.
Until, yes, until, I suddenly got very, very creeped out. Out of the blue. As if Kendare Blake wanted me to think it wouldn't get creepy and then slam creepy right in my face.
I didn't put the book down, though. I didn't feel like hurling it across the room to get it away from me. But I was relieved that there was finally some actual creepy stuff happening, described well, and made me read on with eyes as big as canon balls.

One time I had to actually laugh over something Cas said. I even ran across the apartment to get my notebook cause I wanted to include it in my review:

"Is this like how the Smurfs say they smurfing smurfed all the time?"

Something I did deem very positive, are all the unexpected twists and turns. I have to admit that Kendare Blake knows how to surprise you, how to make something happen that you didn't think of. There are books out there that are so predictable, but not this one. Nope.

Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to save my opinion of Anna Dressed In Blood. There were some creepy moments, the story is fast-paced and actually quite original, but it didn't made me curious to the sequel. It lacked that spark of creepiness that I was expecting to pull me right in the book.

Because of that, I'm only be giving this book a 3/5.

I paid full-price for this book and this is my honest review for which I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own. ( )
  booksandmunches | Jul 17, 2017 |
Cas Lowood has a unique life. Most kids his age are worried about dates, passing classes, and where they're going to college. He moves from town to town with his mom carrying on the legacy of his father killing ghosts. These ghosts are not at rest and harm other unsuspecting people so Cas is actually doing others a favor. But his lifestyle means that he is never really in one place too long and he doesn't make connections since he knows he will be leaving when his work is done. His mom (a good witch) makes potions and other items that she sells in the towns they move to. In Thunder Bay is a ghost that Cas has been told about. She is Anna and she was killed years ago on her way to a school dance. If anyone comes to Anna's house they end up dead. When Cas moves to Thunder Bay he meets the high school social leader, Carmel. He wants to get information on how to find Anna and he feels Carmel will have the most connections. At the beginning of the year party, Carmel and her ex-boyfriend decide to take Cas to Anna's house. They have no idea what's in store for them. When they knock Cas out and push him into the house, Anna is awakened. But instead of killing Cas, she kills Carmel's ex-boyfriend Mike. Cas is intrigued by Anna letting him live and has to investigate. Carmel gets involved as does another witch by the name of Thomas. Together they start to unravel the truth. Along with the truth comes the ghost that murdered Cas' father and now he wants Anna & Cas. Suspense and action ensue. Quick read and very exciting. ( )
  alsparks | Jul 14, 2017 |
This book is awesomely creepy, but isn't your average ghost story. I'm so excited there is a sequel!! ( )
  brideofsevenless | Apr 18, 2017 |
...I like that Blake uses aspects of real-life witchcraft and voodoo practices in tandem with her imagination to create the paranormal elements in Anna Dressed in Blood; Cas himself is skeptical about the realness and practicality of such practices, but I feel like he's one of the last people who should turn up his nose at such things...

...Quite frankly, I didn't much care for Cas in general. He's a broody, pretentious douchebag. His usual method of learning about ghosts from the locals is to go straight to the popular girls at whatever school he's enrolled in, because they know all the gossip and he's So Good-Looking they of course cannot resist his charms...But he has no time for girls (#sorrynotsorry for stringing you all along), or anyone else, for that matter, except his mom and the ghosts he's hunting down, so when we meet Cas, he's just a loner who fancies himself some kind of antihero, except he's really just kind of a self-important dick...

...The one main element to this book that I could have really done without was the Cas/Anna romance; I don't think it added anything at all to the story, apart from being the reason Blake uses for why Anna doesn't kill Cas outright, like she killed everyone else who went inside her house. There were other options that would have served much better: maybe she doesn't kill him because she can sense how he is different from typical humans. But no: again, these are high school characters, with all the angst and insta-love geometry that is so popular in books and movies featuring teenagers, so we get this shallow, thrown-together, star-crossed lovers trope.

I did appreciate how Blake doesn't shy away from getting graphic with the gory bits, and Anna herself was, appropriately, the most well-developed character in the book. Honestly, she is the only well-developed character in the book. I'll probably pick up the second book in this series eventually, but since it sounds like it's still Cas-centric but with even more brooding and star-crossed insta-love angst, I'm not expecting to like it much better. I wish the title character were the main character, but it is what it is...

(For the complete review, you can visit me at Here Be Bookwyrms on Blogger) ( )
  here.be.bookwyrms | Mar 20, 2017 |
Anna Dressed In Blood is written by Kendare Blake, an American author living in Washington state. She says she "writes dark" and this YA paranormal/horror is no exception. It can be read as a stand alone, but, gratefully, there is a sequel, Girl of Nightmares.

Published by Tor Teen (12 - 18), the premise is simple. Lone ghost hunter boy meets psychotic dead girl and sparks fly. It's a classic Romeo and Juliet, dagger and all, but the tone, voice and tempo of the story is so engaging, you don't think cliché all. Not once. The characters are true to life and they propel the story along with their humor, wit and fear. No jolting out of this narrative. It's tight, authentic and compelling.

Blake has the ability to take a classic star crossed lovers story and turn it into something completely fresh. It's done with sensitivity and the skill to write characters who grow and develop (forwards and back), allowing for a range of conflicting emotions, morals and drives. In other words, they ring true. The supernatural being, Anna, feels remarkably believable, at once repulsive and sympathetic, a true anti-hero/dark hero. Told in the third person from the POV of Cas, a 17 year old high school junior/ghost hunter, the language is at times raw, the imagery gory and the emotions elating to heartbreaking.

I was particularly impressed with Tor Teen's editing and liberal ruling on the tone of the story. There was no watering down, censoring of profanity (well, I didn't see the submitted draft so maybe . . .). The point is, Anna Dressed in Blood treats their readers as the savvy people they are. Well done.

Needless to say, I'm reading book 2 as we speak. ( )
  KimFalconer | Jan 29, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kendare Blakeprimary authorall editionscalculated
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.

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)

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