This book FREAKED ME OUT in the beginning. I was really scared,I had to see several episodes of South Park to stop looking in the dark corners of my room. :D
Was anyone thinking about Supernatural while reading this book? I was. It contains many of the same elements, and in many ways Cas is not unlike the Winchester brothers. He's funny and driven and talented and a damn fine person!
The secondary characters in this book:Thomas,Caramel,Will and Morfran are well developed characters. I love their quirks. I love their flaws. I love their fullness.
The plot worked until the focus shifted away from Anna about two-thirds through, which is a shame. You may think I am insane for saying this but the romance with Cas and Anna did nothing for me. Kendare should let them hook up in the second book and not in the first. I loose interest very fast that way. That is the only reason I give it 4 stars.
This was the best ghost story that has been written in years. It is the ghost story readers have been looking for but haven't been able to find. Creepy, scary, and will keep you up all night turning the pages! All in all, I am fascinated by Kendare's writing ability and I look forward to continuing this series. I can't wait to see what happens to Cas and Anna next!
Anna Dressed in Blood is one of the most original, deeply creepy and engrossing novels I’ve read recently. The story certainly lives up to the eeriness of the cover art and is an interesting mix of supernatural horror and forbidden attraction.
Kendare Blake has created a world in which things that go bump in the night are very real and likely to kill you. Cas is an interesting and wonderfully flawed hero, while Anna's character opens the story to new directions that the reader doesn't expect. Secondary characters are just as important and well-developed and help bring Blake's world to life. Anna Dressed in Blood perfectly balances horror, action and emotion to leave the reader anxiously waiting for the next volume.
I’ll be honest – this book actually gave me a few nightmares. Not because of Anna; she is intriguing and tormented and freaky yes, but there is another character that I truly gave me the chills. Readers will feel compelled to finish this book in one sitting so as not to be too overcome by the death-by-ghost possibilities. Kendare Blake is a talented writer who’s second novel bursts onto the YA Paranormal scene with a bewitching tale.
Recommended for readers of:
Robert Liparulo, Stephen King, Richard Yancey, Maureen Johnson
Picture the scene of a horror movie, right before something is about to happen, and the creepy music goes silent. That is the feeling I got almost the entire length of this book. My hair was standing on end and I was on edge - jumping at any creaks or groans emitted in my apartment.
Anna is heartbreaking. And terrifying. There were definite moments where I forgot she was dead, and hoped for a future for her. Then Blake would shatter my heart and remind me that Anna was dead and that there was no hope. The scenes with her dripping blood were written so vividly, that I kept fearing that when I looked up from my book she would be hovering over me.
Cas was a strong protagonist, and I loved the slightly awkward moments between him and Thomas as their friendship grew. It was refreshing that Cas was honest about everything with everyone, instead of making stupid decisions which would end up coming back to haunt him later. I wish his thirst for vengeance for his father had been slightly stronger, and that it had been explained why his mother and Gideon reacted so strongly to his questions about his father's death - and the strange talisman he found at his murder site.
Thomas was a great supporting character - his awkward clumsiness was endearing, and being unnaturally brave made his actions that much more honourable. Carmel was also a refreshing supporting character. As the popular cheerleader-type, I expected a vapid airhead. She proved herself the complete opposite several times and I really enjoyed seeing her come into her own and prove her worth.
I did find the first half of the book was a little too slowly paced for me, as I didn't really understand Cas' attraction to Anna. I get that she is different then every other ghost he has faced, but other than curiosity over how she had gotten so strong, I didn't get why he would risk his life to ask her questions - questions that she kept refusing to answer.
Once the binding spell was completed, however, and we learn about Anna's sordid past, I couldn't get to the ending fast enough! Suspense and twists had me gripping the book until my knuckles went white. I won't get in to the ending - I don't want to inadvertently spoil anything - but I will say that the final scene at Cas' house will haunt my nightmares. I've got chills just thinking about it again.
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.
Although I didn’t like the ending, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Anna Dressed In Blood! Cas Lowood was one of my favourite character as, after the death of his father, Cas not only takes on the responsibility of continuing his father’s ghost hunting business, but also the responsibility of protecting himself & his mother from unearthly creatures. He tries successfully to balance his paranormal activities with maintaining the pretence that he is just an average teenager, that is until he meets Anna Dressed In Blood, when his father’s paranormal history finally catches up with him. Anna was also one of my favourite characters, as I loved reading about how she became the notorious, Anna Dressed In Blood, and how what happened during her short life triggered the events that would affect the whole community for the subsequent decades during her “afterlife”. Anna was also one of my favourite characters because of her quick wit, and sharp tongue. I love the cover of Anna Dressed In Blood! It portrays Anna, and the events surrounding her in the book perfectly. I would definitely recommend this book!
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Published by Tor Teen
On Shelves Now
Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn
The Sisters Say: Sinister and Superb, A sucker-punch to awaken the world of YA!
So, I’ve been staring at this book for months now trying to work up the courage to read it. And when say months, I mean, at least six—but I always psyched myself and decided it was probably too scary for me. So, when I finally picked this up to read, it was a big deal to me. I mean a BIG DEAL! Further explanation? I don’t do horror. Whenever I think I’m kick butt enough to watch a horror movie, I end up sleeping with EVERY light on for at least a week. In fact, when I watched Silent Hill…that week turned into almost a month. I don’t do scary. So, I started reading Anna, completely sure that I would spend my nights lying flat on my back…with dozens of pillows surrounding me….with all the lights on….and with my glasses perched on my nose all night (just in case I heard and noise and needed to quickly scan the room)….and with a bat hiding snuggly under the bed (if I could brave myself enough to look under the bed). AND? Pleasant surprise! Anna was amazing—scary at times, but not so much to warrant an all-night watch-for-the-unworldly-athon.
The best thing about this book—it was the FIRST BOOK EVER where I liked the female main character better than the guy. This is a big deal! Big! I’m usually swept away by the good boy with charming good looks and sweet smile, or fall head over heels for the bad boy whose arrogance rivals only a Greek god’s. But, with this one, I immediately fell on the side of Team Anna. She was so awesome! The way Kendare described her was chilling, and her words wrenched me from the recliner and thrust me straight into that old Victorian where I felt like I was staring the “dark goddess” in the eyes. Full of power and darkness, yet ridden with innocence and guilt; Anna was the kind of bad guy that you just can’t help root for.
Now that doesn’t mean I didn’t like Cas, I really enjoyed him, also. Tough and arrogant, and completely at home in the other world, Cas will definitely leave you breathless at moments. Cas has been left with the duty of sending murderous ghosts back where they belong, but there is a part of him that wonders about his destiny. He struggles with everything he doesn’t know about the world on the other side. I loved watching his journey of truth, and by the end of the book, though his journey is far from over, I felt like Cas had grown from a boy exacting revenge to a man seeking discover the truth about his powers.
Kendare did an amazing job creating the personalities of the minor characters, also. You have 2 sidekicks in this Scooby gang—the quiet, nerdy boy with witchy powers (like Velma, only a dude), and the beautiful, always gets her way popular chick (we’ll call her the modern day Daphne). Together with Cas and Anna, these two will provide the much needed comic relief from the terror of the book.
And what about the story itself?
It was full of twists and turns that (although some you could see coming), kept me on the edge of my seat. The imagery was at times beautiful and poetic, while at other times, sinister and macabre. There were definite gory parts, but surprisingly, they didn’t bother me. In fact, they added to the sorrow of the story. I mean, this is a horror story, but most of the time I either felt an unwavering sadness at how evil had caught so many in its net, and at other times, I was in awe—of the way Kendare put so much power into play. Her world will melt from the page and come alive around you, and there will be times when you will wish it could stay that way!
Okay…so I will leave you with a few statements that you need to remember!
1.) This books is Ah-mazing!
2.) If you are scared to read this book, don’t be! It’s worth the fear!
3.) Anna is freaking unbelievably awesome!
4.) YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!
5.) My review of Girl of Nightmares (Book 2) will be up soon. Although I didn’t like it as much as this one, it was still great.
6)….AND…AGAIN….You must read this book!
Ghost stories aren’t usually my thing but I heard so many good things about ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD, I had to decide for myself. Now, after reading it, I know why Kendare Blake has so many people talking about her book. She knows how to write a good story and knows how to keep her readers interested. For a book about ghosts, it’s not necessarily horror but it does have enough magic and action to keep you engaged in the story all the way to the end.
The first scene reminded me of the TV show, Supernatural. It’s where we met Cas, the narrator, as he was driving a Camaro, on the hunt to pick up a ghostly hitchhiker. After his father died at the hand of a ghost, Cas became obsessed with avenging his father’s death by trying to kill as many ghosts as possible. I found Cas a little arrogant and smug, since he thought he was one of the only one that could hunt and kill ghosts. He did have the advantage of possessing an athame, a special knife that enable him to kill ghosts, but that alone shouldn’t make him the only or best ghost killer. But overall, I think his smugness was part of his quirky charm and I really enjoyed reading a YA novel with a male’s point of view. We read so many YA paranormal novels with female point of views so I found it refreshing to have a different outlook. Especially since having a male narrator means not getting pestered with annoying girly and teenage… touchy-feely stuff. Also, I loved Cas’s no-nonsense character. He might have been a little distant when it came to making friend but to him, killings ghosts was more important. I found he explained himself quite well when he said, “I guess I never give too much thought to the living.”
After the hitchhiker, Cas moved on to a bigger challenge, and we finally learn about Anna dressed in blood. Who is literally dressed in blood. If I had to describe Anna in one word, I would say Awesome! (A second word, however, would be bipolar). She's unlike any ghost I've ever read about and she scared me to death, at first. Unlike Cas, she wasn’t necessarily vengeful but had murderous tendencies because she was more or less grieving the loss of her life. I won’t reveal more about her because I don’t want to ruin Anna’s story but I do want to mention that the imagery used to describe Anna was absolutely wonderful.
Some of my favorite parts in the book were seeing the relationship between Thomas and Carmel develop (Cas’s friends and sidekicks). Thomas is more or less an awkward geek and Carmel is the prom queen socialite. The unlikeliness of this relationship happening in real life made it that much more enjoyable to read about. Thomas is also the comic relief in the story, while Carmel is more the voice of reason.
One thing’s for sure—Kendare Blake keeps you guessing until the very end of the book. She’s a great story-teller and she has me wanting to read more about Anna and Cas’s lives. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to read YA paranormal novels, and I’m not just saying that because Kendare Blake chose a Canadian city as the setting for her book. According to the author, only two books are planned for the series.
Actually really good. Cas, somewhat ghostbuster, travels around to somewhat "help" ghosts cross over to the other side. Takes up this Anna case after what he heard she could do. In a way ends maturing, finally made some friends, and fell in love, who just happened to be Anna. He's stil dealing with his father death, still plotting revenge against the demon that killed him. Wasn't surprised at his decision at the end about what's going to happen to him.
Could have done w/out the cat scene, it was out there.
I will actually read the sequel and see where this journey takes Cas/Anna.
Number one thing I loved about Anna Dressed In Blood above anything else? Cas. Hands down, it's Cas. He is the best male character I've ever read! You know the brooding, mysterious boy that makes a debut in almost every novel? He is always the crush of the female character because he is so different. That boy? That's Cas. It's amazing to finally get to see things from that boy's point of view, and let me tell you, it's a pretty intense point of view. As a main character, Cas shows us what it is like to be the lone wolf. The person trying to keep others at bay to protect them. It's sensational!
I do admit that this book scared the pants off me for a bit. Let's be honest, this isn't a book for the faint of heart. In fact, if you're not a fan of slightly gory occurrences? This might not be for you. However if you are okay with some violence in your reading, then you'll love Kendare Blake's story. This is a darker story. One filled with grief, vengeance, and yet still the hope that there is something better out there. The multiple layers create something that is wholly immersive, and easy to read.
Anna Dressed In Blood moves at breakneck speed, and I promise you that if you pick it up you won't set it down until you've finished reading. The way that the characters all compliment one another, the way that just enough suspense gets placed in just the right places, it makes this a story that is massively addicted. In fact, by the time that I reached the end I wanted to throw the book across the room. Not because I didn't love it. Nay, because I wish I had more! I cannot wait.
Suffice it to say, if you couldn't tell from my above ramblings, this is a book that I just adored. Kendare Blake has taken all of the elements that I love in a good story and blended them together into something that is just too good to be true. I never thought I'd find myself enamored with a ghost, but there you have it. Blake has managed to do that for me. I don't doubt you'll feel the same way when you pick up a copy of this book. Anna Dressed In Blood is amazing.
This book has one of the creepiest covers ever. I absolutely love it. This story sounds like it would be pretty creepy right? Well it is, in some parts at least but it's also very sweet and romantic as well. This is one of those books that I had to put down at night, solely due to the fact that reading ghost stories at night bothers me. I would however rush to pick it back up in the morning. This is a book that I won't be able to get out of my head for a while.
Just the first like of the description "Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story" was enough to draw my attention. I knew going in that this would probably end up being somewhat of a romance and it really did a great job of that by not taking over the entire storyline.
The ghost aspect was really refreshing, instead of the main character being afraid of ghosts or just being haunted by one, he actually sought them out to "kill" them. This really made the story interesting and the whole time I was wondering whether or not Cas would really be able to "kill" Anna.
The characters really helped make this book for me. Cas was an independent guy who wasn't part of mainstream society. He worked in the dark and kept himself distanced from people mainly because of what he did every night. He's actually a pretty sweet and caring person once Thomas and Carmel managed to get past his anti-social shell. Thomas was an interesting one. He was so shy and withdrawn yet he had this personality that just made me like him. Carmel seemed like such a snob in the beginning but as the story goes on we find out that she's actually much deeper than that. I loved Anna. Her story is so tragic and the things that she does are horrible. Yet there is so much humanity left inside of this girl who had everything taken away, she actually feels regret.
The story is emotional as well. There is the one scene where we finally learn Anna's whole story and believe me it's a sad one. I found myself getting upset and angry over the fate that she met and I kept rooting for her as the story progressed. The story had a shocking twist as well, I didn't see a lot of the things coming that happened and for that I was really happy, who wants a predictable ghost story anyway?
I absolutely loved Anna Dressed in Blood and I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel. If you like ghost stories then I definitely recommend checking this one out. Even if you aren't that big of a fan of ghost stories, I still recommend this, there are plenty of other aspects to this story like romance, mystery and suspense.