Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake


Anna Dressed in Blood
Kendare Blake
Series: Anna, #1
Released: August 30th, 2011
Publisher: Tor Teen
Rating: 4.5 stars
Fright Scale: 5 out of 10
Reviewed by: Mel

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Cas Lowood, armed with his late father's athame knife, kills ghosts. In Thunder Bay, Anna, forever 16, drips blood on her white dress from throat slit in 1958, and rips apart anyone who enters her house - except Cas. He makes new friends - high school queen Carmel, jock Will, admiring nerd Thomas and Tom's voodoo grandpa Morfran - to fight this demon.

Someone please pass me the glue. My heart just needs a little piecing back together. One out of a million pieces to go people. Anna Dressed in Blood was exactly what I expected it to be. Filled with blood, action, ghosts and romance, what's not to love? I mean, blood and ghosts are really attractive.

Seventeen year old Cas Lowood has been killing the dead ever since his early teen years. His father's athame knife is practically his best friend when it got in his possession when Cas' father died killing ghosts. And to make this a perfect family, Cas' mother is a white witch. Cas was a really likable male protagonist for someone who has never really had the typical human life. He had a strong, determined personality and his humour was must a bonus which also created a nice balance against the grotesque descriptions Kendare Blake just had to throw in every now and again. I won't argue that Cas can take some time warming up to but I truly did love him in the end, he was a fierce-ly-fantabulous character. This being said, Anna was the true highlight in this book. Well duh, the title is Anna Dressed in Blood. Anywho, she was a two-faced character- in a good way of course. An innocent yet monstrous girl. A loving yet heartless soul. A girl with a white dress, that's been painted by the colour of death. I began to think I was losing it when I had urges to hug Anna. Loving ghosts is not okay in real life. It's the second sign of madness after the first sign; seeing one. While Anna seemed depthless to begin with, the story craftily unravels the reasons of Anna's motives and why she has become the way she is.

What I appreciate about Kendare Blake is how she never takes the easy way out or twists a great potential novel into a heavily clich├ęd one. I bet she even wrote this book in her sleep. Firstly, we have the potential of a love triangle between a dead goth girl, miss popularity and new boy at school. But nope, Kendare doesn't do that. Then she could have taken the easy way out by making it new badass guy at school and miss popularity. And no again, Kendare creates a seemingly impossible romance between a ghost killer and a ghost and doesn't twist it into an angst-driven chemistry. I love her for that. But then on second thoughts… maybe not. I mean, while I wasn't scared right out of my pants, I was sure close to it not even one hundred pages in. I hate being scared. At 12am in the morning. Not. Cool. I seriously do not favour letting my imagination spread to visualise chopped in half bodies. That kinda stuff makes me want to throw up my dinner. It was a nice dinner too... It would have been a pity.

A deliciously bloody novel accompanied with a romance, kick-ass male lead and enough ghosts to make you shudder, Anna Dressed in Blood in my opinion is under-hyped. You're probably about to tell me that it's really hyped. But I'm just saying that the entire world should read this. If you have not picked up a copy, this Halloween is the time to do it!

29 comments :

  1. I agree with your horror scale rating, the book is not really that scary but the concept is sure thrilling and refreshing. The ending broke my heart! Lovely review! :)

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    1. Same here *sigh* Girl of Nightmares is just sitting there screaming "read me!"

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  2. Lol Mel, your reviews always manage to make my giggle. Gotta love Kendare's books! Yeah, when I was reading this I was so expecting Cas to end up with Carmel but she took the harder way which I really loved. It wasn't all cheesy and start-crossed at all. Fantastic review :)

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    1. Aw thanks! I kept on hearing the about a romance in this series so when Carmel showed up was immediately thought that it was going to be her.

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  3. I had a hard time liking Cas but he stole my heart in the last third- and he's even better in Girl of Nightmares! You really need to read that ASAP.
    Great review Mel!!

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    1. GAH Soon! I'm reviewing that one next week :D

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  4. Great review! I totally agree about Anna. The way she became a fleshed out character was great. (And the second book is even better!)

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    1. -.- Y'all are here to torment me, yes? Thank you!

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  5. Goodness... creepy books and Halloween! I never read creepy books but starting in October, wherever I go, people are talking about why this Anna series is worth everybody's attention. I guess the Universe is throwing me signs :)

    Cas does sound like a very cool character - maybe bloody novels aren't something I should stay away from. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. No you shouldn't- get your hands grubby with Halloween reads >.< Yeah, the universe is pratically screaming at you to read it ;)

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  6. I just couldn't get into this novel. I love ghost stories, and seriously, how amazing is that cover?, but I struggled relating to Cas. So many people love this book, though, so I feel like I should try again.

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    1. It's a shame you couldn't get into this but like you said, totally worth trying again. The cover is perfect, agreed!

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  7. Wow, now I'm really upset I don't have a copy! I've been waiting for it on hold for months now from the library...and it's on my wishlist but I hate to buy hardcovers unless I really need to. This is one I def have to buy, it's perfect to read for Halloween! Sounds so creepy and I don't think I've read anything by Kendra Blake before, shocking right?! :P great review Mel

    Dee @ Dee's reads

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    1. I don't own this series yet but after finishing this a few days back, I bought them on TBD. These in hardback are totally worth it even though I love my paperbacks- they're just easier to read, you know?

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  8. I've had this book for awhile but I haven't read it yet. I'm definitely moving it up on my list. Great review! ~Pam

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  9. I've read this one, and boy, it had so much potential! The premise was excellent, and it was creepy, albeit cliched.
    And you were SCARED. BAHA. Okay ;) at 2am, now them ghosties will be at your front door! Nah they won't.
    Oh gosh, I'm being so odd.
    But fantastic review Mel, and great pick for spookfest! xD

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    1. -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.- You're one of the meanest yet nicest people I know. YOU OUTCAST! YOU SHOULD BE BANISHED! Thank you Em <3

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  10. I really enjoyed this one as well, Melanie! Cas was so much fun with is snarky inner dialogue. Loved all the creepy goodness! Wonderful review, Melanie! :)

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    1. He's a little bit of everything really. Thanks Rach!

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  11. I enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood, although I thought it was a little overhyped but I still gave it a 4. If you thought this one was creepy, the 2nd book is even worse! Great review Mel!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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    1. Oh dear, I shall have to then! >.<

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  12. I love Kendare Blake so much. Her humor is perfect to me because she is so darn clever. I adore every book I've read of hers and so happy to read your review :-)

    My Friends Are Fiction

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    1. Cas had great humour, I cannot wait to start book 2 or Antigoddess. Thanks!

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  13. I admit that I love this book, and I do adore Cas. I honestly miss him and I wish the series could have been longer.

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    1. If it was a trilogy or something, it would have been awesome. However I wouldn't like the series to be stretched out too much- then pacing would be a major pain

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  14. I am going to try to read this one this month since I'm trying to work a few scary/creepy books into my October TBR. I think it's great that after some warm-up, you liked Cas! Lovely review, Mel.

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    1. This one wasn't as scary as I predicted (thank god) but the descriptions got pretty gruesome at times. Thank you xD

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  15. I liked this book a lot too. Admittedly I have a weakness for human/ghost love stories but this one isn't so typical as you point out and I appreciated that.

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