Monday, February 27, 2012

Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Series: Anna #1
Author:  Kendare Blake 
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: Publisher
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.
Review: When I first laid eyes on this book's cover, I knew I needed to read it. It's jet got one of those covers, you know? After reading the synopsis and many reviews, I still waited a while to dig into this book. I am now kicking myself for doing so because this book...this book, guys, was oh so awesome. Fantastic. Scary. Wonderful. Funny!

Kendare Blake begins Anna Dressed in Blood with a bang! She takes no hesitation in bring the reader right into the excitement, the danger, that comes with Cas's job! From the beginning, you know that the plot will have gruesome, mean ghosts, a funny, witty protagonist and such a contemporary writing style. Kendare Blake created not only a vivid world but her writing style is so fresh and advanced, especially since this is her debut book! I could relate to Cas, even though he is a guy, and the teenager world that Kendare Blake gave him was really relatable, sans the ghosts.

I loved Cas. So, so much. Not only was he a kickbutt protagonist, but he was funny and sarcastic and caring too. You can tell that he misses his dad and loves him mom to death. It's also evident that Cas is very smart and focused and he knows what he has to do. In most cases, he's fearless but then there were those little moments where his fear shone through and that was really the thing that proved him to be relatable. No guy wants to be labeled a coward and neither does Cas but he does get scared at times. The friends he made were quirky and fun and has personalities all their own. Anna herself was pretty kickbutt and I felt so bad for her at times!

Overall, Anna Dressed in Blood is a magnificent debut for author Kendare Blake. She displays well rounded characters with many layers and a plot full of twists and turns and suspense and yes, scary things. Anna Dressed in Blood is a fun, fast paced, sometimes scary book that will keep you at the edge of your seat until you close the book. Then you're going to want more!

Overall: 4.5/5
Cover Comments: 5/5—It's so creepy and pretty and awesome. AND it goes perfectly well with the book itself!

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