Anna Dressed in Blood
by Kendare Blake
genre: YA, horror, mystery
A surprisingly good and creepy YA book. Find out why I gave it a 3.5 out of 5 stars!
(Taken from Goodreads)
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.
I picked up this book for my sister and decided to read it myself. I love creepy, haunting stories so I thought this was right up my alley. Overall, I enjoyed it but I felt like the book could have been more. I think if the book was marketed to adults instead of teenagers, this concept could have realised its full potential.
Cas was an enjoyable protagonist. His character was fun to read along to. My favourite character by far was Anna but that is obvious. I just love crazy, powerful, and dark female characters. But I much preferred her at the beginning. For the other side characters, I didn’t care too much about them. I didn’t like how the mother character was prominent in the first part of the novel and then nearly dissapears. I would have liked that relationship between mother and son explored further. I also liked Carmel at the end with her finale act. I hated that we had telepathic characters, it seemed like overkill. I would have preferred the story to focus on ghosts and avoid telepathy but this feature didn’t take away from the story.
I’m not really sure what I think about the love part of it all. I felt like Kendare could have explored that more. It felt a little rushed but there was much more chemistry and development than many YA romantic relationships. I liked this part of the story the least, at least how it developed.
I don’t understand how America hasn’t caught onto anything when there are so many deaths-by-ghosts. That made no sense to me. Also, the police are so stupid and uncaring. They seem to be unbelievably laid back about all the horrors happening in their town. That part of the story seemed to be an easy way out for Kendare but I didn’t mind.
This book is definitely creepy and contains quite a few gruesome details of murder. But I was expecting more. For those who scare easily, I wouldn’t recommend it but I loved the haunting theme to the entire story. It was refreshing from the many dystopian books I have been reading recently.
My favourite parts were when Cas encountered Anna (especially at the beginning) and I wish the book focused more on this. But it evolved and I still enjoyed how the story changed. It kept the tale full of action and exciting. I was just hoping for more creepy all-powerful poltergeist women unleashing their wrath. If you like creepy stories, check this book out.
3.5 out of 5 stars
This book is for you if you:
- Like a scary story
- Want a refreshing male-perspective in the YA genre
- Love strong female characters
This book is not for you if you:
- Don’t like anything to do with ghosts, dark magic, or voodoo
- Have a weak stomach to endure some gruesome details
- Don’t like any form of swearing in books
– Ermisenda Alvarez
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