Friday, March 2, 2012

Rachel Rambles About Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
From Goodreads:

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.

Hi, so this book kind of scared the crap out of me. AND IT WAS AWESOME.

Anna Dressed in Blood is the kind of book you don't see too often in YA. Why? BECAUSE IT IS SCARY AND HORRORIFIC. (Totally just invented a new word there..) The main character, Cas, is struggling to move on after his father's murder. He deals with it the only way he can--by killing ghosts. Cas takes over his father's job as profession ghost-hunter, constantly traveling from place to place in search of the next ghost to kill. Ghost hunting has taken over Cas's life; without it, he is nothing. No friends, no social life. All he has is his father's knife, his mom, and a moving truck full of boxes. When Cas gets a tip for another ghost called Anna Dressed in Blood, he packs his bags and moves to a new town to take care of her. He thinks it will be an easy job. Get in, kill a ghost, get out. Simple, right?


Cas isn't expecting Anna to be such a difficult ghost. And on top of that, he begins to settle in. With Cas making friends and getting attached to this town, will he get distracted from the task at hand?

This book really grabbed my attention from the first page. I found Cas to be a very likable character. He's smart and strong and sarcastic, aka: everything I look for in a protagonist! His voice makes the book funny and entertaining and realistic, even when the situation he's in is kind of terrifying. Cas always has something witty to say, which breaks up the AHHH HORROR AHHHH parts of the book.

Because, yeah, there are a lot of terrifying situations in this book. Like, don't read this book in the middle of the night when you are home alone. NOT THAT THAT'S WHAT I DID OR ANYTHING PSSSSH. Ahem. Anyway, this book will probably make you want to hide under the covers, and you may or may not be paranoid for a few days after reading it. Your cat that suddenly walks into your room? OH MY GOD IT'S A GHOST AHHHH! That shadow your lamp is making on the wall? AHH THEY ARE COMING TO KILL ME! You mean you don't do that? Oh. Well, uh, never mind then. *toes ground awkwardly*

This book manages to be funny and scary at the same time. And it also manages to be romantic. Yes, this book has it all! As Cas begins to get to know Anna Dressed in Blood, he discovers that hey, she might not just be vicious, bloodthirsty murderer. She has her own secrets, her own troubling past. Cas and Anna have a lot more in common than they think they do.

So basically, if you love being scared, read this book. Even if you don't, read this book. It's creepy and fun and surprising and cute and about a thousand other adjectives. I am a huge fan of Cas and Anna, and I can't wait for the sequel!


P.S. The text in the book is totally the color of blood. HOW EPIC IS THAT???

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