Friday, 3 August 2012

#135 Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood
Release Date: July 10th 2012
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Orchard (Hachette Australia)
Source: Publisher for Review
Format: Paperback
Where to Buy: Fishpond | Booktopia | Dymocks
More Info: Goodreads
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
So creepy but completely reflects the story of the book! The UK/AUS cover is actually similar to the US one except the colour of the girl's dress and I have to say, the UK/AUS wins because they made the whole dress coloured in red instead of just the bottom bit like in the US cover. I love the background, the mysterious fog surrounding the house and the girl!


Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story. Nothing's wrong with it right?

After hearing about Anna Dressed in Blood, I knew I had to read this book. I haven't actually read many books about ghosts and usually they're all about a girl falling in love with a ghost or vice-versa. But then, I heard that this book was scary and that it's not just about romance. So I was curious and finally, after getting the chance to read it, I can say that this book is the best YA book about ghosts I've read so far!

Have you heard of the local legend? Anna, Anna Dressed in Blood. Enter her house, and you'll never return.

The book centers around a ghost hunter called Cas and the book is written from his POV. Cas gets an anonymous tip about a ghost called Anna and goes all the way to Thunder Bay to 'kill' her. According to legend, anyone who goes inside Anna's house will be killed. But when Cas encounters Anna, he miraculously survived. And this is just the beginning.

Anna Dressed in Blood is completely addictive even though it scares me! Frankly, I am actually scared of ghosts. But the YA books I've read so far about ghosts have not scared me so much because the ghosts portrayed in this book makes them look as if they're humans, with some 'ghastly' qualities. Now, the ghosts in this book are the REAL DEAL. They're scary, they make terrifying noises, they can kill people and are usually bound to a certain thing in relation with their death. Reading this book gives me chills. But I can't seem to stop reading because Blake's writing is haunting and gorgeous. There's that pull that keeps you hooked into the story. I love the constant actions in this book and I am unable to guess the plot towards the end of the book it actually surprises me!

Anna, I'm scared but intrigued of you at the same time. Your abilities terrify me but you're so AMAZING. I want to be your best friend. Seriously, I'm honest although you'll have to bear with me if I seem nervous sitting next to you. 

Cas, you ghost buster! Oops, I know you hate that term. I mean, ghost hunter. You ridiculously brave man. I don't think I can live a life like you, hunting ghosts all around unless if all ghosts are like Casper; friendly, sweet and funny! Keep rocking.

The other characters such as Carmel, Thomas who are Cas' friends are great too! I liked their role in the book and how they end up helping Cas a lot. 

What I really like from the characters are Blake's portrayal of Anna. Blake's descriptions are very detailed and I like how she can portray her as scary and awesome at the same time!

Anna Dressed in Blood is a gorgeous and chilling book. Blake's descriptive writing creates an eerie book set in a haunting atmosphere. Ghosts portrayed in this book are the REAL DEAL. They're terrifying yet awesome at the same time! I absolutely can't wait for the sequel, Girl of Nightmares!

5 Forget-Me-Not flowers for Anna Dressed in Blood!
Thank you Hachette Australia for the review copy!

“I think of her again. Anna. Anna Dressed in Blood. I wonder what tricks she'll try. I wonder if she'll be clever. Will she float? Will she laugh or scream?
How will she try to kill me?”


  1. I'm scared of ghosts too, but not normally scared of ghosts in books. But when Anna and Cas first met? One of the creepiest things ever! I might have had goosebumps because of it. I even stopped reading it first because I was alone in the house and I didn't want to see anymore of Anna's creepiness alone. Still gives me goosebumps whenever I think of it. I can't forget the eyes! :-s

  2. Yay for you loving Anna! :D I read this book a couple of weeks ago and absolutely loved it too! It was pretty awesome I agree.
    I loved the ghosts in this book too, so I'm glad to hear that you loved them too although you're a little scared of them.
    Great review, Celine. Good thing the next book comes out this week! :D

  3. Oh I really want to read this one, it sounds so good, at the end I'll be the last who haven't read it yet. thanks for the review!

  4. At least you enjoyed this ;) Wonder how Girl of Nightmares will be. Hopefully loads better than Anna for me. For you not so much. <3

    1. Hahahaaa you're sounding more and more like a girl now Braidennn!

  5. YOU LOVED IT!! YAYYYYYY!!!! Okayy I am absolutely TERRIFIED of ghosts...even more so when I read about them :S But I still can't wait to read this :S Let's hope I don't get freaked out, yeahh? hahahaa Fab review Celineee!

  6. Great review, Celine! I'm so glad you liked this. :) This book gave me the chills at times too. ;) Cas was such a great character too and I can't wait to get back to him in the sequel. Amazing review! :)

  7. Glad you loved this book Celine! I loved the first half of this book but the last half part ruined everything for me. Though Im still looking forward to read the sequel. Great review Celine xo

  8. Hehe, it's hard NOT to make a crack about Cas being a ghostbuster... even if he's likely to use his knife on you for doing so! *backs away slowly* We love you, Cas, we really do.

    I love what Kendare did with Anna, so haunting and layered and creepy, but... tragic. I am SO happy you loved this as much as I did. Now can we have Girl of Nightmares asap, please?!? Fanatastic review, you talented thing, you! <3

  9. Yay, I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I keep meaning to pick it up and I never get around to it somehow, so I definitely have plans to read it very soon. Brilliant review! :D

    Ivy Book Bindings

  10. I'm so happy you loved this book!!!!! Its such a creepy, fun, beautiful story! I'm so glad too to find a book with real, frightening ghosts! Anna and Cal and the rest of the gang certainly were awesome!

  11. Love your new review style, Celine. I really enjoyed this one as well. I agree about Anna she ellicits a whole range of emotions, terror, fear, pity....I loved her character. Yes, this book was really scary at times. I agree I like the UK cover better. I wonder what you will think of Girl of Nightmares? For me it didn't quite live up to Anna.

  12. Ghost books really scare me too, while I read a lot of zombie books too :p They are so much more.. real. I'm definitely going to give this one a try. The cover is nice and creepy, the storyline sounds great and I love the sound of the characters :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts ^^

  13. I know what you mean about this being scary, Celine! I'm not easily frightened unless there are fae involved, but this book, especially those people stuck in walls, totally freaked me out. And I'm with you about Anna too, I didn't know whether I want to be her best friend or run and hide from her. Quite frankly, I still don't, lol.
    Girl of Nightmares is finally coming my way, I can't wait.
    Wonderful review, Celine!

  14. I LOVE creepy books! Hmm...maybe I'll save this one for when it gets closer to Halloween! Watching creepy movies and reading creepy books are some of my favorite things to do during the fall! :)

  15. yay, I'm glad you like this one! I'm not a fan of horror but enjoyed this one. Anna is creepy and endearing at the same time!

  16. Lovely review Celine, I'm not usually one to pick up scary books either, but the reviews for this have been awesome, so I can't wait to start it. Especially after you loved it so much and the way you've described Blake's writing! :)

  17. Oh wow, 5 stars! I'm thrilled you loved this, Celene. :D I'll admit to never having read this book-yet- but your review and the enormous amount of hype surrounding it definitely convinced me too soon! :) I LOVE ghosts, cats, killers and the cover is absolutely gorgeous! Why I haven't read this yet is a mystery... Excellent review, Celene! <3

  18. I'm a big scaredy cat so I have put off reading this, but if you managed to enjoy it, then I think I could probably read it, too! Loved this review, Celin!

  19. So glad you loved this one too Celine! Anna was such an interesting mix of vulnerable and horrifying wasn't she? I was amazed I could feel any sympathy or affection for a girl who literally rips a boy in half. O_o Wonderful review!

  20. Fantastic review, Celine, I'm SO HAPPY you loved this one as well! <3 Your feelings for Anna were right in sync with mine!!! She's got that creepy-factor, but at the same time draws you in so effectively >_< and LOOOOL, called Cas a ghostbuster as well. Agreed with you on the powerful drive of the plot. I really love your review, one of the best I've read for this book! ^_^

  21. The ghosts in this story were scary Celine! I'm glad to see you loved this one too. I loved Cas, he was so snarky and fun. Great review. :)

  22. CELINE! IT SOUNDS EFFING AMAZING. Seriously, I'm SO excited to read this one, and glad you loved it too! xx


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