Frightful Friday: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

January 27, 2012 Frightful Friday, Horror, Review, Tor Books, YA 4

Frightful Friday is a weekly meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week. Feel free to grab the button & join in!

This week’s featured book is Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake:

  • Reading level: Ages 12 and up
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Teen; First Edition edition (August 30, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0765328658
  • Source: Publisher

Theseus Cassio (Cas) Lowood is a ghost hunter, a trade he inherited when his father was brutally killed by a ghost he was chasing. Armed with his father’s powerful athame (a knife that is able to “kill” ghosts), Cas and his mother travel around the country on the hunt for evil spirits.

Cas’ latest “case” brings him to Thunder Bay, Ontario, on the hunt for a ghost referred to as Anna Dressed in Blood. She was killed in the late 1950s and now haunts her former home, killing whomever crosses the threshold. She still wears the same white dress she wore when she died, now dripping in blood. Anna has quite the reputation as a pretty serious and dangerous ghost, killing dozens of people each year. Cas doesn’t get just how dangerous she is until he witnesses one of these deaths. Not a pretty picture, to say the least. Yet he’s the only person alive who has lived through a sighting of Anna. For some reason, she spares his life.  This first time, at least.

Before he can put an end to Anna’s murderous rage, he must find out the cause of her death, the motive behind her anger. Along the way, he becomes fascinated, almost obsessed with her. With the help of a handful of his classmates, this motley crew of ghost hunting teens devises a plan to trap Anna and rid this small town of her evil acts.

Overall, I enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood.  Blake provides a fairly unique story. Definitely a spooky tale; I found myself scared several times. While classified as a book appropriate for ages twelve and up, I’d be reluctant to allow my twelve year old to read it. There is a good amount of swearing. I’m talking the f-bomb, so not on the light end of the swearing spectrum. Additionally, there is a good deal of gore, not for the weak of stomachs.

What I definitely did not like about this book was the romance. It frustrates me that, as of late, all YA has to have some sort of romance happening. I’m not certain if that’s what gets young adults to read this sort of book or, thanks to Twilight, authors feel they must add an injection of love to anything they write geared toward teens. In the case of Anna Dressed in Blood, I think it was forced, unnatural, and quite frankly, a little eerie.

That said, if this is something you don’t have objection to or an issue with, this is definitely a book I would recommend. Despite my issues with this book,  I’m looking forward to the next book in this series, Girl of Nightmares, due out in August.


4 Responses to “Frightful Friday: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake”

  1. Lori Strongin
    Twitter: LStrongin

    Ditto that I probably could have lived without the romance angle in this book, but overall it was one of my top reads of 2011. I loved Cas, the story setting and world building, and Anna’s story. Girl of Nightmares is my most anticipated book of 2012 right now!


  2. Stephanie

    I found the romance a little strange as well. While I could have understood Cas developing a sort of one-sided, pseudo-romantic fascination with Anna based on all he went through to try and free her, I thought the whole ghost kissing thing was just weird.

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