Pages of Bookish Love is a new feature that Ashley and I (Alexa) are doing on our blogs. We each recommend one book to the other and then review the book on each other’s blog. For instance, Ashley recommended I read Anna Dressed In Blood, as you can see my review is posted on her blog. In turn I recommended she read a historical romance, which she will review on my blog. Basically we are exchanging pages of bookish love. We both hope you love this new monthly feature!
Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: Aug 2011
Classification: YA Novel
Challenge: 2012 TBR Challenge
Summary 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.
When I first heard about this book I figured that I would want nothing to do with it because I’m not one to read spooky stories. I figured that this book would be scary and freak me out. So I avoided it for a few months until out of the blue after reading many reviews I decided to ask for a copy for Christmas. I did get a copy, yet I still put off reading this one until Ashley told me it would be my April read for our swap feature. I was still a little on edge upon diving into this one but it actually had quite a bit to offer.
First off you get to meet Cas, a freakin male pov in a teen book, how EPIC is that, right!? Although I was so excited about this male perspective because it hardly ever happens in YA, it did take me a while to warm up to Cas. I felt along the way he was just slightly lacking in personality. He was trying to have many different personality traits from humor to being a badass and for me he just didn’t fully fill a role. Cas’s character felt a little lacking, just a little dull around the edges. I certainly feel that in the next book if he were to step up his personality a little more then he would be a great male character to fall for.
While Cas didn’t really do it for me I loved Anna! I also greatly enjoyed our main side characters although not all of them had Cas and Anna’s best interests at heart. Back to Anna, I mean come on she was so cool and not at all as dark as the book makes her out to be. I just loved the backstory to Anna and I was dying to learn exactly how her death came about and why she decided to stick around murdering anyone who walked into her house. Let me tell you that when you find out her past your heart will be melting and you will come to a great understanding of exactly who Anna is. She was a fascinating character that you couldn’t help but really feel for. I felt as the book went on she just became stronger and stronger, I liked her more and more with each page I turned.
Cas even says a few beautiful quotes about Anna when he is in the house with her chatting. It really showcases the different sides of this poor girl who can’t help but be what she is, a murderer.
Overall, I know I’ve highlighted the characters more than anything else but they were the huge chunks of this story. However, I also felt that the summary for this book and the drama between Cas and Anna doesn’t even fully cover what the big plot arc of what this book was actually about. I’m not going to give anything away but there were certainly some darker elements towards the end of the book where a lot of the real action happens. Plus folks you should be prepared for a cliffhanger that will have you crying out for the continuation of Anna’s story. Since this book did have some slight connection problems for me both with Cas and with parts of the early on storyline I’m giving this story 4 hearts. I can’t wait for Girl of Nightmares to release this summer!