Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered 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: track, 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, now stained red and dripping with 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.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.
Ladies and gents, I think I've found myself a new favorite.
Anna Dressed in Blood is not only a good book: it's a great book, and let me tell you why. You know how there is a book you see with a really cool cover and a really good summary and you're just like "Lemme have this now or else!"? This was one of those books for me. I had no idea that when I finally got it and when I finally read it, it'd be this good.
Anna Dressed in Blood is a story of a BOY, Cas Lowood, who's been a ghost hunter his whole life (I know, it sounds really lame, but it's actually quite interesting). He's been sent on a mission to a new town to kill a ghost known as "Anna Dressed in Blood" by the locals. Her murder was vengeful and disgusting, and Anna reacts in a way similar to that: every time someone alive enters the house she used to call home back before she was murdered, she will kill them. Anna still wears the dress she was murdered in, a long white one, stained red and dripping blood. Cas has to find out how to kill Anna . . . or free her.
Anna is narrated by a male, for one. This is the thing I most adore about the book, the fact that Kendare Blake (whoever you are, I love you) can write a male's perspective so well without making it sound contrived and boring. I wouldn't doubt it if Blake grew up surrounded by boys. She has a great mental picture of how they work, yet she can still make them sensitive and caring sometimes. It's great. I just got done reading one of the Beautiful Creatures books, and they're also told from the male's PoV, yet it isn't as well-done as it is in this book. He can still hang out with his friends and go out and kill ghosts (something which seems pretty redundant, but at the same time it makes sense).
Anna Dressed in Blood has a pretty high level of vulgarity for a YA novel -- I haven't seen many others with as much as this one. I'm not saying that's a bad thing -- I tend to use it a time or two in my own writings as well (there was a point on here when I couldn't stop). It's refreshing to see something different, is all I'm really trying to say here. It's nice to see an author not trying to conform herself of her novel to the boundaries set by other YA books and authors. Going outside the lines isn't a bad thing to do once in a while, and Blake has that on lock!