Saturday, December 21, 2013

Anna Dressed In Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2865-6
Pages: 316

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 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 the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is 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 house she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

I finished the book like legit 5 minutes ago and I’m currently internally freaking out and screaming and crying and tearing my hair out in despair. WHY ANNA WHY? Okay, I’m calm...NO I AM NOT. (1 week later…) Okay, I think I’m calm… (no I’m not) but I’m going to do my best and try  to compose a somewhat rational review. Let’s get into it shall we?

I got hooked into this story by the summary. It was just so alluring sounding that I just had to read it. My favorite line: Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story. It makes the situation sound so normal when it’s actually a huge twist from an average boy-meets-girl story. For that alone, I was hooked.

I’ve wanted to read this for the longest time, but when I actually got the book, it was hard to get into it. I mean, I love love love the story, but the beginning, I guess I was reading too many books at the same time with more hooking beginnings. The beginning has Cas killing a ghost and then him moving to a new town to hunt the local ghost, Anna Dressed in Blood. Their first encounter of each other, let’s just say wasn’t pleasant. She spares his life for some random reason, but he witnesses the force of her power and she rips the guy who brought him to her in half. (Later on, she says she spared him because she felt bad for him. The guy that she killed hit his head with a piece of wood and pushed him into the house.) Anyway, you don’t kill the school jock and get away with it. Cas spins up a random tale with the other teenagers who were present about the jock running away from home and sets to find a way to kill Anna. Unbeknownst to him, he’s gathered a couple of friends along the way. Carmel is the school queen bee and Thomas is the geek who is secretly a witch. They make an unlikely trio, but things work out.

I’m going to spoil things just a bit for you. The monster that Cas’ dad died killing isn’t dead at all, in fact he, let just call it a he, has been hitching a ride on the athame (knife that Cas uses to kill ghosts) all this time feeding off the spirits that Cas believed he was sending to a better place. Not really Cas, you're actually sending them into his belly. This monster was an Obeahman. After doing some research, I found that Obeahmen are men of African origins who practice voodoo by becoming a power source. To easily put it, Obeah is the version of dark African voodoo. The monster used to be one of these power source guys before something happened and now his power comes from devouring anything he can get his teeth into. Ghosts and humans are welcome! Essentially, he screws everything up.

Now let’s move on to a brighter note. Cas and Anna. Yup they’re a boy-meets-girl story and we all know where that ends up. Love. Love. LOVE! Yes my friends, they fall in love. What is exceptionally cool about this little relationship is that for one she happens to be dead. For another, she kills people. For a third (?), Obeah kinda wants to eat her. So this is a very very interesting relationship. Anna isn’t like most ghosts Cas has hunted. She actually has a somewhat “humane” side to her. Around him, she manages to keep the “killing” side of her at bay, but when others enter her house, she goes berserk. When Cas, Carmel, and Thomas, along with the help of dead jock’s best friend Will execute this magic circle ritual, they get a glimpse of what Anna actually went through. For now, let’s say that it wasn’t pretty. Overall, their relationship seems so fragile, but unbelievably adorable. I have a new ship.

The ending. Why. WHY MUST THINGS END THIS WAY? I seriously NEED the second book in my hands ASAP. I need to know what happens!! The trailer of the second book doesn’t help. I’ll link both of them down for you guys to see. Highly highly recommend this book, it’s addicting, thrilling, and full of heartbreaking moments, and cool as heck! But one warning, the ending will have you tearing your heart and/or hair out.

“Land of the Dead? Is that what you dream about?” she asks. “Boy who kills ghosts for a living?”
“No. I dream about penguins doing bridge construction. Don’t ask why.” 

“I’ve been Obeahed by an Obeahman? Is this like how the Smurfs say they smurfing smurfed all the time?”

“I’m not a superhero,” I say. It’s an awful tag. It’s egotistical, and it doesn’t fit. I don’t parade around in spandex.” 

"God, living people are irritating."

“I come in all big and bad, and you use me for a game of handball.” I grin. “Makes a guy feel damn manly. She grins back. “It made me feel pretty manly.”  (Cas and Anna)

“I don’t have my knife,” I mumble. 
“Don’t start that,” Anna says. She walks away from me sharply. “Arthur without Excalibur was still Arthur.” 

“They shouldn't be allowed to teach math so early in the morning.” 

“What is it about the sight of your mother that makes everything fireside-warm and full of dancing Muppets?” 

“If your mom's a witch, what does that make you? Harry Potter?” 

“What are you going to fill it with?" she asks. "Holy water or something?" 
"Probably Dasani," Thomas replies.” 

“Imagination has a poor memory, it slinks away and gets blurry. Eyes remember much longer.” 

“The things that your eyes see plainly and cant forget are worse than huddled black figures left to the imagination.” 

"Death is my world."

(Sorry, I got a bit carried away with all the quotes in this book...)

Click here if you can't see the video

Here's Book 2's trailer: Girl of Nightmares
Check if out and see why my heart breaks further!!

Click here if you can't see the video
4 out of 5 stars

Oh! Before I forget! Those who have read Anna Dressed in Blood and loved it, it's one of the candidates for the Garden State Teen Book Award for 2014! So check out this link and go vote!!

Foreverly Obsessed,

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