Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood is narrated by Cas Lowood, a teenage boy who hunts and kills hostile ghosts. Did you know that ghosts can be killed? I didn’t either until I read this book. Such a cool concept! Anna is a particularly powerful ghost with a heart-breaking back story. Still, she’s dangerous… and she’s not the only one.

Here’s my knee-jerk reaction…

FOUR STARS! The first half of this book really grabbed me. I loved Cas’s voice and the style of Blake’s writing. I loved the concept as the occult seamlessly blended with the realm of everyday living. Anna Dressed in Blood is fresh; it doesn’t feel like something I’ve read a million times before. And the writing is so hip. I just loved it!

This could have been a 5-star review (and mind you, I’m pretty picky), but… my connection to the story dropped off quickly at the half way point. I feel like the action within should have been expanded and placed into two separate books. I would have liked to see more build-up to figuring Anna out and to have felt the love connection blossom more naturally (if a human-ghost love story can ever be “natural”). All in all, I really enjoyed it. Cas is a character I love knowing!

Important aside:  Cas has a cat named Tybalt; in college, I had a bunny named Tybalt. I really, really did!

You might like this book if…

You want to read a YA novel from the perspective of a guy, you like a good ghost story, you were always the new kid in town, you like magical elements grounded in actual reality, you wish you had an awesome knife that could kill dead things (that’s pretty cool), you like seeing popular jock d-bags get their comeuppance, you enjoy reading deep first person POV, you like Scooby Doo, you like that Anna is stronger than Cas – girl power!

You might not like this book if…

You get scared easily, you’re a cat person, you don’t like grotesque details or the occasional bit of gore, you are offended by curse words in YA, you are reading this book to screen it for a tween–this is older YA, you’re like, “do we have to kill everybody?”

Other books I would compare it to…

  • Farsighted by Emlyn Chand (Is it bad that I’m comparing it to my own book? There’s some quality that really reminds me of Farsighted. If you liked my book, you’ll love this one)
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan
  • Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
  • Grimm (TV show)

Sounds awesome, right?

And you could win a free copy!

I’m giving away a paperback copy via the Book Depository. This giveaway ends on Friday, April 6. The winner will be emailed and announced in my next book review post. At which point, a new giveaway will begin. Keep coming back on Fridays to enter for your chance to win amazing books. And, hey, good luck. 😉

*Open Internationally*


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Congratulations to last week’s giveaway winner! Tania F. won a hardcover copy of Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

Mrs. Storm

Writing everything from Sweet Romance to Children's Books to Nonfiction, Melissa loves books, birds, and bonbons--in that order. She has an advanced degree that she never uses.

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