What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake

Ghost stories have always given me pause because I am one of those people with the overactive imagination who just can't watch scary movies, because then I have to stay up all night with the lights on. But something about Anna Dressed in Blood just told me that it was going to be a really interesting read. Here's the summary from Goodreads: 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.

I don't know if it was because of Halloween, or this summary, or that hauntingly beautiful cover, but I was really excited about this one.

What I Liked: 1) Cas. Our main character is a teenage guy named Theseus Cassio. I don't read a whole lot of books that are written from the male perspective, but it seems like the ones that I do read, I always seem to enjoy really well. Cas is interesting because he is not a normal teen guy. He's spent the past three years as a ghost hunter (whatever you do, don't call him a ghostbuster!) and so kind of keeps to himself. He's used to being alone, so needing help, as he does later on in the story, doesn't come naturally to him. 2) The ghost story. It was a great scary story! Remember those urban legends that you told or were told at sleepovers and campouts? Anna Dressed in Blood, the ghost story is like that. You can imagine kids telling her story for years. There were parts of it that had my heart rate up, and I had serious doubts about turning off the lights when I went to bed. I jumped when my phone beeped! 3) The metamorphosis from villain to victim to hero that happens in the book. You start off fearing Anna in the beginning. Seriously, she is a freaky ghost, but then you start to like her, and you don't want her to be gone! I loved how connected I was able to feel to all of these characters. They were so well-developed that I would have wanted to be friends with all of them. 4) The love story is subtle, and doesn't take over the story. It is still at the heart of it, a horror story!

What I Didn't Like: Nothing!

Overall thoughts: If you are still looking for something to read on Halloween, look no further. Only leave one light burning and you will feel as if you are right there in the story, and suddenly, you'll be hearing every little sound the wind makes, every creek...every spooky noise that you'd normally ignore will just seem amplified. Ha ha! Okay, seriously though, I'm a big chicken, and if I can handle this book, anyone can. Another thing, this book can appeal to guys and girls. At it's core it's a teen horror story with a male protagonist, and I definitely think that guys and girls alike will find something to like in this story! I think Miz Blake's writing is absolutely wonderful and I can't wait to read more from her!

My rating: 5 candy corns

This is your last week to enter in the Big Bad Halloween Giveaway, so make sure you enter! We also have one more Trick or Treat Tuesday giveaway going on of the fabulous Michelle Muto's Don't Fear the Reaper! Don't forget to enter that one here!


  1. I think the point you make about the love story is important. It IS subtle--because it could have very easily been stupid, and it isn't. Great review. I loved this one too. Can't wait for the second book...

  2. Sounds awesome.
    I love that he doesn't like being called a ghost buster ;)

  3. Alright well if there's nothing you didn't like then Im definitely excited to read this!! I'll have to get to it soon :) Thanks for the great review!

  4. Great review! I'm glad you enjoyed it too. I really loved Cas I thought he was a great protagonist and him being male made it really unique.

    Xpresso Reads

  5. Great review! I also scared easily, but managed this one. It wasn't as horrible as I thought, but it definitely still has it's moments. ;) I loved that there was a male lead too--except for Harry Potter, I've barley come across one. Not for an entire book at least.

  6. Seems like an awesome read! Though, I'm like you when it comes to scary films. Anything with the least bit of a haunting nature means I'll be up for half the night! Awesome review!


  7. i have read so many awesome things about this i will have to buy it.

  8. Annette - thanks, and you're right. It very easily could have been stupid, but I appreciated that it didn't.

    Wendy - Kendare Blake is a fantastic author. I'm looking forward to reading more from her!

    JuJu - I know, Cas was a really funny character. And I especially love that the story is from his perspective!

    Anna - I have read so many good books recently! And for this one, I don't know, I was just so into the story that there wasn't anything I'd change!

    Giselle - I completely agree. I think we need more male protagonists.

    Rebecca - Haha, I think this one got all of it's "scary" stuff out at the beginning, and then it just really sunk into the story. Definitely not as bad as it could have been!

    Britta - Thank you! And this one wasn't too bad. Its only a little scary in the beginning! :)

    Melissa - It's definitely worth a read!

    Thanks y'all for stopping by!!


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