Book Review

Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in BloodAnna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Series: Anna #1
Published by Tor Teen on October 17th 2011
Genres: Horror, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
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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. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: 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.

Yet she spares Cas's life.

Here I go again with my new review format! As I explained in my Throne of Glass review, I’m a pantser – in virtually every aspect of my life – especially when it comes to reading. By reading pantser, I mean I avoid the hell out of synopses until AFTER reading books! I feel like summaries generally give away too many plot points, so, follow me on my non-synopses reading journey!

What I Expected [Prior to the Summary Read]

  • To be scared out of my wits
  • An apparition literally dressed in blood
  • An awesome, page-turning, horror-filled book of gore
  • An interesting and absorbing story

What I Got

  • I didn’t get the creeps AT ALL – I did, however, get a lot of cheese
  • A silly and incredibly weird love-ish story
  • A sequel I have zero desire to read
  • A stupid backstory

I wanted to love Anna Dressed in Blood SO bad. Unfortunately, I believe I set my expectations for the book way too high. Judging from its title and creepy cover, I anticipated being scared to death while reading. There are some admittedly creepily gross parts, but there are few.

Since I rarely read summaries prior to picking up a book, I was wrong about the premise of this tale. Once again judging by the cover and title, I assumed the story would be told from the perspective of Anna, the apparition. Turns out it’s told from the viewpoint of a ghost hunter, Cas, which was disappointing and not exciting.

The main thing about this book that freaked me out is that it’s a pseudo love story – between the ghost and the hunter. It was just a bit too weird for me. I understand characters having connections with each other, but the reason for the draw between Anna and Cas was never totally clear to me.

I thought the book should have ended halfway through the drawn out and often convoluted story. After a resolution regarding Anna, which would have sufficed as the novel’s wrap up, the reader is taken on a reluctant journey as Cas is hunted by the ghost who killed his father. That’s when I really lost interest in Cas, who doesn’t impress me as a character. As a matter of fact, none of the story’s players are well developed, which is frustrating.

I’ve heard rumblings that Blake has a sequel, which focuses on Anna’s story, set to be published soon. I don’t think I’m interested in reading the second book, even though it is told from Anna’s point of view. Honestly, the way in which she loses her life doesn’t seem gruesome enough to warrant her actions toward the living following her death.

This book just left me wanting more – more backstory, more explanation of the ghost ‘killing’ rituals utilized by Cas, more reasons for the intense chemistry between boy and ghost, more discussion about Anna’s state, more story revolving around living characters – of practically every element an awesome book should possess.

Furthermore, Anna Dressed in Blood didn’t excite me enough to hold my attention – it almost became a chore, homework, to read it. I started the book for a Halloween read-a-thon and didn’t get to the last page until the end of November, making it obvious that I just wasn’t into it.

I ultimately forced myself to finish Blake’s book just so I could move on to a more enjoyable read.

Love, Maggie

32 Comments

  1. Phannie

    I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy it at all!

    02 . 10 . 2017
    • Maggie

      Thanks for your sympathy, Phannie! I was so worked up to read it that it was a major letdown! XOXO

      08 . 10 . 2017
  2. Emma

    I hadn’t been planning to read this book anyway, but it’s a shame you didn’t enjoy it. From seeing people talking about it I would have expected a really spooky / creepy book like you did. It sucks that it’s more of a romance, that’s not what I’m looking for haha.

    29 . 09 . 2017
    • Maggie

      Yeah, I’m still sad about it! Romance tends to get on my nerves and I was really surprised this book features it! XOXO

      08 . 10 . 2017
  3. Nicole @ Boundless Bookaholic

    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this more. This definitely doesn’t seem like my kind of book.

    29 . 09 . 2017
    • Maggie

      Yeah, sadly, Nicole, I totally don’t recommend it! XOXO

      08 . 10 . 2017
  4. Fernanda

    Oh no, I’m so sorry you didn’t like it. I read it years ago and I loved it but it’d probably be a different story if I read it now, Great review!

    29 . 09 . 2017
    • Maggie

      I could see myself liking it had I read it at an earlier time…The premise is so cool that I think I was doubly disappointed. XOXO

      08 . 10 . 2017
  5. Jessica | ReadingwithJessica

    Aww, I hate you didn’t enjoy it :(( Have you read Three Dark Crowns by her? I have it but haven’t had time to read it yet. I didn’t realize she had another series. Better luck next time Maggie :(((

    28 . 09 . 2017
    • Maggie

      Thanks, Jessica! I haven’t read Three Dark Crowns yet, but I’m so excited to! I can’t resist a book focused on Russian society! XOXO

      08 . 10 . 2017
  6. Sarah Campbell

    I’m heard so many great things about this BOOK. Seems a bit disappointing and weird.

    28 . 09 . 2017
    • Maggie

      It was totally weird! The romance freaked me out! XOXO

      08 . 10 . 2017
  7. Bella Lacy

    Aw, Sorry you didn’t enjoy more. Kind of cool cover though

    28 . 09 . 2017
    • Maggie

      I adore the cover too – it was a big draw for me! XOXO

      08 . 10 . 2017
  8. Ashleigh Williams

    AH I’M SORRY YOU DIDN’T ENJOY THIS BOOK, SUCH A SHAMe 🙁

    28 . 09 . 2017
    • Maggie

      I know! I’m devastated my hopes for it were dashed! XOXO

      08 . 10 . 2017
  9. dina @ Dinasoaur.com

    Ah, darn it. I liked the book way back when, and then unhauled it. it does have a really nice cover, though. And, from what I recall, the dude character was interesting. i totally didn’t like the sequel as much. i was going to haul it again, but it’s good to remember why i didn’t keep it the first time.

    28 . 09 . 2017
    • Maggie

      I know! I was so sad it didn’t grab me as I’d hoped! I do love the cover too – I’ll probably keep it for that reason! XOXO

      08 . 10 . 2017
  10. Lori

    This book kinda Sounds DISAPPOINTing because you did get scared and no excitment wHatsOever wow. Thanks for the honest review!

    28 . 09 . 2017
    • Maggie

      I had such high expectations, it’s no wonder it didn’t reach them!

      08 . 10 . 2017
  11. Lucy @ That Book Gal

    It’s too bad you didn’t like this one! I think I’ll still read it, mostly because it sounds right up my alley and I love Kendare Blake’s other books. Thank you for your review!

    – Lucy
    https://thatbookgal.wordpress.com/
    http://www.redbubble.com/people/thatbookgal/
    https://twitter.com/that_book_gal
    https://web.facebook.com/thatbookgal/

    28 . 09 . 2017
    • Maggie

      Thanks, Lucy! Definitely still give it a chance – it just wasn’t what I’d built it up to be!

      08 . 10 . 2017
  12. Shawn

    That sounds like a weird love story. I think I may skip reading this one. The cover though is so gorgeous. Sorry you didn’t like it more! Thanks for sharing your review.

    28 . 09 . 2017
    • Maggie

      I adore the cover too! It’s strange, but you never know what you’ll like!

      08 . 10 . 2017
  13. Diana @ The Bookish Sisters

    So sorry you didn’t like this book! That pseudo love story Sounds a bit to weird for my taste too 😂
    I love your review!

    28 . 09 . 2017
    • Maggie

      Thanks, Diana! It just totally wasn’t my cup of tea!

      08 . 10 . 2017
  14. Dorka

    I loved this book when I was younger, so I’m sad to see you didn’t like it. 🙁

    28 . 09 . 2017
    • Maggie

      I’m still devastated I didn’t fall in love with it! 😬

      08 . 10 . 2017
  15. kris

    Oh wow, i would think similarly to you on what to expect… sorry you didn’t enjoy it!

    28 . 09 . 2017
    • Maggie

      Yeah, I was really surprised about the way this book turned out!

      08 . 10 . 2017
  16. DaniellE

    I didn’t love this book but i didn’t hate it either. I definitely wanted it to be mich more scarY! GReat honest review! I haven’t picked up the sEquel either and i don’t think i eveR will.

    28 . 09 . 2017
  17. Irma

    Sounds great! Thank you for posting.

    28 . 09 . 2017

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