blakeAnna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: Library
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon| IndieBound

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 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: move, 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, 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 she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life – Goodreads

A double review! Tina recommended this book, forever ago. And I’ve had it since then, I just haven’t had the time. However, I recently picked up this book and was sucked in. Much quicker than I thought I would be. I tend to have issues with male narrators. I’m not sure why, they just are generally not my cup of tea. But this one seems different. I was still sucked into the book, even with the male narrator. I enjoyed how Cas handled the situation he was dealt. Many wouldn’t have handled it well. I’m not sure I could have handled it well.

Here’s the thing, Cas sees dead people. His father before him did, and died at the hands of one. Cas wants to avenge his death and he knows he isn’t strong enough until he fights Anna. Anna Dressed In Blood as she is known to the local community and to Cas. Anna’s viscous. Everyone knows she is and yet people still go to her old house to party. Even though she haunts it. But that is considered old folklore.

Cas knows different. He knows she haunts it for real and will continue to mess with anyone who crosses her path.

Cas also wants no friends. That’s a lie, he wants them, he just doesn’t have time for them. He moves with his mom too often. Then he comes to Thunder Bay, Canada and zeros out the popular girl, Carmel. He likes to use them. He doesn’t mean to but the popular people know the local gossip the best. And that’s the thing, Carmel does. But at the same time Cas stops using her and slowly they become friends, even if it’s the last thing that they want from each other.

There is also Thomas. Thomas is the town weirdo, loner. He’s like that for a reason. He can read minds. Doesn’t exactly make him popular with people. Even if they don’t know, he still carries that weird stigma with him. The thing is Thomas is helpful. Thomas’ grandfather knows things, and on top of knows. Thomas knows that Cas sees dead people. Even without being able to read his mind, Thomas knew. Thomas just knows things.

Thomas and Carmel become involved, even though they never really asked to be part of this. There is a bond between these three, and by the end they all understand each other and become a group that they never wanted to be nor never set out to be.

There is a flashback scene with the group and Anna and my heart goes out for Anna. I felt for her in a previous scene, but after that flashback scene I wanted to climb into the book, hug her and tell her everything would sooner or later be okay.

Plus, you know what else is awesome about this book. The popular culture references. Ghostbusters anyone?