Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood - Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood is one of the most popular YA horrors of the last few years. Just look at this gorgeous cover and you pretty much know what the book is about. Anna is a ghost, a girl who died at 16 and who kills everyone who steps into her house. That is, except for Cas. Cas Lowood is teenager and his job in this world is to kill ghosts. But Anna proves to be a much tougher ghost than Cas expected, so he turns to his friends for help.

I should probably first get off my chest what didn’t work for me. Our main character is Cas and he felt too stereotypical for my liking. He was this cool, tough teenage guy, never letting anyone close. He has only one purpose in life and that is killing ghosts. I didn’t like him that much as a character and didn’t enjoy the story told through his eyes. There were a lot of references to random movies or actors, which I never like to read in books, because I feel stupid when I don’t get it (I’m not into movies much). And the romance.. this sadly ruined the book for me. I saw it coming, but when it came, I didn’t know exactly why. I kept asking myself, why would he fall for her. I really didn’t feel it from the start, and it just got weirder and weirder.

What I liked in this book were some of the characters. I really liked Anna, she had a bad life and a horrible death. It was hard to even read about how she died, it was that cruel, and I think I even cried a little at that point. Some of Cas’ friends were also likeable, especially the nerdy and awkward Thomas, who had some funny moments. But what I liked the most is that this book is a great horror story. I’m not easily scared, but for the most part I was reading it at night before going to bed, even if other reviewers advised against it. There were some scenes that made me cringe because of all the gory details. This only shows how the author made an amazing job in writing this horror. I got really scared for characters at one point and couldn’t stop reading. I also got this weird spooky feeling a few times where I had to look around the room to make sure nothing unnatural is happening. I also liked the totally unexpected turn of events, when a new villain stepped on the scene.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book as a horror and I definitely need to read more of these! I give the author credit for writing a great scary story and will read more of her books. But I’m very picky about romances, and this is another case where it felt too rushed and practically unnecessary. Why would it be wrong with them just being friends? The contemporary feel to Cas as a character didn’t make me love this book either. I’ll probably read the second book, but I’m lowering my expectations. I seem to be in minority about my opinion, so if you like horrors, I definitely recommend it!