Author: Kendare Blake
Publisher: Tor Teen
From goodreads.com: 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.
I picked up Anna Dressed in Blood right around Halloween. I was looking for a spooky read and I figured what could be better than a ghosty love story?
Let me start by saying that I really enjoyed this book. I love male narrators when they're done well and Cas was done very well. It wasn't as spooky as I wanted it to be, but I enjoyed the ghost aspect nonetheless. I love how the ghosts were tied to the world, unable to stop themselves from hurting others. The best part of this book was Anna. I loved that she was this legend - a dark goddess ghost - who was in reality just a girl who was horrifically killed. I'm not going to spoil how, but OH MY GOD what a story.
I also really loved Cas, who was a ghost hunter kind of by default. He took up the reins after his dad died. I loved his wanting to avenge his father's death, his mom's witch business (I love me some witches), and I especially loved Cas' attachment to the people in this town. Carmel and Thomas started out as minor annoyances when Cas first came to town and it turned out that Cas really needed them in his life.
"You make me want things I can't have."