Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Anna Dressed In Blood Review

If you're a fan of YA fiction and of spooky stories, chances are very high that you'll like Anna Dressed In Blood.  And, if you also happen to like the CW's Supernatural, I can pretty much guarantee you'll enjoy the book.  Cas could appear on an episode of the series without anything seeming amiss.

I read the book a little over a year ago and was delighted by its spine-tingling thrills.  The plot follows Cas, a teenage ghost-hunter, who travels from town to town with his Wiccan mother, targeting ghosts for elimination purposes.  When the book opens, Cas is preparing to move to Thunder Bay, where a tip has informed him that a ghost — Anna Dressed In Blood — violently haunts the house where she lived in the 50's.

I think of her again. Anna. Anna Dressed in Blood. I wonder what tricks she’ll try. I wonder if she’ll be clever. Will she float? Will she laugh or scream? How will she try to kill me?
Isn't that creepy? *shivers*

We see right away that this particular ghost hunt will be a different sort of case for Cas.  He loathes ghosts, because a spirit killed his father, but from the get-go Cas is intrigued by Anna's story.  As a reader, I was too, to say the least.  Anna was on her way to a school dance when someone attacked her, spilling so much blood, that her garments were soaked with the stuff.  I know, I know — very gruesome.  Since then, Anna's spirit has lived on, and she has a serious chip on her shoulder. (Understandable.) Finding himself more sympathetic to a ghost's plight than ever before, Cas seeks to uncover he true story of what happened to Anna, instead of merely trying to exterminate her spirit.

The book is part action/adventure, part mystery — a combination that is successful.  The mood is, for the most part, sombre and serious, except for when high school dynamics get involved.  I found this aspect to be the weakness of the book.  The intended comic relief of the cast of teenage characters took away something from the story, making the book more ordinary — garden-variety YA.  For this reason, I don't count Anna Dressed In Blood as a particularly favorite read. However, it's a fantastic, breezy book for those looking for a spooky book to read for Halloween.


  1. Nice review! I read this last week and I thought it was perfect for those who like spooky books but want to be able to sleep at night. I found it quite enjoyable but unfortunately i did not love it. There were some gruesome stuff and the way Anna was killed was horrible, but other than that it wasn't too too scary.

    1. Good point about how the book is balanced between just creepy enough and too scary. I understand why you didn't love it, though. I think we're in agreement that it could have been better. I have yet to read its sequel, but I'd be interested to see if there is improvement or growth.