Sunday, May 13, 2012

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

OK, so I'm sorry to admit it, but this book is my first ever horror novel. Yes, that's right folks I own, but have never read Amityville Horror, Psycho, The Woman in Black, The House on Haunted Hill...the closest I've ever come to reading any type of horror novel is reading those creepy little books Tales for the Midnight Hour and More Tales for the Midnight Hour.

I could not have picked a better book to begin this adventure.

Cas comes from a long line of ghost killers. He has a special weapon that propels ghosts back to the Nether Regions. Cas doesn't understand the true power behind this tool he just knows that he must use it to finally vanquish one of the most horrid ghosts of all, a girl properly named Anna Dressed in Blood as her body and the white dress she wears are dripping and soaked with her blood. He knows that killing her will bring him one step closer to vanquishing the evil spirit that killed his father.

But, it isn't that easy.

First, there's the fact that most humans who get near her are ripped into two pieces their spirits trapped within the house forever. Second, Anna isn't your ordinary spirit needing to cross over, she has her own ghostly problems. And, finally, there's the fact that Cas find Anna just plain mesmerizing. He doesn't want to kill her, he wants to save her.

This book is descriptive, fast-paced (seriously, you will be hooked two pages in to the first chapter) and ended in such a way that I wanted more without feeling annoyed that I had to wait for another book to come out.

And, while Cas is an wonderfully believable narrator, yes, I do know boys that cuss that much and yes, I would love to be his friend, he is not my favorite character. My favorite character is Anna and I can't wait for her return for the beyond.

And, to give credit where credit is due, I must thank Hayden at The Teen Book Worm for suggesting this book for my classroom library. His suggestion and wonderful review compelled me to read it. I can't wait for the second in the series. I hope the cat comes back.

5 StarsPhotobucket
Who knew that blood and gore could be so darned entertaining?!

Teacher Advisories 
Sex 1/5
I think there may be a kiss and some, yep, there's just that.
Language 5/5
This book is chock full of the F-Word and shit and damn so much I lost track...lots and lots of cussing. Frankly, I was really taken aback by this, not because I care, but because of marketing...this tells me I may have lived in the Bible Belt a little too long.
Substance Abuses 2/5
There's references to drinking. Two boys get drunk and bully a girl and another boy. There's smoking, too.
Violence 5/5
Well, Anna is a ghost known for ripping people apart. This happens to one of the students and it is described in great, gross detail. Then said student's torn to bits body comes back to talk to Cas. Um, there's a basement full of such people...ghosts who are trapped in Anna's house. A nasty spirit eats a cat...horrible! Anna is such a scary ghost because she was murdered (again something that is given in great detail) and her guardian cast a spell on her spirit. Lots of blood and guts and gore.

Touchy Subjects
Life after Death
I assume that when you read a book about ghost you get pretty curious about the afterlife.
Cas has become a slayer of ghost in the hopes of finding the spirit who killed his father. He hopes to kill this spirit and in some ways is blinded by this fact.
Family Secrets
Anna is murdered by her mother, an evil controlling hag.

How this book is used in the classroom
1] Independent Read option

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