Anna Dressed In Blood
by Kendare Blake
Young Adult / Horror
Another spooky story for October! On first glance, this one is very similar to Rin Chupeco’s The Girl From The Well, but the plot is actually quite different. It’s still human boy, murderous ghost girl, but here the girl is bound to her house and forced to murder whoever comes inside. Unraveling the WHY is a major part of the plot.
I’d say this one is actually less creepy than The Girl From The Well, though one of the evil things Cas encounters is VERY creepy. Both of these were just about the right amount of spooky for me. I’m actually REALLY disappointed that the sequel is proving very difficult to get my hands on! I had to request it through Marina, my statewide lending program, so I’m not sure when it will arrive. But I NEEEEEEED to know what happens to Cas and Anna after this book ends!
I think I liked the relationship between boy and ghost better in Girl From The Well; you could clearly see the draw for the ghost, and the connection between them. Not so much here; Cas is trying to kill Anna, but then they become fascinated with each other for…some reason? Anna isn’t compelled to kill Cas, and that’s never explained, and seems to be her main source of fascination with the boy.
Another major difference is that while Tark in Girl From The Well is rather isolationist and creeps out his peers, Cas seems to attract his peers, and quickly finds friends wherever he goes. He’s typically used them as contacts in the past, not really valuing them as friends, but that changes with the events of this book, as he actually comes to know a couple of the kids at his new school and value their friendship. He even puts up with their jokes about being Ghostbusters and who would be which character, which is kind of hilarious.
Both stories are great; I’d say this one is slightly more light-hearted than Girl From The Well, but only slightly. There’s still lots of creepy ghosts, life-or-death situations, gory deaths of side characters, and curses. It’s another great spooky October book for scaredy-cats like me!
From the cover of Anna Dressed In Blood:
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: track, 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.