Series: Anna #1
Published by Tor Teen on August 30, 2011
Genres: Horror, YA
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.
What I Thought…
I’m not really sure what made me decide to read this book. I’m not a huge fan of ghosts and I definitely don’t like to be scared. But there I was, at the library, looking at this book. The cover is so appealing that I just picked it up. I didn’t expect to like this book at all so it was a nice surprise that I did.
I’m going to be honest. I found this book to be mildly scary. Not I-will-have-terrible-nightmares scary but I’m-a-little-creeped-out-in-my-own-bed-maybe-I-should-turn-on-the-light scary. I tend to scare easily though so for the average person it probably won’t be scary at all.
I really liked Cas. He is so accepting of his role in finding and killing ghosts, and is determined to accomplish his task on his way to his bigger goal. As a self-imposed loner he suddenly finds himself with friends. He also begins to develop a relationship of sorts with Anna that is incredibly sweet.
And Anna? I liked her too. Even though she’s done some really, really bad things you can’t help but like her, appreciate her, feel sorry for her, especially after you find out what happened to her.
When I was reading I really felt like I was “in” the book, which is probably the reason why I was just a wee bit scared. The way the house was described, like it was a person instead of a thing, was great. It seems like most of the books I’ve read lately have been from a female point of view so it’s nice to read a male point of view for a change.
Due to the ending in this book (don’t worry, no spoilers here) I’m not really sure it needed a sequel. I think this book is great by itself, and it doesn’t have a cliff hanger ending (which I appreciate). I’m happy with this book as is. I’ll read the sequel of course, but I hope it doesn’t disappoint.
I’m not sure how I feel about the red print. It’s a cool idea but it kind of bothered me. There were several times where it pulled my attention away from the story.