"There aren't many books that can manage to surprise me, but this one did just that!!" Zuz
ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD is a novel - ghost story, written by KENDARE BLAKE. It was published in 2011 and got some great reviews, not only from readers on Goodreads.com but also various media sung praises about it.
"Spellbinding and romantic." CASSANDRA CLARE
"Gorgeous, brutal, heartbreaking, merciless, and cool as hell." COURTNEY ALLISON MOULTON
"Get ready to sleep with the lights on because this book has teeth. Sharp ones." STACEY KADE
"Sucked me in and kept me glued to the pages." PARANORMAL BOOK REVIEWS
"Grabs you from the first sentence. The story is full of sharp wit and terrifying chills." RT BOOK REVIEWS
Now, those are some pretty good reviews for a book I have never heard of. Intrigued I certainly was. Especially because I have only bought the book on one of my book-shopping sprees couple months so I can get a discount of 3 for £10 (God Bless Asda!). I haven't thought about it much since I got it, but decided to read in couple days ago.
So far, there were not many books which manage to surprise me. This year, only one book did it and that was WARM BODIES by Isaac Marion. So imagine how surprised I was when I bit into this apple. I was ecstatic.
A refreshing story from the paranormal world of ghosts and voodoo. It was like drinking an apple mojito on a hot sunny day.
It's a love story where an average guy meets an average girl…. Hmmm, hung on a second! There is nothing average about these two. He is a ghost hunter, who gives the ghosts what they deserve. She is a massive murderer ghost. Cas is in Thunder Bay for only purpose. TO KILL ANNA.. A ghost who is terrifying this town with her regular killings of anyone who crosses the threshold of her home. But nothing in life is fair and goes as planned.. And Cas actually ends up being the only person Anna cannot kill. Hmmm, wonder why is that? ;-)
This book is the first novel where the main protagonist is a guy and actually enjoy reading it from his point of view. He is sarcastic. Witty. Smart. Arrogant and cocky. Very cocky. But I guess too much confidence is a part of the job. Cas gives a little view into a mind of a seventeen-year-old who happens to be a modern version of a ghostbuster (although he would kill you with his athame if heard you calling him Ghostbuster!). It's so refreshing to read something written so realistically.
Of course what would be a ghostbuster without his Scooby-Doo gang. Cas usually stays on his own. He is not a people person. Well he prefers the company of the death. So the living and their behaviour is brand new to him. He can analyse their behaviour as much as he wants but the truth is that he has never been in love and never made one friend. And of course that must be rectify. So we meet Thomas ( a mind reader who is also a witch ), shy boy who was bullied and overlooked all his life. And then we have a Queen Bee of the high school Carmel. These three form a very unusual friendship in very unusual circumstances.
And what a love story would be without a love interest! Anna. Anna Korlow was killed fifty years ago. Nobody knows why or how. They only know that she has the habit of killing. To be honest, if I would get killed when sixteen and looking forward to a school dance in brand new dress which are then destroyed by my own blood, I would be pretty pissed off with the whole world too. But this girl with split personality somehow manages to sparkle an interest in Cas. He doesn't want to kill her anymore, he wants to protect her. WOW.
Now, don't expect the normal teenage drama which always accompanies love stories written in recent years. Thank God, there is no love triangle. There is only a pretty angry voodoo witch who wants all the dark power in the world. The main couple consist of one living person and a ghost with a history. "Where this all will go?"- you might ask. In words of Cas:
"We are not children, neither of us. We don't believe in fairytales. And if we did, who we would be? Not Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty. I slice murder victims' heads off and Anna stretches skin until it rips, she snaps bones like green branches into smaller and smaller pieces. We'd be the fricking dragon and the wicked fairy."
This book is dark. Descriptive. Sometimes too much. But that is the charm. It isn't all love dovey. The main story isn't about those two getting together. It's about friendship, love. It's about legacy given to us by our parents. About guilt and consciousness. And about vengeance.
It's captivating. From the first page, it caught me into its arms and wouldn't let you. I became addicted. I was not able to put it down. All I wanted was to finish the story and read for myself what has happened. You will be glued to it, I promise. It's so different that other young adult stories on current market. It's so nice to not read about the usual vampires and werewolves. Here we have a ghost hunter on a mission to kill ghosts and send them where they belong...To give them what they deserve after all those killings and hopefully find their own place in the world after death.
And this story is full of unexpected twist and turns! At one point, there is this marvellous sickening twist which leaves you breathless and mouth-wide-opened. You find yourself putting the book down to buy the time to recover from the shock of finding who killed Anna. "SHIT!" The only expression on your mind which can describe the terror you have just read about. MIND-BLOWING.
Blake created a story which will leave a mark on you, because is so unique. A true original in Young Adult Fiction Genre! One of the best book I have ever read. Cassandra Clare was right to say that it is spellbinding! And romantic! Although there aren't many romantic scenes in this book, when you read them, they are worth it.
This novel is so good, that you wished that it never ends. You just want to continue on reading. But it has to end. And it ends with a BOOM!! And you know that there is more to the story. The good news is, there is another book in this series!!! YEY!! GIRL OF NIGHTMARES ( which I have immediately after finishing this one, ordered on amazon!).
Well done KENDARE BLAKE. You have manage to surprise me. I was expecting another not very original story for teenagers, but instead I got a big piece of delicious chocolate fudge cake. AMAZING. Fantastic. A haunting story which leaves you addicted and wanting more.
Here are some quotes from the book, which made me stop and think:
“You make me want things I can't have.”
“But hey, at least we’ll have this strange story to tell, love and death and blood and daddy-issues. And holy crap, I’m a psychiatrist’s wet dream.”
“She's my purpose and we're going to save each other. We're going to save everyone. And then I'm going to convince her that she's supposed to stay here. With me.”
“I’ve seen most of what there is to be afraid of in this world, and to tell you the truth,
the worst of them are the ones that make you afraid in the light. The things that your eyes see plainly and can’t forget are worse than huddled black figures left to the imagination.
Imagination has a poor memory; it slinks away and goes blurry. Eyes remember for much longer.”
“Over the course of my life I've been to lots of places. Shadowed places where things have gone wrong. Sinister places where things still are. I always hate the sunlit towns, full of newly built developments with double-car garages in shades of pale eggshell, surrounded by green lawns and dotted with laughing children. Those towns aren't any less haunted than the others. They're just better liars.”
“Girls on the other hand, have always come easy. I don’t know why that is, exactly. Maybe it’s the outsider vibe and a well-placed brooding look.”
“Anyway, life doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t care about fair or unfair.”
“Stand my ground, is what I think. After this is over, I might puke. Assuming, of course, that I’m still alive.”
“The state of shock is losing its charm. I want my brain back. Can’t it just shake itself off like
a dog already and get back to work?”
“It's like I'm trapped in one of those omniscient dreams where you just watch yourself do stupid shit, yelling at yourself about how stupid it is, and your dream-self just keeps doing what it's doing anyway.”
“As we look at each other, something inside me is trying to click, trying to fall into place. I feel it in my mind and in my chest, like a puzzle piece you know has to go somewhere so you keep trying to push it in from all different angles. And then, just like that, it fits. So perfect and complete that you can't imagine how it was without it there, even seconds ago.”