YA Paranormal (Ghost Story)
Available tomorrow! (Aug. 30, 2011)
Review copy provided by publisher for honest review
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered 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, now stained red and dripping with 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.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas’s life.
Positive: Cas, his mother, and his whole Scooby gang. Until moving to Thunder Bay (a Canadian location!), Cas never really settled in long enough to make friends with anyone. But, as he investigates Anna and her story, he starts to gather an unusual group around him, people who eventually help him with his Anna dilemma. I particularly like Thomas, who can read minds (sometimes) and Thomas’s eccentric grandfather.
Positive: The ghosts. Anna, of course, is the scene-stealer. I mean, who can resist a story about a murdered girl who floats around in a blood-soaked, white dress, killing anyone who intrudes upon her solitude? It’s the perfect scary campfire story. As for the other ghosts, I liked the urban legend flavor to them (I’ve always been a sucker for urban legends.).
Positive: The story itself. While a lot of times, I focus on favorite bits, with this book, I love the whole thing. Great characters, an interesting world filled with spirits and magic, an action-filled plot, a nontraditional love story (as in it doesn’t involve the main character), and awesome world-building — yep, the whole kit-and-caboodle really drew me in.
Wish: That there were more spooky ghost stories out there like ANNA. It’s not too horror-filled (I get a little freaked out when it’s too scary) but also not cheesy. Anna’s very creepy but I also really felt for her (you’ll understand, if you read the book).
Overall: Oh, holy cow. I love this book. Love-love-love! More like this one, please. This book hits all the right notes, playing on our fear of things that go bump in the night. ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD is now shelved under “2011 Faves” and I’ll definitely be buying an extra copy or two to share with my students.
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