A friend mentioned that she kept looking at Anna Dressed in Blood but had yet to buy it. I believe that if you keep getting drawn back to a book then something is insisting that you read it. My friend bought the book, devoured it, and sparked my own interest.
When I began the book I spent a good deal of the beginning going, "this is just another supernatural YA novel." It has all the makings of what is popular: a possibility of love, the kid who is different and doesn't fit in, high school politics, and the ever popular paranormal plot. That stuff I could do with or without but, of course, the paranormal plot is what makes the story. The author certainly has a knack for descriptive horror, blood and gore but she doesn't go over the top or cross over into a place of unnecessary description. You get the point of what needs to be seen and the author doesn't give in to unnecessary details. This creates a world of ghosts which are intricate and detailed, completely believable and sometimes a little scary.
You're given a POV from a male character, Cas, which is somewhat unheard of in YA literature. This book is appealing to girls but with the male main character maybe more teen boys will grab hold of it as well. He's confident, but not overly so. The friends he gets are seen as the stereotypical prom queen and nerdy boy but they quickly become so much more. Anna is an interesting creature and well written to display the difference in her personality from a goddess of death to a ghost girl. One moment it is very easy to dislike her and find her unpredictable in the worst kind of way, then a moment later you are hoping the sweet ghost girl isn't a joke but will remain.
Her history and how she was killed was painful to watch (or read, in this case) and certainly part of what I loved. The author didn't floss it over or make it less horrible. You got what happened to Anna bit by bit and it made it almost understandable for her to be so vengeful. Of course, the moral point of "that doesn't give her the right to kill others" isn't ignored by the other characters which is something else I loved. Although it makes some sense for her to be angry, the characters still work on stopping her from what they're doing. I feel that a book more fitting to the stereotype of YA literature (the negative stereotype to be specific) would have glossed over these details.
The nice Anna, the true Anna, was darling and I couldn't get enough fo her. I loved the power she held, even when nice, and the desperation she had to not do anything "bad." I do feel that some of the obstacles that occurred in the book (you'll know what I mean when you read it) were almost too easily dealt with. A little confusion here and there, sure, but then it was over with and without much misery. I was expecting more struggle, more time, and more unncertainty of whether or not the problems at hand could be done but that was lacking.
Still, despite this, I really enjoyed the book. I had a great time reading it and flew through the end. I was sad to put it down but also excited - there is a sequel and I fully intend on reading it. While the plot issues were easily taken care of in this book, the characters were great, the detail was awesome, and it was nice and creepy. Maybe I'll hold off a little on reading the second book... it might be more exciting once Halloween rolls around.