Ah, time for the September readalong wrap-up post already. How did everyone enjoy Anna Dressed in Blood? Jenn (Lost in a Great Book) and I met for our monthly discussion brunch with two lovely special guests this time, Chandra (@sakuralovestea) and Wendy. And, as this is a discussion post, there will definitely be spoilers in this post – so be forewarned.
Overall, there was a lot of love for Kendare Blake’s ghost story. We were all in agreement that it wasn’t just a paranormal tale, but a really good horror story. I liked that Blake didn’t automatically pair up Cas and Carmel together and Chandra equated it to a similar dynamic like with Harry, Ron & Hermione. Be that as it may, Charmel seemed to accept everything a little too easily, for someone who wasn’t involved with the supernatural world. And speaking of accepting really easily, everyone seemed to not blink twice at the apparent blossoming relationship between Cas and Anna. Even when Cas didn’t acknowledge it himself yet, everyone was on board with it already. To me, the biggest moment of suspending your disbelief was when they were racing to get to Cas’ mom and Carmel and Anna – the GHOST – just hops in the back seat of the car as they sped away to the house.
Jenn brought up the vividly horrific imagery Blake created, especially with the way Anna would kill her victims, like splitting Mike in half, and the scene in the basement with all the corpses. Just remembering all of that gave us chills and the immense creepy factor. Along those creepy lines, Wendy talked about the nightmare-inducing scenes where Cas discovers the knife lying on his pillow, and the sounds coming from the attic.
Equally disturbing was the recounting of how Anna was killed, and the horror at finding out it was by the hands of her own mother. We all wondered where the story would lead after that, since the “saving” of Anna happens about halfway into the book. I thought Blake did a great job at keeping the reader wondering how it would play out – whether Anna would hang around and be Cas’ ghostly girlfriend or if she’d end up being “killed” off as she wanted to be. And with how it ended, I’m curious to see where it goes from there.
Wendy had a copy of the sequel, Girl of Nightmares, with her that she was passing along to Jenn and we had a chance to compare the covers. I definitely prefer the first book’s cover more. It’s eerie, it’s creepy and it’s ghostly. The sequel’s cover, now that you see Anna’s face, seems too cartoony to me. It loses the creepy factor for me. Overall though, everyone thoroughly enjoyed Anna Dressed in Blood, and personally, I couldn`t believe it had taken me this long to get to a book that was SO completely up my alley.
Will you join us for our October readalong of Miss Peregrine’s?
Check out the other books we have decided on in the coming months and sign up for reminders!