Tag Archives: YA

Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake


book coverAnna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Goodreads|Purchasing
Release Date:August 30th 2011
Publisher: Tor Teen
Series: Anna Dressed in Blood #1
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads description: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.

I was incredibly and pleasantly surprised by this book, so excuse me if I gush. I was expecting this book to take itself too seriously or be too ridiculous. Instead, I found it smart and intense. It was thrilling, and I couldn’t wait to finish it but I also wanted to make it last! Plus, the imagery made it very easy for me to picture everything, so I got the thrill of the author’s words and felt almost like I was watching a movie.

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Book Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Hourglass by Myra McEntire Goodreads|Purchasing
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Publisher: Egmont USA
Rating: ★★★☆☆/3.5

Goodreads description: One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

A gorgeous cover, apparitions and dark, mysterious guys? Preventing a death? Sounds pretty exciting!

Emerson is seventeen and lives with her brother and his wife. She’s been through a lot, and almost everyone she isn’t close to thinks she is crazy. Most of the time, she agrees with them because she sees and talks to people that nobody else can see. After a few failed experts and years on medication, her brother hires someone new to help her with her issues. Enter the gorgeous Michael. He doesn’t think she is crazy at all. In fact,  he knows all about what she can do and tells her more about it.

Instead of ghosts, the people she sees are rips in time and she’s not the only one that experiences them. Hourglass, the organization he works for, is made up of people with interesting abilities. Not only can he help her, he needs her help as well. Michael introduces Emerson to new people and she learns about things that are really difficult to believe, even with all that she’s been though.

Immediately, Emerson and Michael have crackling chemistry. The tension and banter are exciting. Michael is so charming and genuine. I was always excited to see what would happen next between them and how one would react to what the other did. I also really enjoyed Emerson’s other relationships in the book. Her bond with her brother Thomas and his wife, Dru was sweet. And Lily, her best friend, was awesome and really supportive of Emerson.

I really liked this book but I’ll admit I did have a few problems with Emerson herself though. Anyone that says a pair of black converse makes them feel “ballsy” will probably annoy me. A few times, I found her too braggy. I get it, you’re smart, pretty and tough, but this is YA and most book characters are somewhat outstanding. I understand being confident but it felt like she was pushing it in my opinion. It seems like every other review I’ve read has really enjoyed her, so it is probably a personal issue. I still cared about what happened to her and got emotionally involved in the story, though.

The story is exciting and even with the issues I had with Emerson, I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to see how it would end and it was the opposite of predictable.  I’m really interested to see what happens in the rest of the series!

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