Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Cas is continuing the family profession: killing the dead. Not to brag, but he's never failed. This time, however, he may have met his match. "Anna Dressed In Blood" they call her, the vengeful spirit who's throat was slit, causing blood to cascade down her front. She kills anyone who steps foot into her house. Cas has his athame, inherited from his father, passed down through the ages. With it, he intends to lay Anna to rest. His first visit to the house doesn't go as expected. He ends up getting whacked over the head by some jealous high schoolers, and barely escapes with his life. It's almost as if she spared him...but that isn't possible is it? She has no problem tearing his new acquaintance into four pieces. It's not exactly the outcome he expects.

Too many people saw Mike die...Cas can't go about this alone, like he usually does. He's being followed around by some kid who thinks he's a witch, the most popular girl in school, and Mike's football cronies. It's turning into some kind of supernatural ghost buster killing party.

Despite everything, Cas is inexplicably drawn to Anna. He wants to know her story. He knows that she isn't a normal ghost, she is stronger than any other he has faced, and a normal cut with his athame won't kill her. Fascinated by her, he visits the house again. Again she spares his life. There is something about him that is different. She tells him she can't control her bloodlust; he's the first one she hasn't been forced to kill in a horrific way. After exploring his options, and getting his butt kicked around a bit, he finally conceeds to some help. This rag-tag group of demon hunters is going to attempt to exorsize her from the house.

The group witnesses the night of her death in detail, watching as her mother forbids her from leaving, growing increasingly angry and finally revealing her true nature, she binds her spirit to the house. Reliving it must be horrible for Anna, but not as horrible as the ghosts of all the dead she has killed. They are tied to the house as well. It's a cursed place. Do the kids have a chance at freeing Anna's spirit? Once they do, will Cas be able to kill her? He and Anna have a connection unlike any he's had with a living person before. When the time comes, will he be able to say goodbye?

Well written and compelling, it's Supernatural meets Scooby Doo. There's a little romance maybe, lots of blood, and even some personal growth. I enjoyed this one a lot.
"I look at Anna, facedown on the floor, terrified but not nearly scared enough. I watch this girl, struggling to escape, not just from Elias's grip, but from everything, from this stifling house, from this life like a weight around her shoulders, dragging her down and planting her in dirt. I watch this girl as her mother bends over her with a kitchen knife and nothing but anger in her eyes. Stupid anger, baseless anger, and then the blade is at her throat, dragging across skin and opening a deep red line. Too deep, I think, too deep. I listen to Anna scream until she can't anymore," (Blake pg. 204-205, 2011).
*Library Link*

If you liked this, check out:

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake (Anna Dressed in Blood, Book 2)
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Grisha Trilogy, Book 1)
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (Raven Cycle, Book 1)

Blake, Kendare, & Tor (Firm). (2011). Anna Dressed In Blood. New York: Tor.

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