All Hallow’s Read

All Hallow's Read 2012

All Hallow’s Read is a movement started by Neil Gaiman a few years ago. The idea is simple: on or around Hallowe’en, you give somebody a scary book. It’s a promoting-the-joy-of-reading kind of thing. (Gaiman himself is giving away a short story this year, as part of a charity drive for schools and libraries.)

I want to get in on the fun, so I’m going to send a gift copy of Anna Dressed in Blood to the first commenter on this blog.

I read this book because my awesome sister-in-law, The Anti-Sara, added it to her “want to read” list on Goodreads. I was all like, hey, I want to read that too! So I did. It’s an action-packed story of a ghost hunter and the bond he forges with the spirit of a murdered girl. I thought the world-building was good (I like Blake’s take on ghosts in general) and the trio of main characters were all sympathetic. I particularly liked that the blonde, popular high school girl also turns out to be nice and smart and brave. The book’s treatment of voodoo is problematic from a cultural perspective—it’s really unfortunate that the book’s only black character is a scary villain—but the sequel, Girl of Nightmares, goes some way towards providing a more balanced perspective. Anyway, I don’t think it’s great literature, but it is a fun, spooky book, and a good candidate for All Hallow’s Read.

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