Book Review: Anya’s Ghost (Vera Brosgol)
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: June 7th 2011
Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part.
Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.
Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.
Or so she thinks.
This book was a Christmas present from my partner Nathan, who decided I should read more YA graphic novels and sought out some of the best for me, so big thank you to him for the book 🙂
When Anya falls in a well, she meets a lonely ghost girl who’s been trapped down there alone for years. When Anya is rescued, she accidentally takes the ghost girl with her. Anya adjusts to life with her ghost quite quickly, realising the advantages of having one – cheating on tests, getting boy advice – soon outweigh the weirdness of carrying around an ancient dead girl in your pocket. I don’t think I can say too more without ruining the story, so just go read it 😉
Anya is a typical teen girl, trying desperately hard to fit in, though she has more struggles than your average girl, as she comes from an immigrant family and has worked hard to rid herself of her accent and fit in with American culture. She goes to great lengths to distance herself from anything that marks her out as ‘foreign’. She’s a relatable teenage girl with worries about weight and boyfriends too, and I really enjoyed reading her story.
One of the themes of the book is learning to accept yourself, which Anya does over the course of the book, with a little ghostly help. It’s not too in-your-face or cheesy though, which is difficult to do. There’s some really lovely moments, particularly between Anya and her best friend Siobhan, and her younger brother. The art style is brilliant too, and I especially liked the way the ghost was drawn – her eyes were huge and blank, basically dead looking, but still managed to be very expressive.
This was a really enjoyable read and a great introduction for me into the world of YA graphic novels. I’m looking forward to picking up another one soon.