Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review: Anya's Ghost

So I haven't reviewed anything lately and I decided I would try and start back up again with this graphic novel I read earlier on this month. Might fool around my reviewing format as well...
by Vera Brosgol


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. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol (description taken from Shelfari).

My Review:

So it is no surprise that I loved this book if my rating is any hint to that. I actually had seen if before around our library several times and had not ever really considered checking it out before now. But I have read quite a few graphic novels this summer and I guess that made it seem more intriguing than it ever had before. It really was not what I was expecting, though, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I didn't really know anything about it before picking it up and I must say I'm glad of it because it just made it so much more interesting and engaging. I wasn't sure where it was going at first, but then there were subtle hints scattered throughout that did begin to suggest an approaching plot twist.

My own thoughts before reading it were that the main character, Anya, was the ghost. This, of course, is not true, but the lead in also made me think otherwise. Of course, if you were to actually read the description, you would know otherwise. Anya is a self conscious teenager of Russian heritage just trying to fit in at her school. She only has one real friend (who I was under the impression for a better part of the book was a guy), and they sneak off in the middle of lectures and to avoid gym class just to catch a quick smoke. 

After Anya's unfortunate fall down a well, she meets a young girl's ghost. The story follows along as the ghost at first seems to want to help Anya: both in her schoolwork and social life. The ghost's real intentions soon become quite clear and it does take a rather unexpected darker turn. I actually really liked this sinister spin as well, since it seemed more like a gloomy but not terribly thrilling story to begin with. I would say that over all it is a rather nice mix of humor, mystery, social identity, and a bit of high school drama…but not too much. :P

Recommendations (slight spoilers):

This is definitely a book I would recommend. It feels like such a nice, October read. I will probably be rereading it soon. :)

My suggestion would be 16+. One of my libraries considers it YA level while the other, AF. There are a few mature themes involved and it might seem a bit creepy at parts for very young readers, but over all this book is very light and lacking in language (I really don't recall much, if any), suggestive content (high school partying), and violence (there is brief mentioning of a vengeful murder).

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