Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol


Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Review by Lauren

copy from library; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: 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.

Review: I've wanted to read this graphic novel for a long time as I remember reading positive reviews when it first came out. I came across it at the library recently and decided I might as well give it a shot. I really liked Anya and how she felt like a regular teen girl. She's not happy with the way she looks, even though her mom doesn't understand the American need to be skinny. After all, she's from Russia and while their culture doesn't take over the book, it was great to see aspects of it throughout...from her mom being a bit stuck in the old culture to a boy at her school who is picked on for being a nerd and still having a strong Russian accent.


The only friend Anya has is Siobhan, but Brosgol shows how they aren't normal "best friends." I liked that their first interaction in the book has Siobhan trying to bum cigarettes off Anya; almost like an annoying older sibling. I didn't realize they were even friends at first, and I think that was the point. It shows why Anya finds herself so easily able to accept a ghost in her life, though there are other reasons (such as Emily - the ghost's- ability to help Anya pass tests and learn information about the guy she likes). I liked that Brosgol doesn't have Anya accept Emily right away. I mean, she fell down a well and finds a ghost! Who would be okay with that? Her first reaction is that there is some kind of gas in the well causing her to hallucinate, which I thought was a clever reaction for Brosgol to give to Anya.

As for the actual story, I really liked it. When I was about halfway through, a friend at work commented that the second half was very different, so when things got really weird, I wasn't shocked. It didn't make me dislike the book, though I suppose some people might find it too much of a 180. I personally thought it made things quite interesting, even though I was enjoying the first half just fine. My one complaint is probably close to the very end...it just seemed like a sudden shift in Anya concerning Emily. Regardless, I really enjoyed this one and would love to read more by the author/illustrator!!

 

19 comments:

Aylee said...

I also recall hearing good things about this graphic novel so it's good to read your insight on it, as well. I'm really curious about this 180 you mention... very intriguing!

Medeia Sharif said...

I've seen this around and would love to read it.

Melanie said...

Ooh creepy excerpt you showed us. Very curious about this one.

Lovely review, Lauren! <33

Zoe N. said...

I haven't seen much of this around, but I'm hooked! It sounds really interesting and creepy! Glad you liked it Lauren, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

Erika Sorocco said...

I love the illustrations!

xx

Tracy Terry said...

Love the cover. Looking at it I was expecting this to be a fun, really light book but having read your review it sounds like there is more to it than I'd thought.

Liviania said...

I want to read this one because it won a Cybil!

Jasprit said...

Oh I've not read many graphic novels Lauren, but it sounds like this one has a lot to offer. so glad that you enjoyed it!

Tanja - Tanychy said...

I haven't heard of this one but I'm really curious about that change in second half of the book. I don't think I have ever read a book that changes that dramatically. Great review :)

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

The illustrations are certainly unique. Didn't they make a movie out of this?

Synchronized Reading said...

I've not read a graphic novel before, but I do want to give them a try. I'm glad you enjoyed this one and I'm curious to how the book changed halfway through. Great review!

Janina @ Synchronized Reading

Krysten Gautreaux said...

Sounds like something I'd like to read!

Ginny Gallagher said...

Love the cover and the illustrations. I'm also curious as to what shifts/changes in the story at the half way point. I will have to check my library for this one.

Lauren D. said...

I've heard so much praise for this book, I've been wanting to read it for a long time! I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed it. Lovely review!

Eileen said...

This cover is so cute and it's really cool that this one incorporates Russian culture because I love learning about different parts of the world. :)

Angela's Anxious Life said...

This is one I too have been wanting to read for quite some time. I think the art work looks cool and anything spooky I am game for!!! I will for sure check this one out.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books said...

I'm really curious about this 180 now. lol This isn't what I typically read but I like the concept and the cover is adorable. :)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

I've heard such fabulous things about this book, and although I've read no more than a few graphic novels in my life, I'm determined to find time for it.
Thanks for the lovely review.

Kindlemom said...

Sometimes being warned ahead of time about a book is a great thing because I think it actually helps you enjoy it so much more than if you were caught of guard by it.
Glad you liked this one. :)