Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Review: Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Synopsis: From Goodreads, "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: As many graphic novels are prone to be, this was a really fast read, but with lots of interesting depth. Anya's challenges in coming from an immigrant family are not lost on the reader. Early on in the story we find Anya tossing out her mother's ethnic food, in favor of what she deems more "normal" and then heading off to school. Along the way, she falls down a well and meets the ghost of a girl that died from falling down the same well. What seems like a sad little ghost of a previous sweet girl though, might not be all she's led Anya to believe.
Obviously, Anya is saved from the well, but her little ghost friend is not left behind. Rather than helping Anya to fit in better, this ghost has not been as forthright about her death as she should have been, leaving Anya with way more on her hands than just her cultural difference. The story does turn spooky, giving Anya bigger things to worry about than her own ethnic background. In true graphic novel fashion, this spooky story still has a light-heartedness about it that we know will somehow lead to a happy ending.
I really liked Anya's Ghost and found the story to be one that I fell into pretty quickly. The pictures are well done and the dialogue propels the action forward. Besides the action, we still understand the emotions felt by many of the characters. Anya just wants to feel "normal" like most teens, but with a ghost hanging around, that leads to more abnormal than one might expect! In the scope of storytelling, graphic novels, and the supernatural, this was a fun and spooky tale that pulled me out of my own little reading slump. Thanks to the creativity of artists and authors combined, their vision came together in an engaging story that plays with the modern and old, with the dark and the light. If you're looking for a fun ghost story that still gets marks for being creepy, then this is a nice one to try out.
*FTC Disclosure: This review was based on a library copy of the book.