Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Anya's Ghost

The Neil Gaiman quote on the cover of Anya's Ghost proclaims it "a masterpiece" and I am not going to argue with that. This is one of the best graphic novels I have ever read, and even better, teenage girls will instantly relate to the protagonist.

Anya is a Russian immigrant who has worked hard to lost her accent, some baby fat, and the disdain of her classmates. Still, she spends most of her time crushing on a popular boy from afar and getting teased by her only friend, who seems to be using her for cigarettes. After an embarrassing incident, Anya falls down a well that is inhabited by a skeleton and its ghost, a girl named Emily Reilly who was murdered in 1918. After recovering from her fear, Anya befriends Emily, who helps her escape, gives her answers on tests, and encourages her to talk to her crush. As in most ghost stories, all is not what it seems to be and Anya learns that Emily can be truly scary after all.

Anya's insecurities are realistic and awkward to witness. Vera Brosgol is such a talented storyteller that I actually didn't realize that the only colors are black, white, gray, and purple until after I finished the book. The story was so engrossing that I lived it in color as I read it. The illustrations are full of interesting details that merit a second reading, now that I know the plot.

I enjoy a good scare (although not as much now that I live alone on the first floor--please don't stalk me) and found that Anya's Ghost delivered. I frantically read the last thirty pages at school during lunch, wanting to know how the story would conclude. I was pleased with the ending and am now anxiously awaiting Vera Brosgol's next book.

Some of the situations in the novel are too mature for my current class, but young teens will love Anya's Ghost as much as I did. You can enjoy a seventeen-page preview here.

1 comment:

  1. This looks cool. I'm going to look it up now. Thanks for the review!


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