Book Review #4: Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol (Graphic Novel)

Monday, 29 December 2014
Product details:
Publisher: Square Fish
Format: Paperback
Length: 240 pages
Published: 2014
Rating: ☆☆☆

Source: Purchased
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. Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part.

So let’s get this review started! First off, I wanted to say that I have recently become reintroduced to graphic novels, having enjoyed them immensely in my childhood. The artwork for one is stunning, simplistic yet unique. The illustrations are often in grey with a slight purple undertone running throughout and it really makes it a pleasure to read through.

Now for the storyline, I’m not going to just repeat the Goodreads synopsis so I won’t waste your time, but I have to say I also fell in love with the storyline. Anya is your ‘typical’ and I use the term loosely, teenage girl trying to fit into high school. She’s worried about her appearance, her interest in boys, skipping the bleep test at school (we all did it!) and trying to fit in with the popular crowd. After an argument with her friend Siobhan, Anya walks off into the forest and with so much on her mind, she doesn’t notice the hole and just like Alice she tumbles down a hole- but this time, it’s not Wonderland she finds, it’s a human skeleton, and a ghost. Anya manages to escape but manages to take something with her and soon Emily the ghost enters her life, assisting with tests, her fashion sense and boy problems, but when Anya starts to get suspicious and uncomfortable about the situation, things start to get ugly.

• I loved the fact that Anya was from Russian decent, it really gave depth to her character and with the help of the insight given into her family’s life, it allowed the character to become more realistic - showing the struggles of an ‘outsider’ in an american society. I liked as well how it highlighted the prejudices found within stereotypical high schools.

• The beautiful illustrations and storyline. (I know I’ve repeated this point a thousand times but they are fantastic!)

• The complex nature of the story and characters. I was always trying to guess what was up with Emily, knowing going into the story that something was fishy. I didn’t manage to guess the ending so it came as a nice surprise!


• Although at 220 pages the graphic novel was substantial in size, I felt as if I required some sort of sequel as I didn’t want the story to end. I just enjoyed it that much.

So in comparison to some of the other graphic novels I have read in my time, this one was definitely one of my favourites. Original storyline, great character depth, beautiful illustrations. Well done Vera Brosgol, a very intriguing read. On my classification scale I award this book 5 stars! The full shebang! 


As per usual you can pick this up from The Book Depository using the link here.

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