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Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Anya's Ghost (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Vera Brosgol, Vera Brosgol (Illustrator)

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7477312,453 (3.87)40
Title:Anya's Ghost
Authors:Vera Brosgol
Other authors:Vera Brosgol (Illustrator)
Info:First Second (2011), Paperback, 224 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol (2011)

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English (71)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (73)
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
A refreshing read after all the other fiction books I've read. I love the idea of a ghost counterpart to the protagonist. It's both interesting and spooky. And Brosgol's art style is so so lovely! It's a shame how you can finish a graphic novel in such a short time... ( )
  novewong | Jul 8, 2015 |
Review from Tenacious Reader: http://www.tenaciousreader.com/2015/06/16/graphic-novel-review-anyas-ghost-by-ve...

Anya’s Ghost is a wonderful young adult graphic novel that both entertains and contains some important life lessons. There’s also some wonderful humor were it pokes fun at some stereotypical YA story lines.

Anya, like so many people, feels like she just doesn’t fit in. She has one close friend at her private school, and there’s some fun angsty type humor between the two of them. Anya is very self conscious. She’s embarrassed by her family, her name, her Russian heritage. She’s just not happy and honestly, that makes her like most kids out there. And then, just to make things worse for her, she falls down a well and is stuck there for two days. This could be horrific for any one, but turns out she was not completely alone down that well. She picks up a new companion, the ghost of a girl that died down that very well a long time ago. When she is rescued, the ghost comes with her.

Anya quickly learns both the advantages and disadvantages of having a ghostly companion. They work together to figure out how to make their situation work and Anya starts delving into the mystery of her ghost’s death. It is sweet and funny. But the what makes me enjoy this book the most is the how it shows that she is unhappy because she’s placing importance on the wrong things. Definitely recommend for anyone looking for a quick and entertaining YA graphic novel that speaks a bit about what is important for real happiness. ( )
  tenaciousreader | Jun 24, 2015 |
Single White Lady

What begins as somewhat typical tale of teenage angst morphs into something much darker when high schooler Annushka Borzakovskaya - Anya for short - takes a tumble into a long-abandoned well while cutting though the park on her way home from Hamilton School. There she finds the bones of one Emily Reilly, a young woman who was murdered ninety years ago, her body never found. Attached to the bones: Emily's ghost, which follows Anya home upon her rescue. Anya accidentally swept up Emily's pinky, along with her food and other belongings, you see. Or did she?

At first, Anya's rather rude to the hapless, mousy Emily; a ghost could seriously damage her already lackluster reputation. But when Emily proves a helpful ally - helping Anya cheat on her bio test; scoping out the contents of her crush's backpack; giving her a bitchin' makeover and a boost of confidence to match - Anya happily embraces her new BFF, leaving the former title-holder Siobhan in the dust.

Before long, Emily's interest in Anya's life veers into Single White Female territory; and after a little digging, Anya discovers the shocking, sinister truth about Emily's death.

While the ghost story/murder mystery provides the backbone of the story, it's Vera Brosgol's adept and compassionate handling of more mundane, real world topics that gives Anya's Ghost its heart.

Anya's family immigrated to New England from Russia when she was just five years old; in the interim, she's worked hard to assimilate and just generally fit in to the morass that is high school (private high school, no less). She eschews her mother's rich, greasy home-cooked meals in favor of salad and yogurt; a former fat girl, weight is always on her mind. (In an especially poignant panel, we see Anya the way she sees herself: body dysmorphic disorder much?) She aced ESL and now speaks English without an accent, so that she can "pass" as a native New Englander. She goes by Anya instead of Annushka, and introduces herself to her crush as Anya Brown. She even gives fellow Russian immigrant Dimo a wide berth, watching silently as he's mercilessly bullied for being a "nerd" and a "foreigner."

Anya isn't always a nice person. My high school self can most certainly relate.

Likewise, "it girl" Elizabeth isn't as put together as she seems, and Siobhan nails it when she dismisses Anya's crush Sean as a dirt bag. Everything isn't always as it seems; outward appearances can be deceiving.

My 36-year-old self also got a nostalgic kick out of the little HS details: the presidential physical fitness tests (the Bleep Test!); the horror involved in performing feats of athleticism in front of members of the opposite sex; the sketchy gym teachers; doing questionable things in the hopes of looking cool.

And can we talk about the artwork? The illustrations are bewitching. Rendered in shades of black, gray, and dark purple, Brosgol sets the mood: dark and creepy, but also a wee bit playful - and, ultimately, beautiful and spirited, just like Anya herself.

http://www.easyvegan.info/2015/02/13/anyas-ghost-by-vera-brosgol/ ( )
  smiteme | Feb 9, 2015 |
I heard from this via Graphic Novels 4 Girls and really liked it. Anya and the difficulties she faces as a Russian immigrant ring true, although it is strange to me that she doesn't speak Russian at home, though I do understand that would be inconvenient for story purposes. I'd have liked seeing more interactions between Siobhan and Anya, but I can see that it wouldn't have fit into this very compact tale.

I was also positively surprised by this graphic novel as a graphic novel - it's good to see that there are diverse and positive role-models for younger girls at least, even though I find it hard to see the same applying to the "mature" end of this genre, which features gratuitous boob and gore panels more than truly mature topics. ( )
  Mothwing | Jan 4, 2015 |
Anya’s Ghost. Written and illustrated by Vera Brosgol. First Second / Roaring Book Press / Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings. 2011. 221 pages. $19.99 hbk. 978-1596437135. Grades 9-12.

When Anya accidentally falls down a well, she meets a ghost named Emily who starts following her around and helps her reinvent herself. But as Anya follows Emily’s advice, the ghost becomes more and more controlling of a life that isn’t hers to live. Brosgol’s graphic novel offers a wonderful balance of relaxed humor – high school plights and mild ghostly fantasy make for a winning combination ¬– and edge-of-your-seat suspense. Eloquent monochromatic illustrations, whose rounded lines and curved forms pleasantly belie the abundance of angst and the usual high school debauchery (smoking, partying, and the like), lead the reader through a structurally uncomplicated graphic novel experience. Brosgol develops nuance in the straightforward main plotline, investing the reader in the story and in the relatable – warts and all – character of Anya: for instance, Anya is a first-generation Russian immigrant, a detail which adds depth to Brosgol’s representation of the classic high school woe of “not fitting in.” This foray into fantasy skillfully blends lighthearted comedy with more serious, universal worries (not to mention expressive cinematic illustrations!), creating a world that’s open (in both subject matter and format) to any YA reader. Highly recommended. ( )
  tierneyc | Nov 20, 2014 |
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Anya, embarrassed by her Russian immigrant family and self-conscious about her body, has given up on fitting in at school but falling down a well and making friends with the ghost there just may be worse.

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