Great Graphics: Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Welcome to a new feature here at Brave New Shelf that I affectionately call Great Graphics. The first Tuesday of every month I will post a review of a graphic novel/ comic/ manga (Japanese comic). Graphics novels have been a part of my life for almost five years now, and I can't help but feel that a lot of people turn away from them for one reason or another. Maybe you think they are childish picture books. Maybe you think that they are too violent, or too sexual. Maybe you don't want to be a "nerd," "geek," or any other one of those terms associated with people who read graphic novels. (And yes, I have heard those reasons.)  To those who adhere to those beliefs, I say that you simply haven't been looking hard enough for something that you might enjoy :)

Or, maybe you have been reading them for a while and are hoping for a couple of recommendations, or simply want to chat about them. That's cool too, and I'd love to hear some input in the comments! All of these posts will be tagged with "graphic novels," along with any other corresponding tags.

And so proceeds our first installment with Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol!

If you looked up the word "popular" in the dictionary, there is a good chance that Anya's picture won't be there. Embarrassed by her family, her body, and her social status, Anya begins to think that all hope is lost. That is, until she meets someone that really has lost everything, including her life.

Anya meets Emily after falling into a well while on a walk, and while Anya survives the fall it is clear to her that Emily, a girl who lived over one hundred years ago, did not. Surprised at seeing the ghost girl, Anya is even more surprised when one of Emily's bones ends up in her bag, allowing for Emily to follow her home. 

At first, things are working out alright. Emily aids Anya in numerous aspects of her life, academic and social. But as time progresses, Anya learns that Emily may have a bigger problem than the obvious.

Anya's Ghost was overall enjoyable, and I can understand all of the love it has gotten (and has been getting) from novel and comic blogs alike. The main character, Anya, is easy to relate to as a teenager. She struggles to fit in, on which she blames her lack of friends, lack of a boyfriend, and her body. The buildup for the other main character, Emily, was certainly an interesting if not creepy one. At the beginning, she appears to only want to help Anya improve her life, but then as the story progresses the reader begins to realize that Emily is changing, and not for the better. Anya's crush Sean, who is not as appealing as he seems, her sort-of best friend Siobhan, and her doting Russian-immigrant mother round off the cast of interesting minor characters.

I found myself getting very into the book, plot-wise. Of course, from the moment that Emily offered to help Anya to improve her grades and her love life we knew that things were too good to be true for the ghost girl, and the build-up is steady with a quick-paced climax and happy ending.

The art itself is great, with a color scheme of black, white, and shades of purple that is not so complicated that you lose track of the characters or the story in the process of admiring the drawings. Brosgol's style is easy on the eyes with just enough attention to detail to show that she put love and effort into drawing, as well as writing, Anya's Ghost.

4.5/5- Recommended for anyone with an interest in single-volume comics with PG rating (assigned by myself; actual volume is not rated)

(Amazon - Goodreads)

1 comment:

  1. I'm always looking for graphic novels to buy for my husband. Thanks for the rec!

    Also, I love the look of the Dystopian August button in your sidebar and can't wait to read your reviews this month!


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