Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
Review by Noelle: May 25, 2012
Published June 7, 2011 by First Second
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As if it being five o'clock on a Friday of a three day weekend isn't exciting enough, I found a blue library envelope on my doorstep this afternoon with a brand spanking new copy of Anya's Ghost inside. Guys, it is GORGEOUS. I'm talking Golum "my precious" impersonation inspiring gorgeous.
Less than an hour later, I'm at the last page and officially have a new favorite YA graphic novel.
Let's get this out of the way first: Anya Borzakovskaya is awesome. She's got the normal teenage insecurities going on and her desire to blend in is compounded by being a Russian immigrant. She looks around her and sees skinny, blonde and effortless perfection compared to her love handles, cultural heritage and social awkwardness. She's negative and snarky, so focused on conformity she's unable to appreciate the unique aspects of her life and the good things that come with it.
Anya may think her greatest wish is to go unnoticed but in reality she's just looking for someone who can understand what she's going through. She never expected to find that someone at the bottom of a well...in the form of a 90 years past dead ghost of a teenage girl. But does her new best friend understand her as well as she seems? Is assimilation worth giving up autonomy? Are your wants and needs more important simply by having the distinction of being yours?
As I mentioned, it's the Friday of a three day weekend so I'll keep this short, but Anya's Ghost is a real keeper. Brosgol deftly accomplishes so much in so little space. There is an economy of text but an abundance of meaning. The message is wonderful. The illustrations are engaging. The heroine is spectacular. The more I learned about Anya the more I celebrated the differences she despised. I really enjoyed and highly recommend this book.
Rating: 4/5 stars.