Friday 27 January 2012

Book Review- Anya's Ghost by Vera Brogsol

Anya's Ghost
Title: Anya’s Ghost
 Author: Vera Brogsol
Series:  N/A
Published:  27 June 2011 by First Second
Length: 221 pages
Warnings: N/A 12+
Source: Library
Other info: This is Vera’s debut, but she’s worked on other things.
Summary : Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn’t kidding about the “Forever” part... 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.
Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya’s Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.
Review: After a really normal school day, Anya's heading home. But, due to being lost in her own world, she falls into a well. And makes a friend. You can call her a friend, can't you, if she's been dead for ninety years? Due to a little technicality, ghost Emily can follow Anya around as long as Anya is carrying Emily's fingerbone. It seems like a great friendship-keeping Anya from being lonely after failing to fit in for being one of two Russians in the school, and the other one being a complete geek; and a nice change of scenery for Emily. But the when the whole best friends forever thing starts to be taken literally, Anya starts realising maybe it's not the best idea after all...
And another one of those books I don't realise is a graphic novel, not a wordy novel. Will I pay attention to the captions on goodreads? No. I'll carry on with the suprises. Oh well.
I love the idea. It's not often I read books centred totally around friendship, even if it is a paranormal friendship. That's actually a genre I'd be interested in reading a lot of. Romance has been done to death, so maybe...Vera's on to something!
The drawings were extremely cute. The style is consistant, making use of block shades of purply-grey colour, depending on your lighting.
Anya is the typical outsider girl; jealous of the popular one, a semi-friend (best way of describing Siobhan) and gets lost in her own world. She's so happy that she's found a friend in Emily that she does everything that Emily tells her, even if it's not quite what Anya had in mind.
Emily undergoes a lot of development, something I don't normally see in ghosts. Or maybe it's just showing what she's really like. Either way, she undergoes a drastic transformation from dandelion to...something else.
There was a nice range of supporting characters that turned out to be deeper than we think when we meet them properly, for example Dima and Elizabeth. Dima grew on me after a bit, and I think Elizabeth could have done if we knew more about her.
The unfolding of events was clear and logical, but throughout I just wanted to keep reading on. Many questions are answered in the final quarter, such as how Emily ended up dying in that hole, and we also get some unexpected history.
I honestly think that some day, paranormal friendship WILL be a big genre in YA lit. We've seen vampires, werewolves, ghosts and the like and we know that people love falling in love with them. But, as friends, paranormal creatures aren't really cared for, unless main character is romantically involved with another of that type. Hopefully one day, there'll be more books giving us the supernatural element, but with little romance, and with said romance being human on human. More on that another day.
Overall:  Strength 5 tea to a spooky fun little read that makes a refreshing change. I'd love to read more by Vera.

Links: | Goodreads | Author website


  1. This has been on my wishlist for a while, it sounds great and definitely more inclined now I know you loved it!

  2. I've read this when it was pretty brand spankin' new. Heard Neil Gaiman is a fan of it. I loved it too: glad to see a review of it from you guys!

  3. I loved this book. A Russian girl who wasn't like "everyone else" and is haunted by a ghost who murdered the love of her life and his girlfriend----or his wife. I felt like I could relate to her being insecure about herself. I loved the art, I loved the plot, I'm reading this for the 35th time it's so good!! Okay, maybe I'm getting too hyped up about this.


Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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