Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Anya's Ghost

Anya's Ghost
by Vera Brosgol
224 pages
Middle School+

Anya feels miserable and lonely, or your basic teenager.  She's not skinny and beautiful like the popular girls, she's not incredibly smart like the nerds, and to top it all off, she's Russian.  While she lost the accent years ago, she still feels like an outcast and only has a few friends.

One morning, everything is going wrong. The hot guy is ignoring her, her mother tries to feed her greasy food for breakfast, and best (only) friend is mad at her.  She lets the bus go by and starts walking to school.  As she is walking through a park, she is so distracted by everything, she completely misses a step and falls into a dark hole.

At the bottom of this abandoned well is the one thing she really doesn't want to see: a ghost.  After getting over the shock, she meets Emily Reilly, another lonely girl just like her, just her loneliness has been for the past 90 years.  They talk while Anya waits for someone to find her or to walk by.  Eventually, someone find Anya, gets her out and Anya leaves Emily at the bottom of the well.

Then one day, while at school, Emily comes to visit Anya again.  A little bone that Anya took with her lets Emily follow her wherever that bone goes.  They ease each others' loneliness, helping the other be happier.  But is Anya really happy with the direction her life is beginning to take, and is Emily really a victim?

This was another graphic novel and was pretty fun.  The artwork was nice, but not spectacular.  This one I liked more for the story line than the illustrations.  The reader gets to see Anya's struggle with being a teenager, and also how these changes effect her.  Anya starts to see what is really important in life, and also that not everything you see is exactly what it seems to be.

Overall, this was a good, but not great, book.  Many issues are raised that are relevant to teens, such as self-image, family relations, cheating, truth versus embleshment, and how far you are willing to go to please other people.  I think many teens will identify with Anya and the struggles she goes through.

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