Brosgol, Vera – Anya’s Ghost

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4 thoughts on “Brosgol, Vera – Anya’s Ghost

  1. Profile photo of Karen LeeKaren Lee Post author

    Anya’s Ghost Book Review

    Anya’s Ghost is a graphic novel written and illustrated by Vera Brosgol. This graphic novel holds the theme: be who you are. It also conveys the message that everyone has flaws, and thus, nobody has the authority or right to judge somebody from the outside. The protagonist of the graphic novel Anya Borzakovskaya is a first-generation Russian immigrant in her adolescence. Anya has a crush on a handsome boy named Sean, who already has a seemingly flawless girlfriend Elizabeth. At school, Anya frequently skips classes and smokes cigarettes with her friend Siobhan. One day, she accidentally falls down in a hole and finds a ghost Emily who had been trapped there for 90 years. Emily purposefully hides in Anya’s bag and comes out of the hole. She accompanies Anya around and becomes a helpful friend; she peeks at the others’ answers during tests and slips Anya the answers and sneaks in Sean’s locker and whispers Anya his schedule. Emily also helps Anya grasp an opportunity to attend a party with Sean and Elizabeth. She dresses Anya up and does Anya’s make-up as well. However, to Anya’s disappointment, Sean turns out to be a “dirtbag” and Elizabeth not as perfect in the inside as in the outside. Anya has no feelings for Sean anymore, but Emily keeps nagging at her. Anya finds Emily smoking a ghost cigarette with some kind of an ominous aura. She goes to the library alone and searches for Emily’s murder case. With the help from Dima, she finds a newspaper article that has the name she was looking for but not the content, and she discovers that Emily had been lying to her all along….

    Anya’s Ghost is a tolerable graphic novel. It has its merits and demerits. First and foremost, one of its merits is the theme. The theme is very meaningful to the audience of this graphic novel: teenagers, because the majority of them are apt to undergo the exhaustingly lengthy period during which they first doubt and then form their identities. It is considerably encouraging, as a teenager, to be told the message that one has to be him/herself amid the senses of inferiority he/she might have. Also, the language is audience-appropriate. There are use of slangs such as “manwhore”, “crap”, “dirtbag”, “juvie”, “missy”, and etc. that readers can relate to and consequently feel the dialogue between the characters more genuine. This actually helps readers become more engrossed in the book. Additionally, the illustrations are quite realistic. The facial expressions of the characters are displayed obviously in each square. Although some are exaggerated, it is relatively easy for readers to recognize the characters’ emotions. For example, Emily’s gradual disclosure of her authentic self – from a counterfeit “innocent” and “wounded” character to an insane and kinky character – is more realistically shown through the evident changes of Emily’s facial expressions. However, there are numberless demerits in this graphic novel. To begin with, the plot is incomplete. Especially, the climax of the graphic novel is intense but not built-up as much. It would have been much better if the climax had been backed up with more events such as not only the tricks and pranks pulled by Emily but catastrophic peril that she brings about. Moreover, the characters are not relatable. It is true that school life is tough for most of the teenagers. However, it might be incomprehensible for some readers to see the characters doing what are considered “forbidden” things — such as sleeping during classes, cheating in their tests, smoking behind the school building, and etc. – simply because of boys and mothers.

    This graphic novel is recommended to teenage girls, because boys will probably not enjoy the exclusive and private narration of a teenage girl who ceaselessly talks about boys. This is literature because it is a written work that has characters, setting, plot, and theme. Although there are illustrations along with the words, this certainly does not exclude this graphic novel from literature.

  2. Profile photo of Spring XiaSpring Xia

    Anya’s Ghost is a graphic novel by Vera Brosgol. This book is about A girl called Anya and a ghost called Emily. Anya fell down a hole and there she met Emily, a ghost who has been in that hole for 90 years. Emily cannot leave the hole herself so she snuck into Anya’s bag, comes out of the hole and into the human world. At first, emily seems like a lot of help, because only Anya can see her. She would sneak test results, eavesdrop Anya’s crush Sean, and helps Anya look at Sean’s time table so Anya could meet him. Emily always dresses Anya so that she looks pretty to go to parties and meet Sean. But when Emily dresses her up, Anya isn’t Anya anymore, but someone that Emily wants to be. Later on in the story, Anya discovered that Sean is up to no good so she doesn’t like him anymore. But Emily seems to keep on pushing her to Sean that she feels like Emily is trying to live her life. Anya wants to get rid of Emily, but Emily doesn’t leave. On one night, Emily suddenly changed. She began smoking and speaking ruddily. Anya finally got the chance to solve emily’s murderer case when she finds out the truth… Then the scary battle begins…
    I thought this was a really exciting and fun book just because the author included a lot of real situation school life in the story so that there is other contents except for the development of Anya and the ghost.
    If you are interested in school life, twists in stories or spooky things, you should read this book!

  3. Profile photo of Rosemary WuRosemary Wu

    Anya’s Ghost is a really good graphic novel. It’s written by Vera Brosgol. The story is mainly about a girl called Anya accidentally fell down a well, where she met a dead girl or ghost called Emily. Emily was stuck in the well for 90 years, and she couldn’t leave because her body was there. When Anya went out of the well, she took one bone of Emily so she went out with her. At first, Emily seemed to help Anya a lot and she was very friendly, so Anya though she was becoming a good friend. But one day, Anya realized Emily wasn’t trying to help her, she was trying to make Anya’s life the life she wanted. Besides, Emily lied for the murder of herself and her family, Emily was driving Anya crazy so she wanted to get rid of her, but Emily was growing stronger and stronger…
    I recommend you to read this graphic novel, the plot was exciting and includes many real life situation, and the style of this book was drawn in a cartoon way but realistic enough that you can see the details and the characters’ facial expressions. At first I thought Emily was really a nice friend, just the same as what Anya thought. But the truth was different…Read it if you are interested now!

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