Genre: Paranormal, Graphic Novel
Published: June 7th, 2011
Publisher: First Second
Rating: 4/5 Stars
"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."~Goodreads
What is it about graphic novels that is so enticing? The beautiful artwork, the clever story lines, the challenge of fitting an entire narrative into a comic strip? Yes, of course, but let's be real for a second. Pictures! Here is the excuse that the petulant twelve year old in all of us has been looking for to read a book that's mostly pictures and still feel like we've accomplished something. These puppies are great for pulling you out of a reading slump, plus they're nice to look at! So I decided to delve into more graphic novels this year and one of my first was Anya's Ghost. I'm not sure what I was really expecting but this spooky little read was completely satisfying!
- The Art: The artwork in this book is really beautiful in a quirky sort of way. It's very cartoonish but it works for the story. The visual element of the story fits in really well with the plot development and enhances the book rather than simply illustrating it. This becomes especially important as certain characters start to evolve toward the middle of the book. It simply would have been lacking without the visual element.
- Actually Scary: At first I had my doubts about whether or not this would actually be a scary read. Sure, it's about a ghost, but the cartoonish art style and the beginning of the story line made me skeptical. Then the story started taking a dark turn and the book just got downright creepy. I think that was my favorite part of the book. It was so unexpected and such a pleasant surprise.
- Great Message: The underlying message in this book is less about restless spirits and more about a girl who is uncomfortable with her place in the world. Anya has to see first hand how important her family and her life are to really appreciate her value and what she has.
- Anya and Her Family: The characters of Anya and her mother and brother are very well-written. They are incredibly realistic and endearing and have obviously been created with love by the author. In the few hours it took to read the book I became very attached to these characters. I always love it when I can hear a character's voice and really get to know them.
- Some of the secondary characters: Unfortunately I felt like some of the secondary characters weren't very well-developed. I realize that this is mainly a story about Anya and her family but I would have liked a little more depth in some of the other characters.
This was a great graphic novel to start out with. I loved it. It was heartwarming, funny and actually pretty spooky at times. It will definitely stick with me for a long time and I will absolutely be re-reading it. I would recommend this if you you're looking for a super fast, fun book or an intro to graphic novels.
Let me know what some of your favorite graphic novels are as I'm trying to build up a reading list for them! All input is greatly appreciated.