Review: Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Title Anya’s Ghost
Author Vera Brosgol
Genre Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Format Paperback
Page Length 224
Publication Date 07 Jun 2011
Publisher First Second
Read Date Jun 2018
Recommended Yes

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.

But Anya’s new B.F.F. isn’t kidding about the “forever” part…

– The artstyle. It’s stunning. I love the soft lines and high detail. It’s monochrome, but purplish instead of grey/black and I really like that.
– The overall message about finding acceptance and loving who we are as a person.
– Dima (a minor supporting character) is just adorable. I felt a connection with him from the outset.
– The quirky humour throughout. I lol’d many times.

– Many aspects of Anya. She’s quite selfish and mean spirited at times. I struggled to be invested in wanting the best for her.
– There is little to no character development with Anya. Anya is essentially the same character at the beginning and at the end of the book.
– The dialogue felt a little forced and unnatural at times.
– The motivation for the antagonist felt a little underdeveloped (I’m trying to avoid spoilers here).
– The plot and many aspects of it are rather generic. Teenage girls struggling to fit in, jealous of the popular girl and crushing on the uber handsome jock that treats young women like shit. It’s a story that has been done to the death.
– The ending felt a little… underwhelming.

Overall Thoughts
I’ve had this on my shelf for a while. I picked it up initially because I’ve enjoyed a few of :01’s books before and this looked like a good light read. For the most part, it was. I enjoyed it. But it isn’t perfect or mind blowing in any way. It was fun for what it is. I saw another reviewer describe it as ‘cute’ and I think that describes it perfectly.

There is a message throughout this that one should love oneself and to accept our quirky ways and idiosyncrasies. The characters felt real and relatable, but nothing new and definitely not anything we haven’t seen a thousand times before.

I felt the overall story was a little rushed. I’m not sure if there were some restraints on Brosgol or not, but I think if this had an extra 100 pages or so it would have had room to breathe. This would have allowed the antagonist’s backstory to develop a little more and given Anya the space to ‘come of age’. I would have also liked to see the relationship between Anya and her best friend be a little more than what it was. The story lacks enough twists to keep it feeling fresh. It’s very much a predictable plot, protag defeats antag story (there is no real spoiler there).

Overall, I felt this had plenty of potential, but fell a little short. But, for what it is, it’s a fun little read. As stated above, the artwork is beautiful and I enjoyed the couple of hours spent reading it.

Anyway, I’m off to make pendants out of human bones. Until next time, Peace and Love!

Book LinksGoodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

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  1. Interesting! I hadn’t heard of this before, but for the name Dima, I already like Dima’s character, hehe.. How shallow am I?!
    I wonder what it is with the jocks though… I mean, you’d think that after all the gazillion jock-plots, we would not only get a bit tired of this- and the popular girls- but also learn from all of those – Hello, this is quite realistic, let’s stop putting jocks on a pedestal! Hmm, I guess it’s just human…
    I love the sound of purple(ish) artwork though! magical!

    Liked by 1 person

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