Reading level: Young Adult
Genre: Graphic Novel/Paranormal
Size: 224 pages
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Borrowed from library
Rating: 4/5 stars
I had heard wonderful things about this graphic novel, so when I saw it at the library I picked it up. It was a very well done book and I enjoyed it a lot.
Anya has trouble fitting in at school: she is a little on the plump side and Russian and just all in all can’t seem to fit in. Then she falls down a well and meets a ghost. When Anya is rescued the ghost follows her and starts helping her out; telling her what the cute boy likes, helping Anya cheat on tests, and just making Anya’s life a little easier. That is until Anya finds out the truth about the ghost and realizes that maybe that ghost is more trouble than she is worth.
The story is a good one and aimed at young adult girls; but can be enjoyed by all young adult and older readers. At first I wasn’t completely sold on all the high school angst that Anya goes through in the beginning, but Anya has a great sense of humor and as things started getting creepier with the ghost I really got sucked into the story.
This story has a great mystery surrounding the ghost’s origin, but also has some great life lessons. Through it all Anya basically starts to realize she should be happy to be who she is. Like many teenagers Anya struggles with being different; in this case it is her weight and her nationality that really has Anya in the dumps. This is easily translated to any teenager who feels alienated for any reason.
The illustration is all in black and white, it is fairly blockey, and (while it wasn’t my favorite) it did a good job of conveying the emotion and story without being confusing. The black and white starkness of it all matched the tone of the story well.
Overall I enjoyed this graphic novel and would recommend to teens who like a little ghost story with their teenage drama. Adults should also find some here to enjoy since the mystery behind the ghost and the way the ghost story is done is creative and engaging. The first part was a bit slow, but it really sucked me in by the end. I can’t wait to see what Vera Brosgel comes up with next.