(I read this book as part of the Pay it Sideways Challenge. Join in anytime, we’d love to have you!)
Anya Borzakovskaya is not happy with her life. She’s spent most of her life trying to distance herself from her Russian heritage: taking lessons to learn English and lose her accent, dieting and avoiding her mother’s traditional cooking, and ignoring a Russian classmate who “acts fobby” (“fresh off the boat”). She wants nothing more than to blend into her new surroundings and be normal.
After a fall and a night spent at the bottom of a dry well with a ghost named Emily, normalcy somehow becomes something Anya can attain. Emily helps Anya pass a test by copying the answers from other students, and even helps her get noticed by a cute boy.
But something about Emily’s generosity feels odd; just whose life is Anya living anyway?
I don’t read graphic novels often, so Anya’s Ghost meant a bit of a change of pace for me. It was well-paced, well-written, and well-drawn — I especially appreciate author Vera Brosgol’s decision to go with all black and white illustrations.
Anya is a great character, one whom I think many people—men and women—can empathize. She’s self-conscious about her body, and more than a little embarrassed by her immigrant family. She wants to be like everyone else, and it takes a strange—and at points frightening—adventure with a ghost for her to discover who she truly is, and wants to become.
If you like snarky heroines and moments that make your heart jump into your throat, check out Anya’s Ghost.
About the recommender
The Broke and the Bookish is a blog run by a bunch of college kids who share a love of all things bookish. Lots of bloggers means they post often — book reviews, giveaways, author interviews, etc.
Blogger Jessi loved Anya’s Ghost for its interesting illustrations, great characters, and a fantastic plot twist. You can read her review here.