Anya Borzakovskaya is an outcast at school; she’s Russian, a bit overweight, a bit weird. She has one friend in Siobhan, though she’s not much. Until one day she falls into an old, abandoned well and meets a ghost–Emily Reilly. A new friend.
Thus is the premise of Anya’s Ghost, a graphic novel written and drawn by Vera Brosgol. Very interesting events ensue, of course, but I don’t want to say much more due to the relatively short size of the book–I’ve already explained the first quarter or so. I can say, however, that the story is incredibly well done; in just over two hundred pages Brosgol does an amazing job humanizing the characters and situations, to the point that the ghost fits right in and seems perfectly plausible. While it might not earn points in total originality (the overall themes and concepts have been handled before), Anya’s Ghost is still riveting for the short time it lasts.
“I was never strong, and he would have caught me. I could almost feel his breath on my neck when… I fell.”
Similar to the story, the art is amazing; simple and just slightly stylized, it perfectly complements the book throughout,with flair at just the right moments and an easy-to-read format. It’s kind of hard to say anything more.
I don’t want to keep going for fear of being redundant; thus, time for the score!
Anya’s Ghost is a spectacular graphic novel, seamlessly weaving supernatural with real life and presenting it all in a wonderful format. Strictly speaking, it’s lacking nothing; but to me, there’s just not that “punch” to the novel that would warrant five stars; I recommend Anya’s Ghost to everyone, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it a classic.