Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol is one of my favorite graphic novels so far. I loved the illustrations and learned while reading that I really am partial to the black-and-white style of art in graphic novels. Color illustrations are wonderful of course, but the grayscale somehow adds to the story, especially one as surprisingly dark and full of twists as this.
I loved that while this story is plot-driven, Anya’s character has so much development. Her concerns, while specific to being a regular high school kid, also have a lot of depth. She is embarrassed by her family and by being an immigrant, to the point where she actively avoids the one other Russian immigrant in her school because he’s dorky and still has his accent. She just wants to fit in (don’t we all?) but has few friends and not much of a social life.
When she meets Emily, she turns out to be a most helpful ghost. She helps Anya’s grades get better in school, gives her the confidence and courage to talk to a guy she likes, and more. Yet Emily-the-ghost goes through a few changes herself, mostly for the worse. The twist involving Emily was most unexpected. I read the last third of the book at light speed so I could figure out what would happen next.
I loved this book and would definitely read more of Brosgol’s work.