Mirkat's Reviews > Anya's Ghost

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol
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Mar 17, 12

Read in March, 2012

Anya feels out of place at the suburban-Massachusetts private school she attends. Born in Russia, Anya moved to the US just before beginning kindergarten. She has unpleasant memories of being a chubby little girl with a foreign accent, and has struggled to lose those traits. Fighting with her best friend Siobahn and seeing the boy she's crushing on making out with his seemingly perfect girlfriend lead to the aimless wandering that causes Anya to fall into an old well, where she discovers a skeleton. The skeleton turns out to have a ghost attached to it--namely Emily Reilly, who died in 1918. When Anya is rescued from the well, she unknowingly carries with her a small bone that allows Emily's ghost to follow her home.

At first, Emily seems to be a completely benign spirit who wants nothing more than to help her new friend academically (by peeking at other students' test papers, for example) and socially (by doing some intel about upcoming parties and dispensing wardrobe advice). She also presents a sad story of a young woman whose life was cut short randomly and unjustly. As the story unfolds, Anya begins to realize that Emily is not as benign as she has presented herself to be, and through some archival research, Anya also discovers that there were more sinister aspects to Emily's story.

I read this book in a day and thoroughly enjoyed it. Brogol's art and writing do a good job capturing the spectrum of emotions one experiences in high school, while seamlessly working in the "supernatural" element. Without giving away the ending, I will say that both the living and dead are subject to epiphanies.
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