Written & Illustrated by Vera Brosgol
Anya’s Ghost is a typical story of a high school girl struggling to fit in. Anya’s ashamed of how her Russian immigrant heritage makes her stand out, of her thick thighs, of not having a boyfriend (or many friends at all). You might guess what makes it a bit different – the ghost of a dead girl named Emily.
Emily’s been dead for over ninety years, stuck in the bottom of a well, just waiting for someone to find her. When Anya trips and falls down the same well, it seems like Emily has found her saving grace.
But Anya, being a rather selfish teenager, is mainly interested in how Emily can help her cheat on tests and get the guy she wants. Emily is happy to help, as she never really got to live a teenager’s life before she died.
Things take a bit of a sinister turn when Emily decides that she really likes hanging out with Anya and living through her. I admit, I was a little creeped out at some of the illustrations. I won’t post them, so if you read this you’ll be surprised by them like I was.
Overall, I thought this was a fun, quick read. It has some mature themes (after all, the characters are in high school) so it’s not a “comic book” for young kids.
Here’s an interview with Brogol, with some additional examples of her illustration work. I was interested that she said she draws men all day at her day job, which is one reason she likes drawing women on her own time. I’m glad she had the opportunity to draw Anya and her friends, and get paid for it!
And finally, a book trailer for Anya’s Ghost. No transcript necessary, as all the words are on the screen. I do recommend turning off the sound if you’re viewing this at work. Not that anyone browses blogs at work, right?