Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Anya's Ghost

I swear, one can't swing a dead cat around the blogosphere without smacking Anya's Ghost. This is one of those widely read graphic novels that I somehow managed NOT to read until the most recent Read-a-Thon.

Even though I've seen this book pop up in every corner, I had surprisingly little idea of what it's about! That was probably a good thing since this little ditty turned out to be a wonderful surprise.

Anya is embarrassed of her Russian mother, not popular in school, doesn't make good grades, and has low self-esteem all around. Until the day she falls down a well and meets a ghost! The girl ghost fell down the well years before, and her skeleton is all that remains. She befriends Anya and manages to come home with her, begins helping her cheat on school work, and gives her dating advice. I know, a very worldly ghost -- and all is not as it seems.

This was such a fun little book, and it had a few surprises in store. It didn't go exactly as I thought it would when I started reading, and that is a good thing. I was also pleased to see that this is published by First Second books, the same folks who published one of my all-time favorite graphic novels: American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang.  Anya's Ghost upholds the same standard of solid storytelling and clean, easy-to-read, atmospheric illustrations. All-in-all it's a winning combo, and this was a fun, worthwhile way to spend an hour reading.

Have you read Anya's Ghost? Have you read any comparable graphic novels you'd recommend? Anything else from First Second, by chance? 

Snuggle -- Skewer

Pub. Date: June 2011
Publisher: First Second
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9781596435520
Source: Library


  1. I haven't read this one yet but it does sound good. You'll think I'm dumb, but I just noticed the "ghost" in Anya's hair on the cover.

  2. I was worried I wouldn't like it because everyone was going on and on about it. yeah, I can be contrary that way. But I did like it!

    I didn't like Level Up as much as American Born Chinese but I like that First Second keeps Yang published.

    I try to make a point of keeping up with First Second's catalog actually (they and Graphix/Scholastic are consistently good; Oni Press also). First Second publishes Faith Erin Hicks (I recommend Friends w/ Boys), Sara Varon (Robot Dreams), Ben Hatke's Zita Spacegirl, Lewis Trondheim. They have picked up Jane Yolen's Foiled series, which a lot of people seem to like, too. and they brought Kim Dong Hwa's Color Trilogy to the US (which is ya & up). I do not read as much of their older-crowd stuff, but Stassen's Deogratias is tough but good. Really, I am trying to come up with one I have not yet appreciated in some way.

    okay, got a bit excited there. I hope you find more good stuff from them. and I am happy you liked Anya's Ghost, too.

    L (omphaloskepsis)

  3. This sounds like a fun book. I'll keep it in mind for the next readathon!

  4. I've only read 2 graphic novels and despite enjoying both of them, for some reason I never think to look for them. Will have to pick this one up. I'm also looking to pick up the follow up to Persepolis.

  5. I had never seen the ghost in her hair either! I'm glad you enjoyed this one, it's been on my wishlist for a while :)

  6. This has been on my TBR for awhile. I need to read it!

  7. This is a must read, obviously. And what a perfect choice for the read-a-thon! Why have I missed out on so many amazing titles? There are too many books that need reading. Sometimes it is overwhelming.

  8. Anya's Ghost is such a good book. My daughter loves it. The ending was surprising but perfect for the story.

    First Second is a great publishers of comic books! More great comics by the company: Three Shadows, The Unsinkable Walker Bean, The Olympians series by George O'Connor, Lucy Kniesley's Relish (have to get it on NetGalley), Feyman . . .Just go through their catalog, close your eyes, and pick a random book. You can't go wrong.

  9. I really enjoyed this book, too! I don't know of other books in the same trend, really, but I have an idea that if you enjoyed this one, you'd also like the Bayou series.

  10. I've been meaning to read this one ever since Neil Gaiman talked it up. There just isn't enough time, you know? I'll get to it one day though!

  11. I'm on a self imposed library requests ban..but this one doesn't count because it's a graphic novel and those are short and sweet ;) So off to the library website I go...

  12. I gave this one to Sandy for Christmas last year, and I think she really enjoyed it! I might have to get a copy of my very own for this holiday season. It sounds kinda creepy, but also really cool. Glad that you finally got the chance to read it!

  13. I really should read more graphic novels. Sorry, only have some manga style graphic novels that I know of, perhaps that's not your cup of tea :/

    Thanks for mentioning this publisher, I'm definitely going to check out the other books published by First Second!

  14. I've never even heard of this book! It sounds like fun though, it's going on my Christmas list!

  15. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. It has been on The List for a while, but my library system is super tiny and doesn't carry any graphic novels aside from comic book ones. I'll have to wait until I move home in the summer to find a copy at the library. I'm too cheap to buy it because, phew, graphic novels are pricey!

  16. I haven't heard of this one... how did I miss it? It sounds delightful, I'm going to look for it at the library next.

  17. *takes a moment to banish the thought of Andi swinging around a dead cat*

    I really liked this one, too! I don't read a lot of graphic novels, so be sure to let us know if you stumble across any other good ones.


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