I picked up Anya's Ghost before the weekend last week to read after finishing up with How to Train Your Dragon. However, Cowell's fantasy story about a boy and his dragon was less than captivating that I never got around to Brosgol's graphic novel. And this morning, when I finished reading How to Train Your Dragon, I started reading Erin Hunter's Warriors: Into the Wild - the first book of the original series, which is currently only $0.99 for Kindle. I also purchased this e-book on Friday before the weekend started. Before continuing with Into the Wild this afternoon, I decided to take a crack on Brosgol's book. I didn't intend to devour it so quickly - it's common for me to do this with a graphic novel, so I do attempt to pace myself - but it's just so entertaining that I couldn't put it down.
It's a great book - funny, cute, and creepy all in one. However, the thing that I found most disturbing is how I found this book in the department I work in - the children's! I'm not an uber conservative person - if you look at my posts, you'll see this - but there are just some things I think aren't suitable for juvenile readers. Suggestive sex is one thing, manwhoring is another. Let's not ignore the creepy part of the book, which I won't reveal for fear of posting up spoilers.
The story follows Anya Borzakovskaya, a Russian immigrant who has spent most of her adolescent life erasing her cultural past in order to fit in. Your typical misanthropic teen girl who secretly pines over the jock boy and obsessing with her weight. One day, as she walks off some steam, she falls into a well where she discovers the remains of a girl who died over ninety years ago. To make things worse, the same girl is still taking up residence there - her ghost, anyway. When a piece of the girl's bones escapes with Anya, Emily Reilly - the ghost's real name - begins to haunt Anya's life - which is welcome. Emily helps Anya cheat on tests and improves her social and love life. But there's something off about Emily Reilly and Anya sets off to see what secrets her otherworldly friend has taken to her graven. What she discovers not only puts her in the line of trouble, it also threatens those she loves.
Anya's Ghost is a captivating read, perhaps for a young adult reader rather than a juvenile one. It's one part quirky, one part horror, and completely entertaining. Most young readers might relate to some of the everyday perils Anya finds herself in, regardless if they're immigrants.