So I was without-book and desperately needed something to read on my long trek home. Shaggy usually lends me a graphic novel in these times of need and sitting on his shelf was Anya’s Ghost. The cover looked interesting but I was a little apprehensive, due to the fact that it looked like a ‘personal experience’ graphic novel. I tend to read, but then get frustrated at, novels that just tell a tale of the writers past. For one thing, they can be all gushy feeling-y and don’t have a strong story instead favouring the slice of life style.
This is a personal experience (or so I imagine) book BUT it’s really GOOD. For the first part of my general complaint, the emotions in Anya’s Ghost feel real. The way Vera tells the immigrant experience and fitting in, feels intimate and extremely relatable. The themes are universal and they are told through very small details. Also Anya isn’t perfect, we can see her flaws and when she does the ‘wrong’ things we can understand her motivation.
But let’s talk about the Ghost in Anya’s Ghost because this is what elevates the novel for me. By incorporating a supernatural being it breaks away from the mundane usual fair of a school outsider story and gives it something special. And on top of that story structure! The ghost’s story allows us to have a very finite beginning middle and end as well as some tension and suspense, and some quirkiness on the side.
Looking at this article I realized that I actually said nothing “about” the book. No plot no nothing, no examples of why I liked things etc. and I was about to incorporate some details/plot but you know what. I didn’t know any of these things before picking up the book and I think I liked it that way. Let’s just pick it up and give-er-a-read. It’s a page turner and you’d probably do it in two sittings.