Monday, November 17, 2014

Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Publisher: First Second
Release Date: June 7th, 2011
Source: Public library (ilu, public library!)

Synopsis: Anya could really use a friend. But her new BFF isn't kidding about the "Forever" part. Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who's been dead for a century.

Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya's normal life might actually be worse. She's embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she's pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs.

Or so she thinks. Spooky, sardonic, and secretly sincere, Anya's Ghost is a wonderfully entertaining debut from author/artist Vera Brosgol.

Review: I admit I'm in a weird reading mood right now where I pick books up and despite liking them, I don't feel compelled to finish them immediately. So I turn to graphic novels because they're easier to get through and because pictures :D 

So after hearing about this book for so long, I decided it was time to pick it up. So glad I did because I ended up really enjoying it. Anya is a very relatable character for any middle or high school student--she tries to fit in by acting a certain way, she hides her insecurities by being sarcastic, she has a crush on the hottest, popular guy in school and she smokes because it makes her seem cool. I swear, seeing her interactions and how she went about her daily life reminded me so much of former students that I alternated between shaking my head and smiling. 

I also felt that there was a bit of an ESL feel to Anya's Ghost because Anya comes from a Russian family that immigrated to the U.S. (similar to the author/artist of the story). Anya mentions more than once that she had a rough beginning in the states by not knowing the language or how to dress like the other kids but she learned over time how to fit in. It's that curious battle that we all had more or less while in high school--how do I fit in and not seem like a weirdo?  

Then there's the other issues that pop up during your teenage years: worrying about your physical appearance, comparing yourself to others, and in Anya's case trying to seem more American. One small moment that got to me was when she wanted no part of her mother's Russian meal and to appease her mother, she pretended to take it to school only to throw it out. That part killed me because food is linked to your culture and omg girl you do not throw out good food!!!! 

ANYWAY. Then comes the interesting twist in Anya's life. Emily, the ghost that she meets when she falls down a well. Emily was undeniably a much more intriguing character due to her backstory and I won't spoil it for you but I was actually surprised by the turns this story took. In the end, Emily served as the foil to Anya's character and Anya learns many things about her perception about others, herself and how she is in charge of her own life.

Final Verdict: I really liked Anya's Ghost. I felt like there were some details in the story that could have been dealt better and I do wish that the story itself extended a little more (that ending came too soon! but Anya, Emily and the rest of the characters won me over. Also, Vera Brosgol's drawing style is simple and clean. Anya's Ghost is definitely worth your while! I even think that Anya's Ghost should be a title found in any teacher's classroom library. :D

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Five

1) The weather has been crazy here in NY. One day it's perfectly warm and people can wear shorts and tshirts and then it becomes so bitterly cold that if you don't wrap yourself up, you may get frostbite! I like the cold but the abrupt changes in temperature is annoying.

2) Still reading the same book that I started in October. Let's not talk about how my reading pace has slowed to a paralyzed slump...or that I haven't even read ten books this year. *hangs head in shame*

Le cone of shame

3) So my birthday is this Wednesday and I am not at all prepared for it! I honestly didn't realize we were fast approaching the 12th until I looked at my calender. Holy. Crap. I AM NOT READY TO BE 23. That means another year has flown by...

4) Having some tooth issues. I have had to take medication in order to numb the pain but omgosh I don't think I'd wish this pain upon my worst enemy. Moral of the story: take care of your teeth and go to the dentist every three months! x______x

5) After loving the first few episodes of ORPHAN BLACK, I for some (silly) reason fell off the bandwagon but I have picked it up again and HOLY MOTHER OF GOD this show is amazeballs. One word: clones. That's all you need to know. I highly recommend that you watch the show if you haven't already! The plot lines are cray cray and the acting is fantastic. My favorite clone right now...it has to be a tie between Helena and Alison. (#sorrynotsorry for claiming Alison, Alex!) I also think Felix is pretty fab too.
Adorbs pic. Source.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Where did October go?

No, seriously. Didn't we just start it and then all of the sudden it was Halloween? And now it's November? NOVEMBER?

OCTOBER, WHERE YOU AT.
Is it only me or is time moving faster than ever??

So along with October disappearing, I ended up disappearing too. Oops!

I iz embarrassed
I didn't intend on not posting for an entire month but I got caught up with work, getting things done for grad school and a bunch of other things. Good news on the grad school front--I got in! I'll be starting this upcoming spring and I couldn't be more excited for it :)   

Library science, here I come! 
Other than that, I don't have any other major news to report. I haven't finished reading any books in October hence the lack of updating but I did start one: I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios. And it is awesome so far. My reading pace has slowed down tremendously but I find that I'm okay with that. This in turn affects my blogging but you know what? I like not having to read on schedule, and I keep reminding myself that this blog was created as a happy space for me to share my thoughts and love for the books that I read. I should probably write up a blogger manifesto for myself that I can refer back to whenever I'm feeling the blogger blues. 

So how are you, my lovely readers? How has November been treating you? I'm a little excited since November happens to be my birthday month! I am turning 23 this year, EEP. I AM GETTING OLD. Not wrinkly old but I definitely don't feel like I'm nearing mid-twenties (!!!!!!). Hell, sometimes I forget that I'm even IN my twenties. xD  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Stepping out for a bit: be back soon!


Hi all! Like always, life gets in the way and the culprit this time is grad school applications. I'm consumed with getting things done (essay, letters of recommendation, paying all the annoying fees!) as well as working so until I can rest easy and be certain that everything has been submitted properly, the blog will be quiet until then. Hopefully things will work out sooner than later! Anyway, I hope everyone has a good weekend and happy reading! :D