My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Anya is a Russian American with difficulty fitting in at school. When she falls down an old well, she meets a ghost who follows her around. Anya and the ghost become friends, but the ghost has secrets, and Anya has to find her true self in order to solve the mystery of her ghostly companion.
This story really surprised me! Just when I thought I had it figured out, the plot twists came at me. I love the artwork and the beautiful characters. The story almost seems superficial at first; fitting in at school and being accepted by the cool kids, but then the deep themes come in, like the nature of friendship and accepting yourself, the love of a family and how that can be a fortress against the world. There are so many good ideas behind the story that give it a powerful and meaningful message.
I really loved how Anya is surrounded by idiots and jerks at school, and at first she has trouble seeing past their “cool” veneer. But when she begins to see people as they truly are, she stands up for herself and has a beautiful backbone, self-confidence, and compassion. As her perspectives change at school, they change at home too. She goes through some wonderful development as a person, and I DO love my character development.
I was not happy that Anya is a smoker. Gross. But she quits in the end, so I’m resigned to it being in the book. I was also disappointed that at first Anya refuses to go to church and disrespects her mother about being a church member, but I think that with her newfound perspective, she might change her mind and go to church with her mother, although that is not addressed at the end. It just bothers me when people disrespect Christianity. It’s rude and unnecessary.