23 February 2012

Thursday Tea: Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol

The Book: Anaya Borzakovskaya was born in Russia, but her family moved to the United States when she was five. Even at that young age she realized the only way she'd fit in with her private-school classmates was to lose her accent along with her baby fat.

Unfortunately, ten years later, no matter how all-American she feels, she can't escape the pain of being a teen: wanting to fit in, wishing she were prettier and thinner, experimenting with cigarettes, and hoping the cool boy will notice her. One day when wandering in the park and stewing over her troubles, Anya falls into a well. When she lights a match to assess the situation, she's startled to see a skeleton . . . and the dead girl's ghost.

Through expressive and moving black-and-white art (click on scan to enlarge), Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol tells the story of what happens to Anya after she meets the ghostly Emily Reilly. At first Anya thinks it's great to have a ghost friend, but the better she gets to know Emily, the more she questions the price of having such a companion.

The graphic novel is geared to young adults, but readers of almost any age will enjoy Anya's story. Despite the fact that there's a ghost, the book isn't that kind of spooky. There are a few scary moments, but no one except the very young will likely be bothered. Book clubs and parents can use Anya's Ghost as a starting point for discussing friendship, honesty, family, and being true to oneself.

Anya's Ghost has been a universal favorite with reviewers, and won awards from Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Horn Book. It's one of the best graphic novels I've read.

The Tea: I've been so crazy busy with work lately that my afternoon tea break has become one of the highlights of my day. This week I've been drinking Adagio's Irish Breakfast Tea, a tried-and-true brew that hits the spot. Here's how the company describes their blend: "It seamlessly blends the citrusy notes of a high-grown Ceylon with the malty underscore of a pungent Assam. Spicy and jammy aroma on the leaf, malty and deep flavor with a brisk and 'buzzy' mouthfeel. Rounded sweetness in the finish." Well I don't know about all of that, but I do know it's a great-tasting tea.

The Assessment: Anya is Russian, so I'm fairly sure she's a tea drinker. And because she's a modern teen, it's not at unreasonable to think she might choose an Irish Breakfast blend. Her mother, however, probably sticks with a Russian tea.

What About You? As always, I'm interested in what you're reading this week. And what beverage would find in your glass or mug when you sit down to read?

Buy Anya's Ghost at an Indie, Powell's, Book Depository, or a bookstore near you. These links lead to affiliate programs.
Thursday Tea was the brainchild of Anastasia at Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog.
Published by First Second 2011
ISBN-13: 9781596435520
Source: Borrowed (see review policy)
Rating: A
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)
FTC: I buy all teas myself, I am not a tea reviewer.

23 comments:

Sandy Nawrot 2/23/12, 6:43 AM  

I loved this book. There are some excellent lessons in there for young girls, and the illustrations are wonderfully drawn. You can definitely see the similarities to Coraline! I've got a couple of great hot teas going in my house these days that I got from Teavana.

bermudaonion 2/23/12, 8:29 AM  

Between you and Sandy, I feel I must read this book!

Amanda 2/23/12, 8:31 AM  

This was a very good book and I think the only graphic novel that I read last year that I enjoyed.

Helen's Book Blog 2/23/12, 9:05 AM  

I read this graphic novel a few weeks ago and liked it. The students at my school are also enjoying it when they pick it up

Zibilee 2/23/12, 10:36 AM  

I have heard a lot of good things about this book, and will be excited to read it. It seems like it's got some really good insight bended with just a touch of spookiness. I am drinking a white chocolate tea called Bon-Bon from ESP Emporium. I got a chocolate tea sampler from them, and have been loving each new flavor in turn.

Barbara 2/23/12, 10:40 AM  

I should be drinking Irish Breakfast Tea since I'm reading a new novel called Until the Next Time which is set in Ireland. The book is going to be awfully difficult to review without giving away what's happening in it. It's very different for me but I'm enjoying it tremendously.

Serena 2/23/12, 10:51 AM  

I still haven't read this book, but its on the TBR list. Russian teas, not sure I know any. I'm not a big tea drinker...but I do like it when I'm feeling sick...like right now.

Christine 2/23/12, 1:52 PM  

Hi Beth,
I just came home from the library with this one on Tuesday. I discovered graphic novels last year and make a point of seeking out award winners when I can. I'm glad to hear this is one of the best you've read to date.

I've been drinking a wide variety of teas in the last several weeks--herbal teas and traditional teas. [I gave up coffee in early January! BIG deal for me..] I just steeped a cup of Orange Bliss Black Tea. I love citrus.

Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf 2/23/12, 3:09 PM  

I did really like this one, even though I didn't love it.

Julie P. 2/23/12, 4:51 PM  

This one sounds interesting! And your post just made me make a cup of tea -- Harney & Sons Cinnamon!

Uomo di Speranza 2/23/12, 5:28 PM  

I'm not sure why, but this book sort of reminds me of Maus by Art Spiegelman. Now that I think of it, all graphic novels do.

Jenners 2/23/12, 6:24 PM  

From what I can see of the art, I would enjoy this. The story sounds neat too. And now that my husband is drinking tea, I'll pay more attention to your thoughts on tea.

Marg 2/23/12, 7:28 PM  

I have been meaning to add this one to my TBR list for a while now! Thanks for the reminder!

I am actually in Russian mode too. I am reading A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson.

Heather 2/23/12, 8:54 PM  

I read this book on my beach trip last year and really really loved it!

softdrink 2/23/12, 9:29 PM  

I'm reading Persuasion, so you'd think I'd be drinking tea, but no...just plain ol' water.

Trish 2/24/12, 2:39 PM  

I need to come across this one soon at the bookstore so I can pick it up! Been wanting to read it but keep forgetting about it.

Reading?! What's that? ;) I've been slowly reading in bed lately and if I haven't had a chance to finish my glass of white wine, that's what I drink while reading.

Chris 2/24/12, 8:12 PM  

I so love this feature and I so love this book :D Great review and tea description :D I'm currently finishing up The Snow Child and I've started Anne Rice's The Wolf Gift and sipping on Hot Cinnamon Spice tea by Harney and Sons which is one of my absolute FAVORITES!! Debi got me hooked on it years ago :) With just a tiny bit of sugar in the raw it is just amazing.

caite 2/24/12, 9:04 PM  

Irish Breakfast....one of my top choices.

Dorte H 2/26/12, 9:29 AM  

A ghost friend? What an intriguing idea!

Plenty of coffee for me - as usual.

KleptoC 4/12/12, 9:30 PM  

I love this book it is my favorite graphic novel. I sat and read it at Barnes & Noble for an hour. When I saw they had it at my highschool I was so excited to read it again.

dog eared copy 9/2/13, 1:12 PM  

I finally read Anya's Ghost! When I sat down to write my own quick & dirty review, I realized that I liked it both more and less than I did immediately after having finished it. I appreciated the artwork more: the use of the limited color pallet and; the layout which reflects the gn's advantage over novels in that it breaks free of linear tie constructs. But I ended up liking the story less as it seemed to have limited appeal beyond the pre-adolescent/YA girl market. Anyway, I remembered you had reviewed this title so I came back to compare notes as it were. You liked it more than I did (but I still liked it!) :-)

dog eared copy 9/2/13, 1:12 PM  

I finally read Anya's Ghost! When I sat down to write my own quick & dirty review, I realized that I liked it both more and less than I did immediately after having finished it. I appreciated the artwork more: the use of the limited color pallet and; the layout which reflects the gn's advantage over novels in that it breaks free of linear tie constructs. But I ended up liking the story less as it seemed to have limited appeal beyond the pre-adolescent/YA girl market. Anyway, I remembered you had reviewed this title so I came back to compare notes as it were. You liked it more than I did (but I still liked it!) :-)

Thanks for stopping by. I read all comments and may respond here, via e-mail, or on your blog. I visit everyone who comments, but not necessarily right away.

I cannot turn off word verification, but if you are logged into Blogger you can ignore the captcha. I have set posts older than 14 days to be on moderation. I can no longer accept anonymous comments. I'm so sorry if this means you have to register or if you have trouble commenting.

Copyright

All content and photos (except where noted) copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads 2008-2016. All rights reserved.

Quantcast

Thanks!

To The Blogger Guide, Blogger Buster, Tips Blogger, Our Blogger Templates, BlogU, and Exploding Boy for the code for customizing my blog. To Old Book Illustrations for my ID photo. To SEO for meta-tag analysis. To Blogger Widgets for the avatars in my comments and sidebar gadgets. To Review of the Web for more gadgets. To SuziQ from Whimpulsive for help with my comments section. To Cool Tricks N Tips for my Google +1 button.

Quick Linker

Services

SEO

  © Blogger template Coozie by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP