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A Gift for a Ghost

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An untalented punk band and a parallel dimension—what could go wrong?   In Borja González’s stunning graphic novel, two parallel stories reflect and intertwine in a tale of youthful dreams and desires. In 1856, Teresa, a young aristocrat, is more interested in writing avantgarde horror poetry than making a suitable marriage. In 2016, three teenage girls, Gloria, Laura, an An untalented punk band and a parallel dimension—what could go wrong?   In Borja González’s stunning graphic novel, two parallel stories reflect and intertwine in a tale of youthful dreams and desires. In 1856, Teresa, a young aristocrat, is more interested in writing avantgarde horror poetry than making a suitable marriage. In 2016, three teenage girls, Gloria, Laura, and Cristina, want to start a punk band called the Black Holes. They have everything they need: attitude, looks, instinct . . . and an alarming lack of musical talent. They’ve barely started rehearsing when strange things begin to happen. As their world and Teresa’s intersect, they’re haunted by the echo of something that happened 160 years ago.  


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An untalented punk band and a parallel dimension—what could go wrong?   In Borja González’s stunning graphic novel, two parallel stories reflect and intertwine in a tale of youthful dreams and desires. In 1856, Teresa, a young aristocrat, is more interested in writing avantgarde horror poetry than making a suitable marriage. In 2016, three teenage girls, Gloria, Laura, an An untalented punk band and a parallel dimension—what could go wrong?   In Borja González’s stunning graphic novel, two parallel stories reflect and intertwine in a tale of youthful dreams and desires. In 1856, Teresa, a young aristocrat, is more interested in writing avantgarde horror poetry than making a suitable marriage. In 2016, three teenage girls, Gloria, Laura, and Cristina, want to start a punk band called the Black Holes. They have everything they need: attitude, looks, instinct . . . and an alarming lack of musical talent. They’ve barely started rehearsing when strange things begin to happen. As their world and Teresa’s intersect, they’re haunted by the echo of something that happened 160 years ago.  

30 review for A Gift for a Ghost

  1. 5 out of 5

    avaa

    i really enjoyed the art n the surrealism but it should have been longer to improve n expand on the plot

  2. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    In 1856 a quirky girl is rejected by her sisters for telling odd stories about Marvel's Ghost Rider and an invasion of alien plants. In 2016, a quirky girl tries to keep her band together while cosplaying and offering up inscrutably gothic lyrics for their songs. The author manages to tie it together so it makes sense in its own way, but he never makes a point. I'm sure it is all just too symbolic for me to see or to really give a damn. This is a European import after all. The art is quirky too, In 1856 a quirky girl is rejected by her sisters for telling odd stories about Marvel's Ghost Rider and an invasion of alien plants. In 2016, a quirky girl tries to keep her band together while cosplaying and offering up inscrutably gothic lyrics for their songs. The author manages to tie it together so it makes sense in its own way, but he never makes a point. I'm sure it is all just too symbolic for me to see or to really give a damn. This is a European import after all. The art is quirky too, by the way, as the characters literally have no faces -- no eyes, noses or mouths. González makes them expressive anyhow, but it still caused me to hold them at a distance.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sheila Goicea

    I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Abrams ComicArts, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review. A Gift for a Ghost is an odd story that bridges the gap between two eras over one hundred and sixty years. The two timelines converge and contrast, from a young aristocrat in 1856 to a group of three girls in 2016. Teresa, destined for a life of duty, would rather write risque poetry than find a suitor. Her appreciation of horror poetry, I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Abrams ComicArts, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review. A Gift for a Ghost is an odd story that bridges the gap between two eras over one hundred and sixty years. The two timelines converge and contrast, from a young aristocrat in 1856 to a group of three girls in 2016. Teresa, destined for a life of duty, would rather write risque poetry than find a suitor. Her appreciation of horror poetry, in particular, sets her apart from the others in her class, and is discouraged to do so. Three girls, Gloria, Laura, and Christina, in the future possess a deep passion to become a band but have terrible lyrics. When they stumble upon the poetry of Teresa left in a box by a secret lake in the woods, it just may be their key to a successful start-up. The deliniation between these two timelines is, unfortunately, difficult to decipher. Each timeline runs into the other, and is only clearly depicted in the illustrations themselves of the shift. If the pace and change in plotline were more clearly noted, this odd little read would be much more palatable. Furthermore, the overall meaning of the story isn't strong enough, leaving the story with an unclear direction. The illustrations are by far the most enjoyable aspect of A Gift for a Ghost. Simple, yet elegant drawings of the characters in pastels and sharp black and white (in the final edition--the ARC is printed in black and white) easily drawsj the eye of the curious peruser. Vulgarity: Minimal. Sexual content: Some nudity. Violence: None. My Rating: ★★ My Blog ¦ Bookstagram ¦ Twitter ¦ Pinterest ¦ Facebook

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bri

    nothing happened in the first 100 pages. then in the last 30 pages, nothing really happened either, expect this time it was confusing.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dylan

    I picked this up on a whim while scrolling through my library’s Libby catalog. It had a nice cover, I haven’t read many graphic novels and it’s short so I figured I’d give it a try. Despite going in with zero expectations I unfortunately left feeling disappointed and like I had wasted 20 minutes. If it wasn’t for the undeniably beautiful art I’d be giving this one star. There’s really just not any substance to it. The basic premise is that there’s a girl in the 1800s who sees and speaks to a ske I picked this up on a whim while scrolling through my library’s Libby catalog. It had a nice cover, I haven’t read many graphic novels and it’s short so I figured I’d give it a try. Despite going in with zero expectations I unfortunately left feeling disappointed and like I had wasted 20 minutes. If it wasn’t for the undeniably beautiful art I’d be giving this one star. There’s really just not any substance to it. The basic premise is that there’s a girl in the 1800s who sees and speaks to a skeleton and then there’s a punk rock group of three girls in 2016 and somehow their worlds are connected. The plot really doesn’t develop at all beyond that, and it’s too short for any kind of character development. It would have had the same effect on me if it just had the panels and no text, so at that point I think it’s safe to say it failed to tell its story.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alex (Pucksandpaperbacks)

    The illustrations deserve a 5 star overall. They were stunning! Especially the girl's dresses. However, I think the plot got away from me and it felt like it didn't have a cohesive ending. But, I really enjoyed the story's aesthetic and the pop-punk girl band element, I just wish there was more depth in the plot as there is two storylines. The illustrations deserve a 5 star overall. They were stunning! Especially the girl's dresses. However, I think the plot got away from me and it felt like it didn't have a cohesive ending. But, I really enjoyed the story's aesthetic and the pop-punk girl band element, I just wish there was more depth in the plot as there is two storylines.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    I liked it! A magical story that crosses time from 1856 to 2016. I think this is one of those stories that makes you question what happened the first time. I have theories and ideas about the plot and I liked that it was very open ended. On the flip side, it being so open to interpretation is kinda frustrating. Overall, cute and meta.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    A wonderful, female-forward puzzle.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tori

    3.5 stars I thought the artwork was really pretty. I love the choice of colors. The only real difference between the characters is their hair color, that doubled with the skips back and forth in time made the story a bit hard to follow at times. The whole comic felt very dream-like. There are some mysteries that are never really explained, like the ice cream shop that never closes, or why one of the characters always wears a costume. I wish I knew more about this world. It was a quick, interestin 3.5 stars I thought the artwork was really pretty. I love the choice of colors. The only real difference between the characters is their hair color, that doubled with the skips back and forth in time made the story a bit hard to follow at times. The whole comic felt very dream-like. There are some mysteries that are never really explained, like the ice cream shop that never closes, or why one of the characters always wears a costume. I wish I knew more about this world. It was a quick, interesting, and even slightly trippy read and I liked it a lot!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Sammis

    A Gift for a Ghost by Borja González was originally published in Spain as The Black Holes in 2018. I have the Spanish copy on hand and will be reading it soon. It's two parallel stories, one set in 1856 and the other in 2016, about young women bucking against expectations to make their own place in the world. http://pussreboots.com/blog/2020/comm... A Gift for a Ghost by Borja González was originally published in Spain as The Black Holes in 2018. I have the Spanish copy on hand and will be reading it soon. It's two parallel stories, one set in 1856 and the other in 2016, about young women bucking against expectations to make their own place in the world. http://pussreboots.com/blog/2020/comm...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Owen Townend

    This is a graphic novel that bears repeat reads in quick succession. The first time I picked it up, the dual narrative didn't seem to gel in my head, at least not until right at the end. The second time I saw the connective tissue, understood the main thrust of this surreal story. That being said, logical comprehension isn't essential here. A Gift for a Ghost is more concerned with emotions that echo across time, namely how it feels to be a misunderstood young woman. This suggests an uncanny empa This is a graphic novel that bears repeat reads in quick succession. The first time I picked it up, the dual narrative didn't seem to gel in my head, at least not until right at the end. The second time I saw the connective tissue, understood the main thrust of this surreal story. That being said, logical comprehension isn't essential here. A Gift for a Ghost is more concerned with emotions that echo across time, namely how it feels to be a misunderstood young woman. This suggests an uncanny empathy from Gonzalez, a male author. In fact the book had a similar authenticity to Daniel Clowes' Ghost World, especially in the meaningful use of quiet panels. No text, only posture. I say posture as none of the characters in A Gift for a Ghost have a face. Some might argue that doing this reduces accuracy of feeling but Gonzalez makes good use of disjointed dialogue, clothing and setting. The colouring is understated and yet still dream-like when necessary. Suffice to say, I was moved by A Gift for a Ghost in a way that means I will return to better appreciate it. I recommend it to graphic novel enthusiasts, especially within a Venn Diagram of punk girls and Bronte fans.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Such gorgeous, haunting art in this graphic novel told in two timelines about girls who dream and/or are haunted by wanting something bigger for themselves outside the norm. I really wanted more from the stories and girls, as the way they connect was pretty neat, but it wasn't as immersive or developed as it could have been. But the art carries this one and readers who like ghost stories will dig this one, if for the illustrations alone. Such gorgeous, haunting art in this graphic novel told in two timelines about girls who dream and/or are haunted by wanting something bigger for themselves outside the norm. I really wanted more from the stories and girls, as the way they connect was pretty neat, but it wasn't as immersive or developed as it could have been. But the art carries this one and readers who like ghost stories will dig this one, if for the illustrations alone.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Just overall a really confusing story that jumps around all over the place. I think maybe there could have been some hidden meanings here and there, but I certainly don't get it. Really nice art though. Just overall a really confusing story that jumps around all over the place. I think maybe there could have been some hidden meanings here and there, but I certainly don't get it. Really nice art though.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    One of those books that deal with parallel characters (same characters?) that are separated in time. This may take a couple of re-reads to get it. I only read it once...so I did not! RIP The art is haunting and gorgeous.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emmers

    The art was lovely, the story needed a little more fleshing out, but it was a pleasant read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Riley

    Three stars because the artwork is stunning, but also three stars because I don't think I actually understood the story at the end. Three stars because the artwork is stunning, but also three stars because I don't think I actually understood the story at the end.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ericka Jade

    Beautiful artwork - weird story.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina Voysest

    I really wanted to like this book. The art style is very different and I loved the colors. However, the story was lacking. I kept waiting for something more to happen but it was disappointing. The 2 world's don't really interact in a way that I expected them to. I really wanted to like this book. The art style is very different and I loved the colors. However, the story was lacking. I kept waiting for something more to happen but it was disappointing. The 2 world's don't really interact in a way that I expected them to.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sim

    It was neat.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Felipe Nobre

    A short and charming book. The art is weird and beautiful, and the story rewards multiple reads. 

  21. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    It's a quick read, but I definitely didn't put together everything that's going on here. It's like putting together a jigsaw puzzle in the dark with nothing but a single shaft of dim light coming from the next room to guide you. It's weird and atmospheric and I'm sure our will reward multiple readings. Thanks for the rec, Reyna! It's a quick read, but I definitely didn't put together everything that's going on here. It's like putting together a jigsaw puzzle in the dark with nothing but a single shaft of dim light coming from the next room to guide you. It's weird and atmospheric and I'm sure our will reward multiple readings. Thanks for the rec, Reyna!

  22. 5 out of 5

    scarlettraces

    Published in English as A Gift for a Ghost (yes, I'm baffled too) Published in English as A Gift for a Ghost (yes, I'm baffled too)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Megan Brown

    This book was such an interesting short read! The story follows a young woman in two time lines and how she floats through the past and future. The artwork was absolutely stunning too. Would recommend.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amy L. Campbell

    Two stars and a waffle. It was good, but I'll admit I was distracted when I was reading it and it was disjointed. Which definitely mimics what it feels like to be a teenage girl, especially if you're "weird." I dunno, it might be worth a reread Two stars and a waffle. It was good, but I'll admit I was distracted when I was reading it and it was disjointed. Which definitely mimics what it feels like to be a teenage girl, especially if you're "weird." I dunno, it might be worth a reread

  25. 4 out of 5

    Clint

    3.5 stars I love the beautifully minimalist art, with its thin clean lines and pastel coloring and chiaroscuro. The story never really connected with me, though. Its magical realism is intriguing but ultimately the plot was too spare and opaque. I imagine the connection between timelines might be clearer and maybe more rewarding on second read, but I’m not especially compelled to find out. Pretty art in any case! I’d love to see Gonzalez’s art on a better story in the future.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I really liked Gonzalez's voice (especially since I'm not big on the historical genre), but I wish this was a little more structured. I like the way the two time periods parallel each other and there's some vague mysticism going on, but it's pretty open-ended and didn't leave that much of an impression. I really liked Gonzalez's voice (especially since I'm not big on the historical genre), but I wish this was a little more structured. I like the way the two time periods parallel each other and there's some vague mysticism going on, but it's pretty open-ended and didn't leave that much of an impression.

  27. 4 out of 5

    lapetitepritt

    3.5 🌟 infinite stars for the art style and color scheme

  28. 4 out of 5

    Federico

    Thanks to the preview sent to me by Mondadori Oscar Vault I was able to review Borja Gonzáles's "The Black Holes", a graphic novel published on May 19th, but only today I can write about it. Probably the author highly respects Rothko's painting, from the moment the novel begins it seems to recall it, and if I'm having a hallucination, The Author evidently makes a very descriptive and significant use of color. Even if the characters do not have many details, nobody has a well-defined face, but the Thanks to the preview sent to me by Mondadori Oscar Vault I was able to review Borja Gonzáles's "The Black Holes", a graphic novel published on May 19th, but only today I can write about it. Probably the author highly respects Rothko's painting, from the moment the novel begins it seems to recall it, and if I'm having a hallucination, The Author evidently makes a very descriptive and significant use of color. Even if the characters do not have many details, nobody has a well-defined face, but the way in which they change their clothes, they vary colors and stylistic features of the design also according to time and situationssuggest that the chromatic variation has a narrative value almost equal to the dialogues. Chromatically and chronologically The Novel doesn't have a linear plot, a story set in 1985 and another timeline of 2016, reverberating echoes and interference are are constantly colliding. Both historical lines and interference will perhaps be clearer with some other re-reading. Which can be used both to better understand the plot, and to watch some illustrated tables absolutely devoid of baloons, but which seem to be small paintings that immortalize a moment that goes beyond the time of history. Fine product. (Excuse me for my bad English) __________ ITALIAN: Di nuovo un Grazie a Mondadori Oscar Vault che mi ha dato modo di leggere in anteprima “Il fantasma e le Black Holes” di Borja Gonzáles, graphic novel uscita il 19 maggio, ma della quale riesco a scriverne qualcosa solo ora. Probabilmente l'autore stima molto la pittura di Rothko, già da come inizia sembrerebbe richiamarlo, e anche se così non fosse, fa evidentemente un uso del colore molto descrittivo e significativo. Tant'è che i personaggi non hanno molti dettagli, nessuno ha un volto ben definito, però cambiano vesti, variano colori e stilema del disegno anche in base al tempo e nelle situazioni: la variazione cromatica ha un valore narrativo quasi al pari dei dialoghi. Cromaticamente e cronologicamente non è decisamente una graphic novel lineare, tra una storia ambientata nel 1985 e un'altra linea temporale del 2016, riverberano degli echi e delle interferenze. Entrambe le linee storiche e le interferenze forse saranno più chiare con qualche altro sfoglio. Che può servire sia a capire meglio, sia a riguardare quelle tavole illustrate assolutamente prive di baloons, ma che sembrano piccoli quadri che immortalano un momento che va anche dl di là del tempo della storia. Pregevole prodotto.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kit A

    A Gift for a Ghost was an interesting, if not fully satisfying reading experience. It was beautiful in its design and contrast--the simplicity of the figures and colors was able to create two disparate, rich worlds. The book’s appearance is beautiful and cohesive--I love the design of the speech bubbles, and how they serve as extensions for the strange human forms. The figures with their spindly arms and legs, and sometimes gravity-defying body language were very expressive, but I do think only A Gift for a Ghost was an interesting, if not fully satisfying reading experience. It was beautiful in its design and contrast--the simplicity of the figures and colors was able to create two disparate, rich worlds. The book’s appearance is beautiful and cohesive--I love the design of the speech bubbles, and how they serve as extensions for the strange human forms. The figures with their spindly arms and legs, and sometimes gravity-defying body language were very expressive, but I do think only identifying characters by their hair, names, and context is troublesome at times. This book seems to lend itself to a couple of read-throughs, which makes a cool relationship between the work and the reader--I think when a book isn’t necessarily “easy,” and the reader has to work a bit to see the connections being implied, it’s a much more interactive relationship between book and reader (like a bridge between two time periods...). The actual plot, I think, is secondary to the kind of emotional rummaging that the characters are engaging with. The relationships are incomplete but believable, the actions are usually unexplained and resist justification, but it all works, and adds to the subtle magic that’s occurring within the world of the story. You get a sense that the main characters are quietly struggling with something, and feel linked and passionate to times/people/ideas characters around them willfully won’t or can't understand (for reasons like: it’s tiresome, it’s inappropriate, it’s silly, or it can only be explained by kind of time travel); the characters experience a kind of self-placed isolation for all of this--the women at the center of the story won’t compromise on their ideals and infatuations in order to “fit in.” It’s all a lot like being a teenager.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jos Ouson-Bage

    Despite their 160 years difference, the two sets of young female characters are all striving to express themselves in time periods where they don’t feel as though they fully belong. As their stories unfold, and whispers of each other begin to mysteriously echo through their respective timelines, a truly tangible feeling of teenage angst and female identity emerges. If I had to pick a favourite thing about this book, it would be the gorgeous illustration style. Each character feels beautifully dis Despite their 160 years difference, the two sets of young female characters are all striving to express themselves in time periods where they don’t feel as though they fully belong. As their stories unfold, and whispers of each other begin to mysteriously echo through their respective timelines, a truly tangible feeling of teenage angst and female identity emerges. If I had to pick a favourite thing about this book, it would be the gorgeous illustration style. Each character feels beautifully distinct, even though they are drawn without facial expressions and González’ uses colour in an ingenious way. Colour both separates and connects the two stories; the events of 2016 unfolding largely in greyscale, with only hints of the warm oranges and yellows that characterize Teresa’s world occasionally floating in. This book feels incredibly autumnal, and perfect for Halloween season, not least because of its warm colour palette and the fact that one of the main characters appears always in a different costume. González also isn’t afraid to let the story breathe, and the images, permeating with stillness, speak for themselves. He doesn’t patronize with exposition or explanations of how or why they become connected, and the lasting significance of their exchange is left up to you. I adore this book and can’t wait to hopefully read more by González in the future.

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