Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Emily The Strange: The Lost Days by Rob Reger

Posted by Simcha 10:46 AM, under | 7 comments


A young girl wakes up on a park bench with no memory of how she got there, where she is or even what her name is. All she has with her is a blank notebook with some pages torn out, a pen and a slingshot. In the hope of finding some clues to her identity, the girl begins investigating the town and she soon comes across a dingy cafe, El Dungeon, which feels somewhat familiar. There she introduces herself as Earwig ( which seems like a good enough name for now) and offers to help around the cafe in exchange for food. Earwig then moves into a refrigerator box behind the cafe, takes in a bunch of stray cats, and begins her investigation.

Through daily journal entries Earwig shares the discoveries she makes about the strange town she has found herself in and the even stranger people who populate it as she pieces together the mystery surrounding her Amnesia and her presence in Blackrock.

Being in Israel for the past eight years, I'm not too up-to date on current American pop culture and I pretty much knew nothing about this book or the character of Emily the Strange, before I started reading it. All I knew is that I had seen the book on some other book blogs and people seem to like it, so when I saw it at the library I thought I would give it a try. The first time I tried reading it I gave up after a couple of pages, deciding that this book wasn't for me. Several weeks later, while looking around the house for something to read, I noticed that I still had Emily the Strange lying around, so with nothing else to read I decided to give it another try. This time, though, I read it all the way through and come out the other side a full-fledged Emily the Strange fan.

Emily the Strange is a gleefully fun read that was just the right amount of weird to appeal to my appreciation for the bizarre. I just loved Emily's voice and her odd personality.

    Slept laaaate and it was barely day anymore when I woke up. Had the most shattering nightmare. So devastating, I'm almost worried I may have severe psychological problems I just don't remember having...
    Wow, my heart is thumping as I'm writing this down. 
    In fact. 
    It feels kind of good. 
    I think I LIKE nightmares.

I particularly enjoyed the way the story kept twisting in unexpected way, leaving me constantly guessing as to what might come next. The fact that we are getting to know Earwig at the same time that she rediscovers herself made the story even more interesting because she is just as lost as we are in this unfamiliar environment, and together we have to make sense of the clues provided for us.

    It's scary, how when I try to think past three days ago, the only thing I can remember is the feeling of how it is to remember. Not even the whisker of an actual memory. Do I live in a city? In a cave? In a tree house? Is it weird that that I'm living in a lean-to made of a refrigerator box? Am I weird? The lady in the bus station stared at me like I was weird. Do I have parents? Friends? Pets? Do they miss me? Etc. Got myself so worked up into fake-missing people who might not even exist that I even cried a little fake tear, then got irked at myself for being a baby. No point getting sentimental until I at least know what I'm missing.

It's kind of a bummer that the title gives away Earwig's name because that turns out to be one of her most exciting discoveries and it would have been fun to discover it along with her.

After I finished Emily The Strange I looked up the book online and was surprised to find out that Emily started out as a marketing brand and that the book's author, Rob Reger, had originally designed the character as an image for t-shirts. After that came whole clothing lines, comic books, video games and even a movie option. I'm really glad I didn't know any of this about Emily the Strange before I had read the book because  my expectations of it would have been so low that I probably wouldn't have even given it a chance. As it were, I ended up enjoying it immensely and I definitely plan on reading the sequel when I am next in the mood for some quirky fun.

Emily the Strange: The Lost Years can be read for free at the Harper Teen website.

7 comments:

Sounds good :) And I did know about the brand, always liked it

Blodeuedd: Apparently it's a very popular brand but I don't think I've ever come across it. Maybe just hasn't reached Israel yet.

Melissa: Yeah, but in a fun way. Not too over-the-top.

Oh this sounds like something I'd enjoy. What can I say I'm very weird. LOL

I LOVE Emily the Strange! She was my FB avatar for a couple of years. So antisocial and on the fringe. My kind of character. Glad you enjoyed this book.

Melissa (Books and Things): I don't think you have to be weird to enjoy this book, you just need to appreciate those that are.

Stephanie: Emily is actually just the kind of girl I would have been friends with at that age, and in fact, she does remind me of a couple of my friends. Except for the whole spider love thing.

If you and Stephanie like this so much, I think I'll have to give it a go.

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