Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Book review: EMILY THE STRANGE, THE LOST DAYS by Buzz Parker, Rob Reger

The first time I encountered the advertising mascot Emily the Strange, it was in a red shirt I bought in an ukay-ukay. I loved her aesthetic, some pale girl with straight, jet-black hair looking bored, with the logo 'Misery loves Company', and skull cherubims with fake plastic diamonds for eyes on the border. Emily was just a cartoon before she was a character in a book, and the book is was good! Its a short, enjoyable read.

The book begins with Emily waking up in a town called Blackrock, with all her memories gone, even her name - only her clothes, a notebook, a pencil, and a slingshot. Most people would freak out, but even in this situation Emily just rides it out and calls herself... Earwig! She stumbles in a cafe, El Dungeon, helps out the barista Raven, while finding clues on her real identity. The novel is written in the form of Emily's diary entries, most of which take the form of 13-item lists.

Here we see her with the odd characters in the small, ashen town of Blackrock. There is the police Schneider who helps her, some rich guys battling for the ownership of town, and a few strange friends.

Despite her appearance, Emily is quite clever and has a funny interior monologue. I was amused that when someone followed her, she hid and confused the stalker and intentionally popped out in front of him in an alley and made him scream (I really found that funny). Hell, she had a scary nightmare and SHE LOVED IT. How strange... well, that's why she was named that way, strange, but fun! Her simple black dress has an odd bigger dimension in its pockets where she puts a lot of strange stuff.

What I love about Emily, though, is she can hold her own alone, strong enough to handle herself, and smart enough to trust herself to solve mysteries. There's no love interest for her in the books and that's totally okay. She's an inventor and some sort of mechanical genius. That's why she's an inspiration, that she's alone but not sad about it (she's even content with it, and her constant companions are four black cats are enough to make her happy).

Emily having 'feelings' for someone:
“Fingers crossed (story of my life as I know it), I went back to the gaming table, trying to console myself that I hadn’t exactly LIED. I mean, I DO have feelings for Curls. Feelings of annoyance and irritation, mainly, spiked with occasional pangs of pity.”

The only time was see Emily smiling... and finding out the cat's were her's all along!

“Oh. AND. The WONDERFUL part. The splendorous, beautimous, fantastiffical part is this: If the cats belong with the van, and the van belongs to my golem, and my golem belongs to me, then all of that adds up to one thing: The Cats are Mine!!! Had a knockdown, laughing, meowing, squirming hugfest with them to celebrate.”

Another Emily poster to get us through this rainy season:

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