The Lost Days (Emily the Strange Series)

The Lost Days (Emily the Strange Series)

4.4 49
by Rob Reger, Jessica Gruner, Buzz Parker

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Emily may be odd, but she always gets even!

Meet Emily, the peculiar soul with long black hair, a wit of fire, and a posse of slightly sinister black cats. Famous for her barbed commentary and independent spirit, this rebel-child in black has spawned an Internet and merchandising phenomenon (Emily's web site gets 35,000 hits per month!). Emily the Strange,

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Emily may be odd, but she always gets even!

Meet Emily, the peculiar soul with long black hair, a wit of fire, and a posse of slightly sinister black cats. Famous for her barbed commentary and independent spirit, this rebel-child in black has spawned an Internet and merchandising phenomenon (Emily's web site gets 35,000 hits per month!). Emily the Strange, her first book, captures the quintessential Emily, featuring her most beloved quips and a host of new ones. Anarchist, heroine, survivor, this little girl with a big personality appeals to the odd child in us all.

Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist
“There’s no doubting the lighthearted but darkly hued creativity on display. Pure black gold.”—
Publishers Weekly

Merchandising icon Emily the Strange-no stranger to T-shirts, accessories and Hot Topic stores-becomes much more three-dimensional in this novel from creator Reger and coauthor Gruner (the pair has also written Emily comic books). Designed to look like Emily's ever-present notebook, the book opens as the 13-year-old finds herself in the very beige town of Blackrock, with no memories of who she is, how she got there or if she has any family ("Got myself so worked up into fake-missing people who might not even exist that I even cried a little fake tear"). She gleans clues to her identity (such as an affinity for fixing machines) and gets caught up in a power struggle over control of the town, before discovering her connection to Blackrock (with some missteps and memory-related restarts along the way). Emily's diary-style narrative includes plenty of lists and her verbal quirks ("Flathering bogyarks") are amusing. But it's her sarcastic, nerdy individualism-with a hint of buried sweetness-that will make readers want to spend more time with her. Ages 12-up. (June)

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VOYA - Shari Fesko
After years as a popular character featured on clothing, towels, lunchboxes, and of course graphic novels, Emily the Strange takes on her first novel-length adventure. The book opens with Emily stranded in the strange town of Blackrock, not sure why she is there or even who she is. As she struggles to figure out her identity, Emily is plunged into another mystery surrounding Blackrock's most generous and now deceased benefactor Emma Lastrande, and the El Dungeon, the only dining establishment in Blackrock. Reger and Gruner do not stop there, however, and silly plot twist after silly plot twist are thrown in, weighing down the narrative and taking away from the original story of Emily trying to determine her identity. Although the humorous black-and-white drawings throughout the story are sure to appeal to that often ignored "tween" demographic (roughly fourth through eighth grades) as is the silly story line, the endless plot devices are bound to eventually wear out many readers. The authors also insist on adding one quirky character after another with little or no character development. Even Emily herself does not seem fully fleshed out but rather a one dimensional caricature. Buy this only for large collections with an avid Emily the Strange fan base. Reviewer: Shari Fesko
Children's Literature - Cynthia Levinson
The tough-minded, smart-aleck, main character, Emily, in this clever, yet ultimately tedious futuristic Goth mystery novel wakes up on a park bench in a strange town with no idea who she is or why she is there. In addition to overcoming amnesia and discovering her identity, she must handle a sleazy character who turns out to be both a relative and her enemy; make sense of the affectless barista, named Raven, who turns out to be a golem, at the El Dungeon where she hangs out; enlist the help of a friendly truant officer; manage the four cats who follow her; and deal with several other inventive, peculiar characters. In the meantime, she names herself Earwig. The format for the exposition of Earwig's circuitous tale is her diary, which consists of text, manga-like sketches, numbered lists, and dialogue, as well as copies of crucial letters from, among others, her deceased Great-aunt Emma LeStrande. This format effectively sinks the reader into Earwig's point-of-view, including the claustrophobia of her unknown identity and, at the same time, her fearless determination. Readers will also shiver at the many, drawn-out revelations, such as the fact that an upside down "d" looks like a "g," changing LeStrande to "the Strange." Despite Earwig's multiple adventures, setbacks, and discoveries, the novel, like Raven, remains unemotional and uninvolving. Nevertheless, many readers may be drawn to the main character's no-nonsense personality and the novel's imaginative form. Those who are will probably anticipate the release of the forthcoming sequel, foreshadowed in the decision by Earwig to subject herself, at the end of the tale, to another round of amnesia. Reviewer: Cynthia Levinson
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

This novel is the latest incarnation of the popular and commercially successful "Emily the Strange" series of comic/graphic novels (Dark Horse). The lost days of the title refers to the protagonist's amnesia and the solution to the mystery of who she is, why she's in Blackrock, and her connection to the founder of Blackrock, Emma LeStrande. The story is told through diary entries and illustrations (done in the same black, white, and red color scheme as the comic series). In spite of the amnesia, Emily is still her usual sarcastic, cat-loving self, even when confused by the fact that she knows how to calculate terminal velocity and how to fix an espresso machine but can't remember her name or age or what a baby cat is called. The action moves along with no lulls, and none of the entries or illustrations are superfluous. This is a highly enjoyable read that will appeal to both readers new to the series and Emily fans alike.-Suanne Roush, Osceola High School, Seminole, FL

Kirkus Reviews
A young Goth is stricken with amnesia and must puzzle out the secrets of her existence in this contrived, multi-format tale. Emily the Strange, a young black-haired, black-clad girl with four cats always at her side, has been featured in a clothing line and a stationery series. More recently, the character appeared in comic-book form, so this expansion to the world of novels seems a logical, if primarily marketing-based, move. In a sly, deadpan first-person voice, Emily chronicles her awakening in a town called Blackrock, with no memory of who she is. She quickly becomes a fixture at a coffee shop called El Dungeon and there meets Raven, Umlaut, Attikol and other quirky folks. In a series of journal entries, drawings, lists of her most recent discoveries and conversational snippets, Emily slowly works her way through the unlikely mystery, but at a pace so glacial and in the company of characters whose only development is their similarly uncanny nature, it is hard to imagine anyone who isn't an established fan sticking out the journey. (Fiction. 12-15)
Nicole Renner
What would you do if you found yourself in a tiny beige town with no memories and eleven pages missing from your diary? If your answer includes setting up shop in a refrigerator box and soliciting the help of four black cats and a brainless barista to uncover the mystery of your identity, then you might get along with Emily Strange. Fans of counterculture icon Emily's unique brand of clever snark will love the whimsical blend of magic, myth, and science fiction in Emily the Strange: The Lost Days, but you don't have to know Emily to love her in this off-kilter adventure story where the paranormal is totally normal. Anyone with a stubborn, independent, or alternative streak will appreciate this witty, self-sufficient girl genius who embodies her creator's motto: "Be yourself, think for yourself, do it yourself." Reviewer: Nicole Renner

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Emily the Strange Series
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years


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