Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O’ Malley (creator of the Scott Pilgrim series and over all awesome human being) is quite possibly one of biggest guilty pleasure reads I’ve ever owned that wasn’t one of my dad’s stolen porn mags from my youth.
Filled with mixed feelings, emotional turmoil, quick witted humor and surprisingly heavy self-reflective philosophy, Lost at Sea is what I can only describe as a ride through the mind of a hyper intelligent teenager.
The story follows eighteen-year-old Raleigh who, after missing a train, must head back home on a long road trip with some of her classmates she barely knows. Along the way, friendships are formed, inner monologue is poured forth and everyone realizes that not only does Raleigh feel she’s without a soul, but that it’s in a cat. A cat which they decide needs to be found.
One of the reasons I love this book is that Bryan Lee O’Malley has created a character in Raleigh who’s inner monologue matches my mind frame at the age so well that I may as well have been her. The feelings of intense loneliness and alienation that takes over your mind so dominantly that you don’t realize you’re actually causing yourself to drift further into isolation. The philosophical debates about what is and isn’t real. The thoughts of an adult coupled dangerously with the imagination of youth.
But it’s not all deep thoughts and emo wonderings. True to Bryan’s form, he masterfully throws in wonderful and incredibly realistic humor. I say realistic in the sense that it’s funny not because the jokes are incredible, they’re funny because the jokes are just the random craziness you remember from your teenage years. The kind of thing that makes so much sense to you as a teen that would probably have you locked up as an adult.
All in all, I think Lost at Sea takes you on an amazing tale of a girl finding acceptance that’s so powerful, so close to home, that reading it brings hope that maybe, one day, I’ll be understood as well. If you find it, read it. It’s worth the time.
Thinking my soul is in Garfield,