Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna


The Lost GirlGenre: Young Adult - Paranormal                                           Source: ARC from Publisher
Series: No, Standalone
Buy It: The Book Depositroy

Eva's life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination--an echo. She was made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her "other," if she ever died. Eva spends every day studying that girl from far away, learning what Amarra does, what she eats, what it's like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But sixteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything and everyone she's ever known--the guardians who raised her, the boy she's forbidden to love--to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.

From debut novelist Sangu Mandanna comes the dazzling story of a girl who was always told what she had to be--until she found the strength to decide for herself.


     When I first read what The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna was about I was honestly entranced with the idea.  It's rare to find books now-a-days that surprise me or interest me with their creativity. The idea of life being stitched from scratch is unthinkable. The book even brings up an interesting point when Eva wonders, if God wasn't the one who made her, does that mean she's not allowed into heaven? It was a mind bending question that some readers would never even think of. 
     The Lost Girl is about a girl named Eva who was designed as a "copy" of someone else in case their "other" was to ever die. Eva was required to be an identical representation of her "other", Amarra, with the same handwriting, knowledge, and feelings. Eva was created by people known as the "Weavers", but many people are skeptical as to whether or not Eva has a soul, or if she's just a replica of the girl they once knew. When Eva is brought into the life of Amarra she doesn't know whether or not she's ready to fulfill the destiny she was fabricated for. Eva is also illegal just by being born and must be extremely aware of her actions to avoid fatal mistakes.
     This book when on a rollercoaster of ups and downs for me. At first I thought the book dragged out Eva's life before she became Amarra and made Eva seem a lot younger than she was. Although Eva never had permission to live a life of her own she should know how girls her age should act. Who risks their life to bring a guy milk over a break up? The author sometimes made failed attempts to make the characters seem older by throwing in random, unnecessary curses.
     I understand Eva's purpose, to keep the spirit of her other alive amongst her loved ones, but I do not agree with the concept.  Maybe I don't completely understand it. Why would someone needs to train and memorize to be their "other" if theoretically the other's soul would take over their echo's body? Wouldn't it just be a new body, not a trained soul? And if echos are branded with an "E" on the back of their neck isn't someone bound to notice sooner or later especially if an echo is illegal? 
     However the book got progressively better after Amarra died and Eva had to step in to take her place. Time seems to move faster as Eva is forced to forget Eva and become Amarra. Eva also must face a world that may not accept her for what she, regardless of her purpose. This book is truly a modern day version of the classic Frankenstein with a few new twists. Is she really a monster for just wanting to be Eva? My grade for The Lost Girl would be a solid B.


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