Monday, December 24, 2012

Review: The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

Book Description via Goodreads:

Hardcover, 432 pages
August 28, 2012, Balzer + Bray

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.

Source: Christine and Harper Collins (Thank you!!)

My Thoughts:

Eva was an echo, a replication, a back-up in case the real ‘Amarra’ dies. From page one, I cared for her and soon, got attached to her. It was easy for me to like her. She had a burning curiosity, an endearing stubbornness and a great thirst for life and freedom. This way, I saw myself in Eva. For so long, almost everything she did depended on what her Other did. She was enslaved in a way, living in a cage. She wasn’t supposed to go out of the house, to be seen by other people and to do anything that she wasn’t told to do.

The moment Eva was shipped off to India to be Amarra, she knew it was going to be hard. Eva blended into Amarra’s skin, claiming what she left behind, pretending to be someone she’s not. Despite being given the ultimate chance to freedom, Eva wasn’t 100% free. She was shackled by her responsibilities as an echo. In a country where Echoes are illegal, fitting in and blending in were bound to be difficult. I cheered her on as she faced the challenges. I felt her pain, her sadness and her frustration when she couldn’t quite convince the world that Amarra was still alive. I ached for her whenever people assumed that she was dispensable, unfeeling and inhuman. She may not be originally human but she thought, lived and suffered like one.

One of the things that I liked was Eva’s relationship with Sean. It was a sweet, slow and savored romance. The author did an amazing job in developing their relationship. I experienced first love all over again along with Eva. The hesitation, the anticipation, the wishful thinking and the crazy thump-thump-thump of her – and my – heart during her encounters with Sean all drew me in. Sean was mature for his age, in my opinion. He was rational and charming. I liked that he was Eva’s knight in shining armor. But that doesn’t mean that Eva was your typical damsel in distress. Eva fought hard.

Our determined heroine struggled against her shackles and fought hard. I ached for all the pressure and suffering she went through. She was trapped and in every direction she went, a wall blocked her way out. However, Eva was persistent, hungry for freedom and like her Weaver, clever. Can she claim her freedom before her time is up?

The Lost Girl is a breathtaking, atmospheric and unputdownable science fiction that will draw you in and let you experience the sophistication of England and the exoticness of India. If you enjoyed Delirium and Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver and What’s Let of Me by Kat Zhang, you might like this, too. Both were written beautifully but The Lost Girl’s pacing is faster. Highly recommended!


 5 Cupids = Eternal book love. 

I will never, ever, ever forget this book. I highly recommend this!


  1. Wow, I guess I'm missing out on this book. At first I was a bit on the fence about this one but I have to say this sounds pretty awesome so thanks for sharing your review. I'll need to pick this one up soon.

  2. I LOVED this book and really think that it didn't get as popular as it should.
    Great review! I agree Sean and Eva shared a beautiful relationship.

  3. Okay, that was a GLOWING review. I pretty much felt that I need this book in my life. Heehee. Thanks for a great review!

  4. Great review! I have this book sitting on my shelf for a while, I guess I'll be reading it this upcoming year then :)

    Thanks for the review!

  5. This is the first I'm hearing about this book (at least that I can recall). It truly sounds like a wonderful but heartbreaking read. I'll definitely be looking out for this book!

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