Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Lost Girl

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

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.
-Plot summary borrowed from Goodreads

I'm not going to write a nitpicky review because I LOVED this book. I loved the concept, which is very sci-fi and by that I mean, something I can certainly believe people would do if technology allowed. And, as in the best sci-fi, Mandanna asks a lot of hard-hitting questions about the implications, and consequences, of what this technology would mean. She writes elegantly about life, love, loss, the lengths people will go to to protect their own, and what it means to be human. After reading so many Hunger Games clones, I was honestly surprised and relieved to find something new (and no, this is not a dystopian novel, although readers who enjoy them will very likely love this as well).

At 432 pages, this not a short read, but I was so caught up in Eva's story that I read it in just a few sittings. The characters are complex and very, very human, and I don't think I've wanted a heroine to succeed so badly since Katniss. Eva is wonderful. I also loved all the ties to Frankenstein, which could have been heavy handed but instead feel like a natural progression, and prove that it's still a relevant book to this day.

There are a few tiny issues, like the ending feeling slightly rushed, but I don't care. I was fully invested in the story and at no point did Mandanna let me down. I'll be on the lookout for more of her books and I definitely recommend this one.


Victoria Eaves said...

Marked it as "want to read" sounds perfect for a lazy rainy weekend!

Emily Mulvey said...

Let me know what you think, Victoria! :)

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