July 16, 2013

Review: The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

Title: The Lost Girl
Author: Sangu Mandanna
Release Date: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 432
My Rating: 4 stars

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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.   - Goodreads

At first glance, The Lost Girl appeared to have a very intriguing concept that I, personally, hadn't really come across before. That's saying A LOT, seeing as how in the YA genre there are numerous repeats of the practically the same story over and over again. (Which I don't think is necessarily a bad thing, since some are definitely better than others) That said, it wasn't a book I was absolutely dying to read, but I was still curious.. so of course, I read it.

There's some world building in the beginning of the book that  sets up the certain circumstances that make the main character question whether the things that are going on in the dystopian-ish world she lives in are morally right or wrong. In turn, it brought me to think about those same things. I LOVE books that make you face a question so difficult that even you aren't sure if your beliefs are what's best. There's strong arguments for either side of the issue, so it gets you thinking very hard about what you would do if you lived in that world, or more specifically; in Eva's shoes. 

This brings me into my next topic. THE CHARACTERS. For better or for worse, nearly every character was someone I came to be completely absorbed with. There are tiny little things here and there that truly make even the smallest of characters appear as a total gem in the story, which is one of the most beautiful things I loved in this book. I felt so connected to the characters, and I felt my heartbreaking for Eva through all of the struggles, both physical and emotional, that she had to go through. A little over halfway through the book, there were tears. Lots of 'em. (BEWARE: When I read, I can't control the tears! I am a complete cry baby) 

Overall, I thought The Lost Girl was fantastic, and it's definitely a book that I would recommend! There were plenty of amazing elements to the story, even though I felt a little something missing; some sort of extra spark. Truthfully I don't know what more I could want, so I can't really put too much blame on the book. Filled with such intense internal struggles, the author truly puts words together wonderfully in a way that brings everything on the page to life and makes you actually feel everything that's going on. Also, this book IS a stand alone novel, which, with all the series nowadays, is something that many readers often crave. 


  1. Great review! I'm so glad you really liked it since I just got it from the library. I'll definitely be moving it up on my TBR list. ~Pam

  2. This book sounds really good Definitely want to read it!