Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies 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 fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.
Now she must abandon everything 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.
One word sums up the debut novel by the talented new author, Sangu Mandanna, and that word is:
THE LOST GIRL is simply one of THE BEST books I have read this year. Completely original and unforgiving in its portrayal of “self” and “identity” and “having a soul”, as well as seriously intense with regard to both emotion and story, few books can compare to this sensational debut. Home run, Sangu. Home. Run.
The story begins with the introduction of Amarra (whom I initially deemed Amarra 2.0) – she is a “stand in”/clone, created to replace the original Amarra, should the girl ever meet an early demise. Nameless, not allowed to be her own person, Amarra 2.0 defies the rules of her creators and gives herself a name, Eva. But then, of course, the original Amarra is killed in a car accident, and Eva must immediately drop everything and take her place. A hard task for a clone with a life and a mind of her own.
I have not met a character recently who I respect more than Eva. Her situation and place in the world around her is unimaginable. The comparisons to Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein are appropriate, as Eva is just as despised by the world as that unfortunate creation. She must lie to everyone and act just like Amarra; attending school, encountering Amarra’s friends, dating… Hiding who she truly is inside. Lost. Yes, she marches on, unquestioningly carrying out the task for which she was created – BUT she displays her OWN character growth that peals away, layer by layer, right before your eyes. You can actually visualize her true self coming out as she speeds toward a climactic ending full of shocks and surprises.
I reached the end of this book, both amazed by the story that I just encountered and wishing on every star in the sky that someday I would be able to read more about Eva. It can’t end, it just can’t! While I was satisfied with where Eva’s story left her, I can’t help but want more. That is how wonderful THE LOST GIRL is.
Even if we don’t see more of Eva, you can guarantee that I am a Sangu Mandanna fan for life.
Enter to win an ARC of THE LOST GIRL!
Open to US/Canada residents aged 13 and older only.
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