Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Review: The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
Publisher: Random House UK
Publication date: 3rd January 2013.
My rating: 4.5 stars 


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

The Lost Girl weaves an intricate tale of a society where echoes are created. Echoes are never given the chance to live their own lives but are created so they can replace the life of their others when they have died. It’s so that the family doesn’t have to experience any loss of any sort, they may never have the exact family member back but a similar replica who whilst being born has learnt everything about their other; their friends, what they’re currently learning in school but also getting distinguishable features like them, a slanting fringe one week, a tattoo the next. So whenever the time comes they are able to step into their others shoes immediately like they haven’t been gone at all.

Eva has been created by the loon to take over Amarra’s life. It’s clear through the daily journals that Eva receives from Amarra that Amarra doesn’t want Eva taking over her life, but nothing can be done unless agreed upon by Amarra’s parents. Eva at the beginning had it all to deal with, she’s brought up in one environment where people around her love and care for her, but one day through no chance of her own she will be uprooted from it all and have to live with a completely different family, she’s learnt about them for years but it’s still not the same, she has to pretend to be someone she’s not with everyone Amarra knows and millions of miles away in Bangalore, India. That’s not all, Eva’s life is constantly at risk because in certain counties like India, echoes are illegal, so if found Eva could lose her life and risk her family’s life too. Then there are the hunters who are always on the trail of echoes, hell bent on destroying them. To top it off, if Eva doesn’t continue to live her life as Amarra intended to, the loom can just get rid of Eva as they wish.

Honestly The Lost Girl was just one thrilling ride, Sangu Mandanna managed to create such a unique story that I was just tearing through this book. The dangerous world the loom created had me highly captivated. I can never imagine being born just to live someone else’s life, especially as Eva had to do in a different country where they had a different culture and just leaving my loved ones behind and never having contact with them again. But unlike other echoes Eva was a resilient echo, she was never quick to admit defeat when her back was against the wall, but decided to battle through it all. I truly admired her strength and determination; I loved watching her go through so many life experiences and see the character at the end which emerged.

The Lost Girl couldn’t have been such a fantastic novel if it wasn’t for the strong set of secondary characters. They all in their own ways had their own spunk and drive which made meeting them such a wonderful reading experience. I started the story with a few favourites, but picked up a lot more along Eva’s journey, that I had such a tough time parting ways with some of them over the course of the book.

The Lost Girl was a majestic debut from Sangu Mandanna. This early on in the year, I am happy to declare this book already as one of my favourites. I hope Sangu decides to give us more from Eva’s fantastic world because I for one would love to dive back into it. 

27 comments:

  1. I love the new theme! Thisone is part of my reading list. I'm excited to read it already. Thanks for the review :D

    -Dannielle

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  2. Sounds amazing! Interesting and unique concept ~ I'll be reading this one soon, for sure.. Thanks for sharing!

    Keely @ Realms of an Open Mind

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  3. I wish you could see my face while reading your review!! I've seen this book around but this is the first review that I've read. It sounds so good!! I must add this to my list!! :) I hope I'll get to read it. Great review Jasprit :)

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  4. Great review, J! BTW I just noticed the new blog design and OMGOMGOMG it's gah-orgeous! I liked the old one too, but this is so pweety. :D Back to the book...I've heard so many good things about Sangu's debut and your glowing review is definitely one of the most enthusiastic ones I've read. I'm super excited to meet some of these fabulous characters you've been talking about. Lovely review as always, J! <3

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  5. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Jasprit! I was blown away by it and Sean completely stole my heart. I think it's one of my favorites, actually, because of how deeply I connected with the characters. Wonderful review, dearest!(:

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  6. I've heard a lot of good things about this book - I really need to get to it soon!

    Love the new blog look by the way - so pretty!

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  7. All the reviews I've read for The Lost Girl have been glowing. I love the concept, and the fact that the secondary characters are so strong makes me happy. So glad you enjoyed this, Jasprit. Lovely review!

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  8. A fantastic review, Jasprit! I loved The Lost Girl! It is also one of my favourites! I loved how Eva never took anything sitting down. She was always ready to fight for what she believed in, and that's why she has quickly become one of my top main characters.

    Sean was wonderful! I fell for him straightaway, especially at the "I brought milk..." scene :P Hilarious!

    I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Jasprit! If I hadn't already fired through The Lost Girl, your wonderful review would have persuaded me to do so. :D

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    1. By the way, I forgot to mention how much I lurrrrve your new blog design! It is gorgeous and I can't stop staring at it! Amelia is amazing, isn't she?! :D

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  9. I loved this one too, I thought the writing was almost perfect and like you, I really enjoyed the secondary characters. It was the concept that I struggled with because I could never even imagine wanting to replace someone I'd just lost.
    I have a feeling we'll be seeing many grat things from Mandanna.
    Fantastic review, Jasprit!

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  10. Love, love, love the review! I love secondary characters so I'm thrilled they were so amazing. Can't wait to read this :)

    Sunny @ Blue Sky Bookshelf

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  11. I really should pick this up now, shouldn't I? :) I didn't think I've read anything negative from my friends yet! It sounds like a brilliant début novel, and the premise especially has my attention. Great review, Jasprit!

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  12. This book sounds amazing! I think I need it!

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  13. I am so, so, so, so happy that you loved this, Jasprit! Made my top 10 list from 2012 too, I cried like a baby. :) Lovely review! I can't wait for more books from Sangu Mandanna, too.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  14. First of all I love the new blog design it is gorgeous! Awesome review Jas I loved this one too and really hope Sangu writes a sequel!

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  15. Yay for strong secondary characters! I love when the supporting cast is as memorable and interesting as the main characters, it just makes the story feel that much richer. I've had this one on my list for a while but wasn't sure if I really wanted to read it, but now I don't think I have a choice. Can't wait Jasprit!

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  16. I like that Eva is a resilient echo. I'll have to find myself a copy of the book. Thanks for the review, Jasprit :)

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  17. I tore through this one too. I loved Eva and was caught up in her character. Love the new look of the blog btw.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  18. I can't wait to get my hands on this one, I think I'm going to order myself a proper paper copy too. It sounds really good and it seems to remind me of the film The Island a little with it's concept of "doubles" or in this case "echoes".

    I'm so thrilled to hear the book has brilliant secondary characters. I have to admit secondary characters really make and break novels for me. I think they're one of my favourite elements of a novel to make it built up around more than just two people.

    Lovely review, Jasprit! Glad you enjoy this one so much.

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  19. For a second I though I opened the wrong site. OMG, you guys, I love the new looks. It's so cute & feminine and completely adorable.

    As for The Lost Girl, I love the concept of being made to live someone else life. It's scary but so adventurous in a way. I'll add it to my tbr. Thanks :)

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  20. This is probably a lesser-known novel that, I feel, has been getting mostly positive reviews and attention from bloggers lately, and it’s really been catching my interest. I really do love the concept of Echoes and I’d be interested to read more about how that whole system works, and the way you tell it in your review, Jasprit, it sounds like the author did a really good job with the set-up of the plot.

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  21. The whole concept of reading about echoes in reviews of The Lost Girl fascinates me so much. I'm basing this opinion on reviews since I have yet to read the book myself (but I am now number 1 on my library wait list, so I plan on being able to read it very soon!), I just don't understand how creating exact clones of your deceased loved one would make families feel better. Wouldn't it be more painful? I am curious to see how Mandanna addressed this concern! I am very glad to hear that the secondary character are also strong - while the protagonist is really what makes or breaks a book for me, secondary characters also do breath life into books in other ways. So glad you already found one of your favorite books of 2013, Jasprit! I have a feeling that I'll be able to say the same once I read the book.

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  22. Jasprittttt~ we still haven't found a book that we can both fangirl over...I've been meaning to read this since I heard about it last year BUT I STILL HAVEN'T READ IT. WHY!?!?!? hehee just so I made good on my promise to stalk your blog and write reviews for the books you've read so we can both gush over them, I'm going to find a copy of this ASAP and read it immediately<3 I haven't read a single negative review for this so far, so I think I'll enjoy it heaps! :) Lovely review, Jasprit <3

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  23. I'm so pleased you enjoyed this one. I know myself and Jessica loved the concept of it through the Frankenstein! I loved Sean and his green eyes! And how he made Eva feel like a normal person! This is by far one of my favourites reads of 2013 so far! Lovely review, Jasprit! And I love the new design! :)

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  24. I'm so glad that you loved this one, so did I :)

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  25. I came across this one the other day and added it to my wishlist. Glad to hear that it's as good as it sounds! I have to get a copy now ☺

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  26. I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much, Jasprit! I've heard such amazing things about it, I can't wait to read it myself. I have a copy, I just need to find it. It's... somewhere... *searches entire house* And yay for strong secondary characters!! It seems that's a rarity as of late. Lovely review, Jasprit!

    Also, I ADORE the new blog design.

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