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Friday, September 7, 2012

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna (Review)

Genre:Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy,  Thriller
Publication.Date  August 28th 2012
Published By:  Balzer + Bray | 
WebsiteSangu Mandanna | 

The Lost Girl - Goodreads
My review copy:A copy of the book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Where to get:

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.

What is this power the dead have over the ones they leave behind? It's strange and beautiful and frightening, this deathless love that human beings continue to feel for the ones they've lost.
But the most unsettling dreams are the ones of hourglasses and spiders crawling up the glass. I'm always trapped in the glass and fine white sand begins to fill it up. And I know that I'm going to be smothered if I can't break out of the hourglass in time.
"What does your heart want?" It's the question the woman with sad eyes asks me in dreams. I wonder if she knows the answer. There's such sorrow in her voice, as if she knows what I want and knows already that those things are starts in the sky, entirely out of reach, no matter how high on my toes I stand and stretch for them.

     A breathtaking, illuminating but never didactic, emotionally accessible (to both young adults and adults alike) tale of life, love, and what makes us human. The Lost Girl is an ambitious, unexpectedly deep, mentally stimulating debut novel, and one with a beating heart. In this skilfully plotted and intense sci-fi thriller (with subtle romantic elements) Sangu Mandanna offers a striking and disquieting look at a strange world of the future. A world of Weavers, echos, and hunters, filled with grief, sorrow, danger and never-ending questions about the essence of humanity, self-worth and identity. 

     Eva is an echo. She was created by people called "Weavers" as an exact copy of a girl named Amarra. She lives with her guardian and mother-figure, Mina Ma, in a small cabin in England's countryside. Her life is not her own. It never was. She's the property of the Weavers, made to replace Amarra in case something happens to her. Every day she is forced to follow a very strict set of rules, only do what she's told to do, never step out of line. The smallest misstep could result in a trial and -- inevitably -- her destruction. She has to learn how to be Amarra. Through weekly journal entries, she studies Amarra's life and personality, learns about her family, friends, and boyfriend, memorizes every little thing that Amarra did, saw, thought. If anything happens to the other girl, Eva is expected to step in and be Amarra. An expensive replacement, a back-up plan, a clone - that's all she is and all she'll ever be. And then one day it happens. Amarra dies in a car crash and Eva is sent to take her place. Can she really leave everything behind and be the Amarra that everyone expects her to be? For Eva, failure is not an option.

     Eva's story is one of the most tragic and absolutely heartbreaking ones I have read this year, possibly ever. Her life is practically meaningless and she lives with the knowledge that a smallest mistake on her part could end it all for her. She's constantly molded to be someone she's not. Her personality is so unlike Amarra's, she is a totally different girl, with entirely different mind-set, dreams, and hopes. She compares herself to Frankenstein's monster, an abomination, an unwanted and unloved experiment. Worthless, broken, rejected by everyone, undesirable. And yet she's so full of life and passion at the same time. All the hardships she faces and all the insults thrown in her face can never dim the light in her soul. She's just an echo, but in so many ways she is more human than all the other characters in this book. Thoughtful, understanding, gentle, graceful and compassionate, she's a wonderful character that I grew to love and admire. 

     Sangu Mandanna's writing style was devastatingly beautiful. Her words were flying off the pages, delicate and mesmerizing as butterflies, and they really spoke to me. The narrative voice was so full of raw emotions, so descriptive and sensual, I quickly became addicted to it and kept on craving more, and more, and more... Every page of this novel was infused with deep thoughts, inspiring observations, and intelligent reflections about life, relationships, death, grief, and love. Mandanna's poetic storytelling elevated this already exciting and intriguing story to a whole new level of gorgeous

     Death of a family member, and the grief caused by it, are both recurring themes in literature. It's never easy to talk, or even think, about death. It's something that deeply disturbs, but also fascinates us. Sangu Mandanna created a world where people can trick death by creating echos of themselves and their loved ones. Her book raises many important questions: Is it acceptable to clone a person just because we're too weak or too selfish to say goodbye to them? Are echos just shadows on the wall, or are they human beings that - once created - deserve to live, laugh, and love just like anyone else? Do we get to control someone's life just because we created them? What if you had the chance to create an echo of someone important to you? Would you do it? This novel is full of hard-hitting existential and moralistic themes. It's a mind-bender and a thrill ride, and one of the best ones of its kind!

     If you're looking for a book that will thrill you, move you, and make you think - look no further! The Lost Girl is the book you need. I'm 100% sure you'll love it!

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
About the Author
Evie is the Blogger behind Bookish. She enjoys reading many different genres, especially YA, Paranormal, Contemporary Fiction and Fantasy.
She loves talking to authors and is always happy to welcome them for interviews, and guest posts. She also likes spreading the love for awesome books and  chatting with fellow book-worms.
You can find Evie here: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Shelfari | The Library Thing


Amy said...

Fantastic review!! I really liked this book too!! I totally got both Eva and Amarra. I think I would feel the same way each of them did in their situations. I also loved the writing. It's so beautiful!!

Rebecca said...

Evie, this review is gorgeous! For some reason the blurb didn't do it for me but once the neverending, amazing reviews started POURING in, I was sold.

Wait, this is a thriller? *backs away* I don't like creepy but then this doesn't actually sound that creepy? Becca confused.

I LOVE the fact that the author incorpates such thoughtful, engaging thoughts into the story, this makes me even more excited to read The Lost Gir. ♥

Andrea @ Cozy Up said...

I absolutely adored this book! The writing was beautiful, and I was really surprised that she was a debut author with how amazing this story was. I love the thoughts that this book brings about. This is one that will stick with me! Beautiful review!

Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue said...

Oh yes, yes, yes! I couldn't have said it better myself. Reading this book made me THINK, and it broke my heart more than once. I even cried for Eva a few times! I am REALLY hoping there's a sequel because I want to read more about these characters and their world.

FABULOUS review, Evie! You captured perfectly ALL the reasons why I loved this book.

Jessi (Geo) said...

Ahhhh!! I want this one so bad! And your review just made me want it more. The whole clone/personality thing reminds me a lot of the movie The Island...they didn't feel as if the clones had feelings or personalities because they were just clones.
It's been a while since I read something that really moved me, so I'm looking forward to this one! Great review, Evie :)

Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed said...

I've heard really great things about this one. I have it I just need to find time to read it. Either that or make a clone of me to read more books for me...

roro said...

marvelous review . dang i have to wait 3 months for my paperback copy

Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) said...

This is one of my most highly anticipated books and every review that comes in is absolutely RAVING about it. I'm so excited for it! So glad to see you love it and give it 5/5, especially since we read so similarly!

Jaime Lester said...

This book is turning into one of my most highly anticipated books. It seems so unique and interesting. I love that you used the words mind and bender. Together! That basically equals awesome in my book. Thanks for another great review!

Kelly said...

Wow loved your review. What exactly does didactic mean? Just kidding. But I don't think I could read this, I would be a mess with kleenex everywhere!

Jennifer @ A Librarians Library said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this novel. It has been on my radar, but to see such a beautiful review from a blogger I trust makes me very excited to read it! =)

Ashley @ Book Labyrinth said...

I feel like this book is so under the radar, yet the few reviews I've read of it are FABULOUS. I definitely can't wait to check it out.

Bonnie said...

I really hate to admit it but I hadn't heard of this book until I read your glowing review Evie! And what high praise. This one it defeinitely skyrocketing to the top of my TBR list, it sounds as stunning as its beautiful cover. I have chills just thinking of it. THANK YOU for bringing it to my attention!!! :D

Tiffany Mahaffy said...

Wow amazing review Evie!!! I was really looking forward to this and all the feeling and description that you poured into this review has made me need this book even more!! Thank you for enforcing my thoughts on how amazing this book is going to be!

alicia marie said...

Thanks for such an awesome review! I've had this book on my TBR list, but it's nice to read such great things about it and more about what to expect. You have definitely made me feel like I've got to read it now!

Steph said...

Great review! This book sounds so interesting - I HAVE to get around to reading it soon. :)

Sharon ObsessionwithBooks said...

An awesome review! I am so keen to read this book, even more so since reading your praise, I think its definitely going to be boosted up on my TBR pile :)

It sounds like quite the emotional, thought provoking read & the premise is so unique - I can wait to read it.

Thankyou for sharing Evie xx

Jessie Marie said...

Oh, awesome review. I hadn't made up my mind about this one just yet (I think I watched a sci-fi movie with the same themes/plot once). But now I'm convinced. I'll have to get my hands on a copy.

Sounds so incredible and deeper than expected - can't wait!

Erika said...

I just received this book in a giveaway and can't wait to start reading it soon. Thanks for your thoughts! You made me want to read it more:)

chfe said...

Great review!! I really want to read this book, but your review is just making me want to read it even more! By the way, the synopsis of the book sounds very similar to The Island movie starring Scarlett Johansson.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)

chfe said...

Great review!! I really want to read this book, but your review is just making me want to read it even more! By the way, the synopsis of the book sounds very similar to The Island movie starring Scarlett Johansson.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! :)

Biondy said...

this book goes to my to-read list. Seems to be the kind of book I'll enjoy reading.

Aliaa El-Nashar said...

Such a great review!
This book is now on my to be read pile :)

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