Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna [REVIEW]

TITLE: The Lost Girl
AUTHOR: Sangu Mandanna
PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray
PUB DATE: Aug 28 2012
Summary from Goodreads:

"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."


“Amarra used to read books about battles. Great heroic battles. Swords and shields and knights and honor. Battles like that don't happen anymore, yet I feel like I am caught in one. Once I may have hoped to fight for my life with all those things: swords and shields and knights and honor. But I don't have a sword. My shield is broken. I don't know what is and isn't honorable anymore. And now I've sent my knight away.”

I was wary about reading this book when I first saw it. It didn’t seem like something I would enjoy considering the plot wasn’t like the ones I’m accustomed to reading. And yet, surprise, surprise! I was an emotional wreck after reading The Lost Girl. Never thought I’d find myself clinging to a paranormal story this much!

While I have read stories where characters have the ability to jump their souls from one body to another, it was uncommon to find one such as The Lost Girl, where clones are weaved to replace their dead human counterparts. These clones are called Echoes.

Eva didn’t strike me as an astonishing character at first. I didn’t see anything special about her, not until much later when she came to replace Amarra. I think that was one of the hardest lives I had to read through emotionally. It’s not enough that teens have to struggle to fit in anywhere, but being and Echo too… well, that was just heartbreaking.

For that, I believe it is no question why I love Sean, and why I hate Ray. Ray’s grief for Amarra does not give justice to the way he treated Eva. Sean, on the other hand, proved to be a man worthy of Eva. The kind of sacrifice he would make just for her to have a life… even if it involved having to cut himself out of it. True love, I should say.

Reading The Lost Girl made me realize, with the rapid development of today’s vast technological creations, it’s not hard to imagine the possibility of human cloning to exist. It may be far, far into the future but not impossible, yes? So what would life be like if this did happen? How would we react if this happened to be the world we live in now? How would we treat our clones? Would we disregard life much like Ray and his group of friends did over an Echo without further understanding of them and simply rely on hearsay just because it’s far from the norm? Or would we be those few who would see these beings’ lives to be just as valuable as our own?

Normally, the kind of pacing and storyline this book has is something I would turn away from. But the Sangu Mandanna’s writing style is very lyrical and transfixing that it got me hooked since the first chapter. The Lost Girl is a well-woven tale that teaches readers how priceless lives are.

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