Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

The Lost Girl
Blurb (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.

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars

The Lost Girl(Source: I own a copy of this book.)
16-year-old Eva is an Echo. Built rather than born, and made to exactly imitate her ‘Other’ – Amarra, Eva waits for the day when she will be called upon to play the part of Amarra – if Amarra dies.

Eva and her guardians have no idea if this will ever happen, but while Eva’s foster mother wants this to happen, so that Eva will be ‘safe’, Eva doesn’t want to be Amarra, she wants her life to be her own.

When disaster strikes and Amarra dies, Eva must travel to India and step into Amarra’s shoes.
Can Eva really be Amarra though? Will nobody notice the difference? And what will happen if she is caught?

This was an okay story, but for me there was an awful lot of stuff in there that wasn’t necessary, so the book just felt really slow!

Eva was an okay character, but I didn’t love her. Admittedly her situation wasn’t easy, but it took a long time for her to really stick up for herself, and she was a bit whiney. I got a bit sick of the ‘poor me, I don’t want to be an echo’ thing that she had going on.

The storyline in this was okay, but it took so long to get anywhere! There was over 100 pages before Eva’s other had even died, and the book just felt super-slow. I thought the plot was quite obvious up until the end when there were a couple of twists, but it just took so long to get there! There was also a lot of stuff happening that just didn’t move the story on, which could have been cut to make this more interesting.

I thought that the idea of the Echos in this book was pretty selfish and mean. Not only did Eva have the worry that she would be one day called upon to take over Amarra’s life, but Amarra had the worry that if she died, Eva would steal her life! I mean how awful – knowing that your life is not your own, and also knowing that you are replaceable for your family and friends! Great way to make your daughter feel valued!

While the ending of this was a little more up-tempo than the rest of the book, the events on the very last chapter just left me hanging a little bit with regard to one aspect of the storyline, and I wasn’t impressed. I wish the author had just given us a couple more lines to know what was actually going to happen with respect to that part of the storyline.
Overall; an okay story, but the pace was a little slow, and the ending wasn’t 100% resolved.
6.5 out of 10.

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