Release: 3rd January 2013
Genre: Dystopian, Futuristic, Sci-Fi, Young Adult, UKYA
Rating: 4/5 stars
Source: Received from the publisher for review
Goodreads Summary:"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 is a dystopian with heart and is so emotionally complex and developed. It still has a fascinating futuristic plot, life or death action, and the twists that make dystopian fiction so popular but it’s definitely an emotionally driven read which perhaps will make it appealing to contemporary lovers as well as the dystopian crowd. Being a fan of both genres made this book a winner for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Eva is an Echo. A man made human being who has been made in the image of Amarra a girl she’s never met who lives in India whose parents have had Eva made because they can’t bear the thought of losing their daughter. All her life Eva has been fed information and updates on Amarra so that she can live out her life in a mirror image all in preparation for if Amarra dies an untimely death and she should be called upon to take her place, which is of course what happens in this book.
What makes The Lost Girl such an emotional read is that I felt sorry for every single character in this book. The family that brought Eva up who have to let her go, Amarra’s family for their grief, Amarra for having to share her life and the thought of her being so easily replaced and of course Eva for having to spend her entire life acting like this person when all she wants is to be allowed to be herself. Even though I was always on Eva’s side throughout the book I could understand the other characters actions and felt bad for them too. The laws of the Loom created a lose lose situation for everyone and I loved exploring the issues raised in this book on what makes a person who they are, humanity, the fine line between love death and life, and what remains of a person after they’re gone.
Eva was such a strong heroine who wants so much more from life than living in somebody else’s shadow. The things she had to endure and the way she soldiered on was really admirable making her a fantastic heroine. There are so many characters to love in this book but Lekha, Sean, Nikhil, Mina Ma and of course Eva were my favourites. I especially loved that I loved Matthew - one of the bad guys, I do love a good villain especially one with a soft side!
The Lost Girl is set in both Britain and India. I love reading books based in my own country and Sangu Mandanna’s descriptions of India had me fully imagining the country. The only thing I found a little odd about this book was that England was so advanced as to make actual humans but nothing else about the book was very futuristic at all. It read like a modern day Britain and I found it a little hard to believe that whilst we were reading about a time where man can make people that nothing else seemed to have evolved at all. However I loved everything else about this book so much that this didn’t bother me too much and was more of a niggle than an annoyance.
Overall The Lost Girl was an incredibly moving and thought provoking debut. Although the story wraps up well enough to be a standalone, I loved these characters so much that I would love a sequel if Sangu Mandanna ever wanted to revisit this world.