The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

Summary (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.

Review:

Yesterday I was skimming my library looking for any interesting books I could write a review about and The Lost Girl was the lucky winner. The plot intrigued me and the book didn’t disappoint. I couldn’t put it down so now here I am a day later already finished with the story. Or at least with the book – because I feel the story is not over.

I enjoyed the characters, they were all very unique and it didn’t feel like clichés were piled up on every corner. The main character is curious, full of energy and doesn’t easily back down, so I liked her right from the start. I could relate to her thoughts and emotions, the feeling of being forced to live a life she doesn’t want, the urge to be free. Eva isn’t very mature for her age, but she is not silly, either. I like the dynamics between her and the guardians, who are basically her family. Each of them is carefully sketched and has their own personality, which I think is rare enough in novels these days.

The story itself is very interesting and makes me think and reconsider human nature. There are a few things that one should not think too hard about, some minor plot holes, but in general the story and development is easy to follow. Of course there are events that one can anticipate, but others took me by surprise. This book also made me cry a couple of times – extra points for that.

The writing style is very colourful and uses many metaphors. It is written from Eva’s perspective, so the reader gets all her thoughts and feelings, but to me it was never too much or too explanatory. I imagined the whole story in my head and I rarely have this clear a picture of characters or places in my mind when reading. So that is definitely a positive thing. The balance of description and dialogue was also nicely done and I didn’t stumble over anything while reading.

When it comes to the romance, I am not completely satisfied. I do relate to Eva and Sean and their obvious attraction; however I felt like there’s something unfinished there. The ending was extremely open, there are a zillion ways this story could really end. I have some questions unanswered about the whole echo business, the Loom, how Eva’s life will play out. I can only hope that there might be a second part to this story, but so far I haven’t found any information about this. So I guess I’ll just imagine my own ending –which will feature a lot more of Ray, who I feel deserves a little more screen time. There’s so much potential in there for more! So this story gets 4 out of 5, because I did enjoy it very much and it is a great and interesting concept, but it didn’t satisfy me in the end. I’ll keep hoping for more.

rapunzelstars4

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