Edition: Random House Paperback (Early Copy)
Release: January 3rd 2013
Series: The author states that there might be sequels.
Pages: 390 approx.
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 fifteen 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.
There's actually quite a funny story as to how I received this book for review... When I requested a copy of this book a while ago now, I had actually mistaken it for another. So when I received it through the post, I was more than surprised to find out that it was, in fact, not the book I had been anticipating. Logging on to trusty Goodreads to research it, I was greeted by yet another surprise. The Lost Girl was actually on my wishlist along with the other book I had mistaken it for (though I must have forgotten about it)! Thoroughly intrigued by this point, I cracked the book open and started to read. Little did I know that I would be so hooked to the story that I would be up until 3:30am!
The plot line was unique and refreshing as well as emotional. I was rather surprised at how emotional I found it at times! What affected me the most was probably the attitude everyone seemed to have toward the 'Echoes'. Most thought them heartless, unfeeling creatures and I really felt for Eva because barely anyone seemed to understand that she was just like everyone else on the inside. The fact that Mandanna had managed to make me feel for her characters and empathise with them as much as I did is really admirable. This is only her debut novel and she has done amazingly well to have got such a reaction out of me. Already you can see the talent she has. I will most definitely be looking out for more of her novels!
The main character, Eva, was very multi-dimensional on a whole. She was brave and strong and smart but still with a vulnerable side to her that made her realistic. She was also a fighter and she had a spark inside of her which made her a very likeable character. Sean was also a great character. He was sweet, loyal, brave and genuine and I enjoyed the relationship development between him and Eva as you were never really sure what would happen between them when they were together. I also loved Nik and Sash (Amarra's little siblings) and got really attached to them. They were just adorable! Amarra, however, was another story. Even though I didn't really like her (for reasons which will be obvious to those of you that have read the book), I could still understand her thoughts and feelings and where she was coming from.
At first, I had thought this book was simply a standalone and so, when I came to the ending, I found it quite abrupt. Then I went on to the author's website and read that she was possibly thinking of making it a series depending on how well The Lost Girl did. Since I'm not sure whether or not there is going to be a sequel, I don't know what to think of the ending. For a standalone it's pretty abrupt and leaves the reader wondering (about what I will not tell :P)... but for a series it would be a good ending - it leaves the reader wanting to find out more. However, this in no way affected the enjoyment of the book. I still loved it!
Overall, The Lost Girl proved to be an amazing and very well-written debut from author Sangu Mandanna. The storyline was unique, exciting and emotional and all the characters had many layers to them and you could empathise with each. I highly recommend this to everyone who even remotely likes the sound of it. If there is indeed a sequel, I know I'll be first in line to buy it! ^.^
FIVE STARS! :D
A huge thank you to Random House for providing me with a review copy!