The Lost Girl
By Sangu Mandanna
To Be Released into the Wild on Aug 28, 2012
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.
This book has been on my shelf for a while now. The other day I was looking through the ARC's closest to me in the bookcase here and decided I'd read this next. The story was interesting and drew me right in. I had trouble putting it down. In fact I only stopped because I was skimming and I realized I needed to go to sleep. The next day I read it on the bus, at the library after returning some dvd's, in a cafe, and then on the bus home. It's the perfect length book. I never felt at any time that there was too much detail.
Skipping to talk about the ending, I really felt like this story could be complete the way it is, but it also leaves itself open to a sequel. It was definitely a change from the many books I've written where I've felt the need for a sequel or wondered why the book ended where it did, which was seemingly incomplete. I can imagine what might come next in the story, and how Eva will continue on.
Now back to the beginning, Eva is a girl who has been created with bits of a girl named Amarra. The girl she may replace one day if Amarra dies. So Eva is schooled in the exact same things as Amarra. This includes reading the exact amount of a book Amarra reads. So if Amarra were to start something and not complete it, Eva must do the same. The only time I was annoyed by this is a specific book Amarra doesn't finish and later on, when Eva is living as Amarra, I felt there was an opportunity for Eva to read it and finish it. That was the only detail of the story I was yelling at the book about.
I found that the relationships Eva has with Mina Ma, Sean, and Erik, are strong and a complete family. The boundaries laid out are strict and I wonder how hard it would be to live the way Eva did. First she has to learn to be another person, her 'other', doing everything she does, talking, writing, reading how and what Amarra does. When Eva goes to be Amarra, it is a whole new world. She is thrown into a new family, a school, and is finally able to go out and experience the world.
This book is not only about Eva becoming someone else, it's about the danger of Eva being an 'other'. Because not only does she have to acclimate to the new world she is thrust into, she also has to steer clear of those who will do anything do hunt the 'others' down and kill them. The whole story had me intrigued and wanting to know what would happen next. There are lots of surprises and unexpected turns. Be prepared to sit down and read the entire thing in one day!
Find Sangu on her website and twitter.
***Disclaimer- I did not buy this book, I was able to get the ARC of it from the bookstore I work at. I am not being compensated nor was I asked to write about it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.