The Lost Girl

The Lost Girl

4.0 9
by Sangu Mandanna
     
 

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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.

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Overview

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 . . .

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Eva is an "echo." She was created to take the place of a girl named Amarra, who lives in India with her family. Should Amarra die, Eva will replace her so that her family will not have to suffer her loss. This means that Eva must study the girl, know her likes and dislikes, and experience as much of her existence as she can, right down to getting the same tattoo. But Eva has a life of her own in England, including a guardian who loves her and a boy who may be more than a friend. When she is called to take Amarra's place, she begins a journey of self-discovery and danger. Echoes are illegal in India, and one wrong move could mean the end of not only Eva's life, but also disaster for Amarra's family. She must avoid vigilantes who kill echoes, play her part in her new family, and pretend to love Amarra's boyfriend, Ray. While this book has an intriguing premise, it gets lost in the details, both in terms of the specifics of how echoes are pieced together by the "weavers" and the implausibility that Amarra's friends and the media in India would not be aware of her death. How is it that Ray, who was driving the car when she was killed, wasn't questioned by the police? This question and others show the many plot holes. The frequent climaxes frustrate more than add intensity, leaving the ambiguous ending lackluster.—Necia Blundy, Marlborough Public Library, MA
Publishers Weekly
Fifteen-year-old Eva is the ultimate insurance policy: she's an echo, created by the "Weavers" to be an exact replica of her original, an Indian girl named Amarra. Eva's entire life has been dedicated to studying Amarra's life; should Amarra die, Eva will replace her, with only Amarra's family the wiser. Shortly after Eva and Amarra turn 16, Eva is ripped from everything and everyone she holds dear to move from England to India, where echoes are illegal, to fulfill her purpose. Mandanna's debut novel is lovely and at times heartbreaking, though there are some hiccups with her premise. Given the danger surrounding the discovery of an echo, Eva's upbringing doesn't seem nearly strict enough, her exposure to British culture and slang only opening the door for potential slipups (it's similarly puzzling why the Weavers would brand echoes with an identifying mark in a fairly visible spot on their bodies). But the novel rises above these and other illogical moments, offering a thoughtful study of both a girl's search for her identity and the human reaction to death. Ages 13–up. Agent: Melissa Sarver, Elizabeth Kaplan Agency. (Sept.)
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The breathtakingly complex character development is set against a sinister, Frankensteinianunderworld that promises plenty of philosophically fraught conflict and intricate backstory. [A] compelling meditation on the nature of humanity, consciousness, and self-ownership.”
ALA Booklist
“[An] absorbing novel .... The story is moving without being sentimental, and Eva’s attempts to evade her captors provide action that will broaden the book’s appeal to both sexes.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“The breathtakingly complex character development is set against a sinister, Frankensteinianunderworld that promises plenty of philosophically fraught conflict and intricate backstory. [A] compelling meditation on the nature of humanity, consciousness, and self-ownership.”
Lauren DeStefano
“THE LOST GIRL was the most honest portrait of grief and loss that I’ve read in a long time. Filled with heartache, love, and things that would stir Mary Shelley’s ghost, this is a story not to be missed.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The breathtakingly complex character development is set against a sinister, Frankensteinianunderworld that promises plenty of philosophically fraught conflict and intricate backstory. [A] compelling meditation on the nature of humanity, consciousness, and self-ownership."
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The breathtakingly complex character development is set against a sinister, Frankensteinianunderworld that promises plenty of philosophically fraught conflict and intricate backstory. [A] compelling meditation on the nature of humanity, consciousness, and self-ownership.”
VOYA - Diana Geers
Eva was created for one purpose: to replace Amarra if she happened to die. Eva is an "echo" and Amarra is her "other." Even though echoes are illegal, Weavers secretly create them for families who want to escape the devastation if their child happens to die. Eva is taught exactly what Amarra is taught, is fed the same foods, and studies Amarra's daily journal. That way Eva will be ready if or when Amarra dies. If Eva does replace Amarra, will people really believe that she is Amarra? What will happen to Eva if they do not? The Lost Girl explores the moral issue and question of how far parents will go to keep their children alive. Although the protagonist in this book is likable, readers may struggle with the plausibility of the entire story. Throughout the book there is no explanation of how echos are "woven." The absence of that specific information makes it difficult to believe a Weaver can "weave" a human being with a personality, determination, and fully-functioning body. Other unanswered questions, such as how Eva is able to travel from Canada to India without documentation of her birth, could create more questions for readers. This book contains an intriguing premise, but quality fantasy or science fiction is always grounded in reality. Readers may not choose to stick with such a lengthy book with so many fundamental flaws. Reviewer: Diana Geers
Kirkus Reviews
A compelling novel of a girl created to "replace" another in the event of her death. She has always known that she is an "echo," stitched by the Weavers from bits of a girl called Amarra to step into her place should her original die. Though Amarra lives half a world away, in Bangalore, her echo has grown up in her shadow. She has a clutch of guardians who work for the Loom, keeping her safe and grooming her for the day she might be needed. They also love her and allow her small rebellions, like the name--Eva--she chooses for herself. But she is forbidden to read Frankenstein. Being an echo is dangerous, even where they are legal; many regard them as soulless monsters, and some even hunt them to death. And if her original's family decides they do not want her, she is subject to a Sleep Order: "unstitching." Mandanna sets Eva's story in present-day England and India, a deliberately and effectively jarring choice. She keeps the Loom's technology a mystery, indicating its workings through glimpses and never using the prosaic "clone," and focuses on Eva's experience. Both an interrogation of bioethics and a mesmerizing quest for identity, this debut succeeds through its careful development of the oh-so-human Eva and those around her. A provocative and page-turning thriller/romance that gets at the heart of what it means to be human. (Science fiction. 13 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062082336
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/28/2012
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
275,204
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

What People are saying about this

Lauren DeStefano
“THE LOST GIRL was the most honest portrait of grief and loss that I’ve read in a long time. Filled with heartache, love, and things that would stir Mary Shelley’s ghost, this is a story not to be missed.”

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