The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

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The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

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Buy The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Teens
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Thought-provoking story about an "echo" - a clone brought up to be a replacement for a living person should they ever die. Is Eva doomed to live the life of another or can she forge a path of her own?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: January 2013
Publisher: Definitions
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 1849416176

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Eva is an echo. Woven at the Loom, she is a carbon copy of Amarra, a girl loved by her parents so much that they can't bear the thought of losing her. Should anything ever happen to Amarra, Eva will take her place - live in her home, go to her school, even kiss her boyfriend. So Eva's young life is all about Amarra. She eats the same foods, studies the same subjects, reads the same books, watches the same films. When Amarra gets a tattoo, so must Eva. The Weavers impose many rules and if Eva breaks even one of them, her life is forfeit.

But echoes are controversial. Illegal in many countries, they are even distrusted in Britain, the home of the Loom. Vigilantes known as Hunters track down echoes and kill them. So Eva's life is restricted in other ways, too. Her guardians are always alert to the danger.

Eva, an independent, strong spirit, resists as much she can. But when Amarra is killed in a road crash and she is taken to India to begin her new life, she finds herself unprepared, even after a lifetime of training...

... The Lost Girl is a lovely, lovely book. The writing is truly lyrical, full of thoughts and feelings and love and pain. Eva is more than an engaging character; she's a living, breathing girl of worth. She is no echo. And the cast of supporting characters are beautifully drawn, from Eva's step parents Mina Ma and Erik and her love interest, Sean, through her new Indian family friends, to the cold, arrogant Weavers.

I loved the beautiful, evocative writing style and I loved every character in this book. I also loved the feelings and themes behind it - a reverence for life, an appreciation of beauty and freedom, a deep understanding of the importance of love. But I won't lie to you. Some of the background worldbuilding is inconsistent - Who is in charge in this dystopian world? How does the Loom fit into its governance? - and the book's final climax is rushed and a little confusing.

If plot integrity means everything to you, you might feel you'd been built up and then let down. I'm not one of those people. I'm happy to forgive a plot hole or two in exchange for the gift of unforgettable characters, a thoughtful exploration of difficult philosophical issues, lyrical writing and the flavour of a world view that chimes very well with my own. The Lost Girl gave me all those things and so I loved it.

Recommended for the thoughtful reader. I hope that's you.

If dystopian tales of identity interest you, you could also look at Blackout by Mira Grant, Birthmarked by Caragh M O'Brien or Slated by Teri Terry.

Buy The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna at Amazon.co.uk


Buy The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna at Amazon.com.

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