Friday, August 31, 2012
"The Lost Girl" by Sangu Mandanna
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
From Goodreads: "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.
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.
From debut novelist Sangu Mandanna comes the dazzling story of a girl who was always told what she had to be—until she found the strength to decide for herself."
When I first received this book to read and review I honestly didn't know much about it (primarily because I don't feel like it has had quite as much hype as some books have this summer) and after reading it? All I can do is shake my head. This is one of the best books I have read this summer, if not this year, and it is unfortunate that it hasn't seemed to gotten the recognition it deserves (While I may be composed on the outside, my inner fangirl is squealing, "IT TOTALLY DESERVES TO BE HYPED ABOUT! And not just hyped about this summer, but FOREVER!!!).
Without a doubt this book's biggest strength is the emotional aspect of it- I personally haven't encountered such emotions since reading "Where She Went" by Gayle Forman and "Pushing the Limits" by Katie McGarry- this book is so real, raw, and vulnerable, that I believe it impossible to not find yourself teary eyed at least once while reading this book.
Furthermore, not only is the book itself real and raw, but so are the characters- from the primary, such as Eva, a girl trying to find a place for herself in a world that hates her, Sean, a boy conflicted between upholding his late father's position and protecting the girl that he loves, to the secondary, such as Matthew, Eva's weaver who I found to be not unlike Snape from "Harry Potter"- a man with obvious secrets who despite his actions and outward appearance will do anything and everything to protect those that he cares for, to Nikhil, Amarra's younger brother, a old soul residing within an unassuming child's body.
All in all, I believe it impossible to do this book justice in a review. I believe that this is the sort of book that each person needs to experience on their own. I know that, for myself, this is a book that I will come back to time and time again (and one that I hope and pray will get a sequel because if any book deserves a sequel it is this!).
I received this book from the publisher to read and review. I was not compensated in any way for said review.