The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna
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.Releases in US: Aug 28th 2012
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.
Source: author/Harper Collins Balzer Bray for honest review
I immediately liked Eva, Amarra's echo. She has a passion and a fire in her that I really admire. I'm drawn into this paranormal dystopia and fascinated by the world that Sangu Mandanna has created. I totally understood and connected with the questions that Eva had about her society... Why would parents want a copy of their child? If something happened, Eva wouldn't magically be Amarra even though she knows all the details of her life and looks like her.
The beginning drew me right in with her breaking the rules and the fear that she has to live under. But I love how it's set up with Mina Ma and Sean and all the others who protect and love her. I feel for her when she has to go and replace Amarra.
I really enjoyed the dynamic though between Eva and Sasha, the little sister. I love how she gets over her shyness and seems to accept Eva for who she is. I really appreciate when a family relationship or friendship is well written, and although I waver on which to classify this as, it can be both. Though it's really sad to watch Alisha, Amarra's mom when she first meets Eva, she is so convinced that Amarra's soul just moved on to Eva's body. As a mother I cannot imagine being in this situation and how she must feel. I'm sure that like her I would cling to every bit of hope that I could.
I loved the stolen moments with Eva and Sean. The hope in their relationship was beautiful and it was so hard when it shattered, but I have every hope that they can pick up the pieces.
The theme of price of freedom is prevalent in this book, and it is so hard to watch Eva wrestle with what she is willing to sacrifice and with what it ends up costing her in the end.
Matthew is one of the weavers, and he is maddening. I totally could not figure him out, but I kept expecting him around every corner. He is a form of bad guy with motives that I could never really grasp, but that is the point to his character. It feels like he absolutely knows everything and does the unexpected.
Bottom line: Great premise, awesome character I rooted for, and deep topic that made me think.
Would you want to transfer your soul to an echo (someone made as your copy) if you died to live on?