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The Lost Girl

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  5,970 ratings  ·  847 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
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Sangu Mandanna It wasn't originally supposed to be so there are some loose ends left untied, but it is now a standalone.…moreIt wasn't originally supposed to be so there are some loose ends left untied, but it is now a standalone.(less)
Jenny Yes, there is a minor love story, but the story really centers on another topic. If you are looking for romance, well, this isn't it.…moreYes, there is a minor love story, but the story really centers on another topic. If you are looking for romance, well, this isn't it.(less)

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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Wendy Darling
Author Sangu Mandanna's guest post for The Midnight Garden talks about her unlikely inspiration for her new novel, which releases in the U.S. today!

"Can we be certain of anyone's soul, human or otherwise?"

Fiction is often most meaningful when it explores questions we find too disturbing to ask in the everyday world. Through one girl's struggle to claim her own identity, The Lost Girl addresses some fascinating ethical questions, all the while presenting a measured, powerful essay on the valu
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-memorable
Holy crap!! I need a moment to wipe the stupid grin off my face and take a deep breath so I can give this amazing book the proper review it truly deserves. *breathes into brown paper bag while heart rate settles* Ok, with that (hopefully) out of the way, I have to hand it to Sangu Mandanna, she played all her cards right, The Lost Girl is an evocative dystopian that deftly tackles so many complicated themes - identity, loss, grief - through so many rich and complex characters that I’m still lost ...more
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: readers who value emotion over reason
Shelves: ya, science-fiction
Mandanna does a good job portraying her characters' feelings and relationships, especially Eva's fear and resentment at her untenable situation. The unsympathetic characters also have dimensions beyond merely being mean to the protagonist. She even has a romance that develops gradually out of two individuals (gasp!) knowing one another over time! And her writing is fine. I wish she had written a different book.

If, like me, you pick this up out of topical interest, you are going to be disappointe
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Aug 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like reading 'what would I do in the same position?' scenarios.
Recommended to Stacia (the 2010 club) by: Rated YA-MA Group Read for May

What if your entire life's purpose was to be used as a replacement for someone else? What if the world didn't see you as a person, but as an object? What if you knew that your feelings and desires were real, but just about everyone else discounted them? This is what life is like for Eva, created to be an "echo" for someone else's family. For she is not really Eva to the outside world, but instead a copy of Amarra.
"You're an angel among mortals. You are hope."

Every day, Eva wakes up.
If I were ever to write a book, this is the book I would want to see my name on. The Lost Girl was not a novel I originally went into expecting to love, but surely enough, it has made its place in my heart and even now, days after putting it down, it hasn't left. Yet, more than that, I don't want it to. With her debut, Sangu Mandanna has created a piece of fiction that transcends all boundaries and explores, not only an unique futuristic society, but also the bonds of friendship, the ties of fam ...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Eva is an echo, a person weaved into existence to serve as some parents’ backup plan, in case something happens to their beloved daughter. Although reserved for the rich, the practice is not uncommon and Weavers make new echoes all the time. Eva has no life of her own; she must experience everything her Other, Amarra, does, so when Amarra gets a tattoo, Eva has to get one exactly like it even though she hates it, and when Amarra goes swimming in the middle of the winter, Eva has no choice but to ...more
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If only tears could talk, they would tell you how much I loved this story..

They would tell you that pages can radiate emotions, that words can create feelings, that beauty can hurt.
If tears could talk.. they would tell you how they dropped on this book drowning smiles in emotions, drowning sadness and turning it into in happiness, making me heart melt slowly and leaving me with a sweet taste of hope.
"You're an angel among mortals. Echos are asked to sacrifice everything to make another fa
Utterly beautiful

The Lost Girl.

Yes, she's lost.

Lost in a cruel world where she has to fight for survival.

She's broken too.

She so badly wants to be a human.

Her feelings are almost palpable. It's coming at strong waves toward me. It's exhilarating. My heart stutters here and then. I paused the book and closed my eyes and for a minute, feeling grateful that I'm not in a dreadful situation like her. Feeling grateful that all these characters are a work of pure fiction. No matter how much we w
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just wow!
5 stars really doesn't feel enough for this one


Death is beautiful when seen to be a law, and not an accident. It is as common as life.
- Henry David Thoreau

Spoilers and me have a hate relationship so
*** spoiler alert***

It's really difficult for me to write a review for this book. Since English is not my first language and I really want to do this book justice, I feel very limited  to put my thoughts into words. So although I will try to explain how absolutely amazing
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eva was created as a replacement for Amarra. Her whole life has not been her own. Everyday is based on Amarra's life, eating what she ate, learning how she talks, dresses, what she did that day, even studying maps of her house to know where her bedroom is located. Understandably, Amarra does not like Eva. Amarra has to make journals everyday sharing everything about her life with the girl that might one day take her place. The girl who one day might hug her mom, laugh with her friends, and kiss ...more
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written. Captivatingly fascinating. Breathtakingly mind-blowing. Mandanna has created a masterpiece that's indescribable.


The premise of this book is just a bit similar to Beta by Rachel Cohn. But whereas Beta dragged, The Lost Girl was filled with thought-provoking anecdotes and experiences that Mandanna meticulously planned to relate to the overall story. And whereas Beta had a stoic ambience, The Lost Girl overwhelmed readers with powerful emotions of all kind.

Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Really interesting concept, but I'm not sure this story uses it effectively. Plotholes galore really hurt this book, so I'm on the edge between two and three stars. This kept my attention, but in the end, there's too much that's just plain ridiculous for me to really like it.

I couldn't figure out who, exactly, is in charge in this world. Echoes are... legal? Illegal? The horror people seem to feel toward them makes me think that they'd be illegal, but then wouldn't the Loom be shut down? So, we'
4.5 stars

The Lost Girl weaves an intricate tale of a society where echoes are created. Echoes are never given the chance to live their own lives but are created so they can replace the life of their others when they have died. It’s so that the family doesn’t have to experience any loss of any sort, they may never have the exact family member back but a similar replica who whilst being born has learnt everything about their other; their friends, what they’re currently learning in school but also
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m going 4.5 for a beautifully written novel. After much thought I swung the stars down only because the beginning of the book was a little slow and the intensity never got very high.

Eva is an “echo”. A copy of a girl named Amara. Eva’s life is spent learning everything Amara does in the event she dies she can step in and replace her. In this world she is considered less than human mostly because of the media not having all the facts in the case of the echo’s. She is raised as a baby with lovi
Natalie Monroe
Eva compares her and Sean's romantic relationship to Harry and Hermione's.

That little phrase alone docked you half a star, honey.

Now if you'll excuse I have to go wreck havoc on Warner Brothers for encouraging this ship in the first place and then I'm going to weep for Ron whose importance is always so tragically de-emphasized.
Aug 31, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Eva is an Echo, created by the Weavers to replace Amarra, a human girl, in the event she should die. Eva has never been able to make her own choices or decisions - she must eat what Amarra eats, dress how she does and learn what she does so she is ready to be her if needed. Eva dreams of being free, but her best friend, Sean, and guardians warn her that should she break any of the Weavers rules she will be sentenced to death. Eva struggles to fight for her own identity increase when the
The Lost Girl consumed not only my time, but my thoughts as well, even days after I was done reading it.

In a very rare occasion, a though provoking novel appears in market, makes us cry and ache in pain, and then we say “Damn, why goodreads has five star rating? Wish I could give it 100 stars.”

The Lost Girl is exactly that kind of book with an extraordinary plot, emotionally touching scene, powerful metaphysical questions and forbidden love that will slowly cracks you heart. Cloning is a very co
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Usually, I read reviews of a book before reading it myself, but that wasn't the case with The Lost Girl. Maybe that's why I loved it so much, maybe it was just because the book is that great. Either way, though, this book isn't one you want to miss.

Eva is a character you can't help but like. She might sometimes act rashly, but her heart is in the right place, and her mind is level. She has so much vulnerability, yet loves to act tougher than she is. The fact that she tries her best to put on a
Sue (Hollywood News Source)
Review also posted at Young Adult Hollywood.

You can say I am one of those readers who feels iffy about Dystopian novels. They will lure you with their gorgeous premise and interesting beginning and then they tend to fall flat at the ending, sequel or conclusion book. It’s a fact.

And here comes The Lost Girl, I don’t know how will I like it despite the high praises from favorite bloggers of mine. I am so thankful I gave it a chance. It is truly a life-changing book..unlike any futuristic book.

Where do you draw the line of loving someone? If you lose a loved one, would you go to any extent to get them back? How do you make yourself let someone go?

I pondered over these questions while reading this book. I'm sure you too would have at some point.

Where do I even start with my review? Before reading this book, I was expecting a dystopian world where a girl who is nothing but an echo of another person searches for her true identity and fights against her creators to have a life of her own
A breathtaking, illuminating but never didactic, emotionally accessible (to both young adults and adults alike) tale of life, love, and what makes us human. The Lost Girl is an ambitious, unexpectedly deep, and mentally stimulating debut novel, and one with a beating heart. In this skilfully plotted and intense sci-fi thriller (with subtle romantic elements) Sangu Mandanna offers us a striking and disquieting look at a strange world of the future. A world of Weavers, echos, and hunters, filled w ...more
Bailey (IB Book Blogging)
THE LOST GIRL is one epically emotional read that left my head spinning long after the final words. There were so many surprises and twists that had me turning the pages as fast as I could! Mandanna has a magical way with words that got me so deeply woven in the world that I didn't want to be let out.

Eva is one bright star who shines no matter the situation. Like her artistic abilities to make something beautiful out of the most unlikely thing, she makes the best of her situation no matter how d
Steph Su
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Steph Su by: Keertana
I felt the writing was actually quite good--smooth and compulsively readable--but the story lacked in worldbuilding and characterization. While Eva's world--and our knowledge of her world--remained confined to her small cottage in England, I was okay with it. I felt compelled to read and learn more about this fascinating, head-strong girl whose life is not her own.

Unfortunately, when the story began to attempt to add in "outside" elements to Eva's life--the new Bangalore setting, that creepy evi
⭐Anni⭐ (Book Princess)
2.5 stars - I'm not saying this book was bad, it just wasn't my kind of book.

Even though The Lost Girl offers some really interesting themes and questions I didn't really get into the story. The MC Eva was interesting and I liked her character development and how she can't be sure of anything but still tries her best. But the other characters felt somehow a bit flat...they were there but I didn't really know much about them.

This book deals with important topics such as free will and chosing yo
Skye Kilaen
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-genre-ya
An intriguing YA with a science fiction premise that's a little hand-wavey about the details, but has such a strong heroine that I didn't mind. Eva is a clone, an "Echo," created and raised as a kind of human insurance policy against the death of wealthy Indian girl Amarra. When Amarra is killed in a car accident, Eva is summoned to replace her in a grief-stricken family and at school among classmates who must be convinced Eva's the real Amarra.

There's an exploration of grief, identity and ethi
shady boots
This review is also available over at my blog.


I like a good action-packed dystopian, but I can't deny that I prefer the dystopians that are more character-driven. The Lost Girl was just that.

The dystopian-ness of this book was never really . . . hardcore, you could say. I've talked about the term "hardcore dystopians" before in my What's Left of Me review. What I mean by hardcore is basically a dystopian that takes place in a whole nother world different from ours, and t
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Lost Girl, by Sangu Mandanna, is a poignant study of the meaning of “humanity” and the origins of life. I’ve read all the reviews, all 108 of them, and I’m surprised not to find very much narrative on the facet of the story that struck me the hardest, Eva’s inability to choose her own destiny. She was basically raised as a slave, forced to learn about and memorize the experiences of someone else’s life, not being able to have her own experiences.
This is not a new element in human history,
“If you pretend you love a boy, maybe after a while you start to care. If you spend months with the traces of someone else’s love and memories inside you, maybe those traces become a part of you. Or perhaps Amarra has nothing do with this. Perhaps I care because I’m jealous of what she had. That kind of love. That kind of freedom to love.”

As an echo, Eva's sole purpose is to study someone else's life and eventually replace her if she dies. Amarra, Eva's "other", happens to pass away after an unf
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
Sangu Mandanna’s The Lost Girl is a gripping tale about Eva, an echo, whose purpose in life is to replace Amarra when she dies. Stationed in Northern England, Eva’s whole life has been learning every aspect of Amarra’s life. When Amarra ends up in a tragic car accident, Eva is sent to do exactly what she has been preparing for. Not all goes through smoothly as Eva has to adjust to her new life and facing new dangers she has never experienced.

The plot build-up in this book is absolutely wonderful
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Very much a YA novel, whether you like this book will be driven by your opinion of protagonist, Eva. Eva is an "echo," created to take the place of a girl named Amarra, who Eva would replace if Amarra should ever die so her family will not have to suffer loss of a loved one. How Eva is created by the mysterious "Weavers" could have been better developed. Amarra keeps a journal, which is studied by Eva, but Eva is homeschooled and kept hidden since she is not fully human. Amarra dies, and Eva doe ...more
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Sangu Mandanna was four years old when an elephant chased her down a forest road and she decided to write her first story about it. Seventeen years and many, many manuscripts later, she signed her first book deal. Sangu now lives in Norwich, a city in the east of England, with her husband and kids.

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