The Lost Girl

 
Engrossing story of an "echo" designed to replace dead girl.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Readers learn briefly about England where Eva lives, but more about the city of Bangalore, India, where Amarra resides with her family. Readers also learn a lot about grief -- a big theme in the novel -- and coping with the loss of a child, sibling, or friend.

Positive messages

Many people tell Eva she's important. There's also a message about keeping both hope and the memory of loved ones alive and how everyone makes mistakes. The novel deeply explores how people fill the absence left by loss.

Positive role models

Eva is a stand-up heroine. Made to be an echo of Amarra, she does what she's supposed to do and was designed for: take Amarra's place when she dies. Despite having to pretend to be someone else, she never loses her true identity. Eva is very studious and places a high importance on reading books. Sean, Eva's guardian, is kind, considerate, and helpful and protects Eva at all costs. Nikhil, Amarra's younger brother, welcomes Eva into his family without judgment and sticks up for her in time of need.

Violence

The process of making an echo and killing one is described. The echoes, like Eva, are made in a mythical area in London known as the Loom, where they're stitched together by Weavers. A family member of a loved one who has died may decide not to have an echo replace them. If this happens, the echo goes back to the Loom, where he or she is unstitched and dies. A secondary character is killed with a knife, and a minor surgical procedure is conducted. Eva/Amarra gets a tattoo with the permission of a parental figure.

Sex

A few quick kisses, including one French kiss.

Language

Language includes "s--t," "bloody," "damn," "f--k," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), and the insults ""dumbass" and "idiot."

Consumerism

Eva visits Coffee Day -- a real Bangalore coffee bar chain like Starbucks. She also visits a popular chain bookstore called Crossword. The characters eat out at restaurants like Koshy's (a Bangalore landmark) and visit tourist attractions like the zoo.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Eva attends a party where alcohol is being served, but she drinks soda. A secondary teen character gets drunk at the party.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Lost Girl is the story of Eva -- a teen "echo" designed in London to replace a Bangalore girl upon her death. Inspired by Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, The Lost Girl is an adventurous, engrossing novel with paranormal and romantic elements. There's some limited violence -- the process of stitching together an echo and unstitching (thereby killing) one is described, and someone is killed with a knife. There are brief kissing scenes, and some characters swear ("damn," "s--t," "f--k," "dumbass," etc). There's also a scene of Eva/Amarra getting a tattoo (with the permission of a parental figure).

What's the story?

Eva, a teen living in England, has human-like qualities and feelings but isn't quite human. She's an \"echo\" of Amarra, who lives in India. If Amarra were to die, Eva, by design, would take her place. When Amarra does die suddenly, Eva must travel to Bangalore and replace her -- even though, in India, echoes are outlawed. Eva has been preparing, studying, and training to be Amarra, but she doesn't want to leave her life behind -- or her personality. She wants to be Eva. Amarra's family members welcome Eva into their lives with mixed feelings. And Eva has to pretend to be Amarra around everyone else, including Amarra's sexy boyfriend, Ray. Can she pretend to be someone she's not and keep a secret, all while holding on to who she is without endangering everyone she knows?

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Sangu Mandanna's debut novel is inspired by Frankenstein and does a fantastic job re-creating a classic novel with a unique, modern spin and entertaining characters. Mandanna, who grew up in Bangalore, brings the city vividly to life and creates an exciting, imaginative, fast-paced read that's very emotional and leaves room for a sequel. Despite seeming a bit rushed toward the end, THE LOST GIRL would make Mary Shelley proud.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about losing a child, sibling, or friend. What do you think about how Amarra's family and friends dealt with her death? What steps can people take to cope with loss in real life?

  • Have you read Frankenstein? How does The Lost Girl compare to that classic novel?

  • Why do you think Frankenstein was outlawed in Eva/Amarra's world?

Book details

Author:Sangu Mandanna
Genre:Science Fiction
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Friendship, Great boy role models, Great girl role models, High school, Misfits and underdogs, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Balzer + Bray
Publication date:August 28, 2012
Number of pages:432
Publisher's recommended age(s):13 - 18
Available on:Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

This review of The Lost Girl was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byGRACE_Bookworm June 16, 2013
age 12+
 

Fantastic novel about a man-made girl

The characters are unique, the plot is riviting, the story is realistic. I love books in which the author is able to make something totally unheard of, such as man-made humans, sound incredibly believable and realistic. Mandanna was able to do just that in this book. The story was about a girl named Eva, a teen who has lived every moment of her life training to be someone else, or, more accuratly, training to step into the shoes of Amarra if she ever dies. Eva is an "echo"... a man-made human woven together by the weavers. She dreams of being herself and spending her days acting like a typical teen, but she knows her sole pupose is to replace Amarra if she ever needs replacing. When Amarra dies in a tragic motorcyle accident, Eva is forced to leave her guardians and the home she has grown to love, and to convince the world she is Amarra. She has been preparing for this all her life, but her new life is not as easy as she expected it to be. This book as an exciting page turner, filled with romance, determination, suspence, and the desire to think for oneself.
What other families should know
Great role models
Parent Written byIhateclowns14 September 4, 2012
age 13+
 

Phenomenal...

This was fantastic. It's a spectacular elegy to loss, and love - all kinds of love. The writing is beautiful, the characters are beyond amazing, and the concept is fascinating. It's impossible to truly judge anyone's actions in this book because it's all so believable, so realistic, so emotional. There's no true evil, no fiendish cartoon villain. And the good guys are flawed, real. I loved this. There is a little swearing that parents of younger children might want to be aware of (including one instance of the f--- word) and some moderate violence. There are some incredible role models and positive messages of equality, loyalty, love and courage.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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