The Lost Girl

Book review by
Julie A. Carlson, Common Sense Media
The Lost Girl Book Poster Image
Engrossing story of an "echo" designed to replace dead girl.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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 & Representations

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.

What 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).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byIhateclowns14 September 4, 2012

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 co... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byGRACE_Bookworm June 16, 2013

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... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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