A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
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.
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few quick kisses, including one French kiss.
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Language includes "s--t," "bloody," "damn," "f--k," "Jesus Christ" (as an exclamation), and the insults ""dumbass" and "idiot."
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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).
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.