First, this isn't Janine. I'm her mom and she's asked me to contribute a few book recommendations to her blog. And I agreed because she's my favorite daughter and also she's paying me in cookies.
I just finished 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.
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.
Interesting and creative. Eva's voice felt very authentic and I found myself swept along with her, worried about the Weavers and grieving with Amarra's family. I did find some logic problems. I'm not sure Mandanna ever fully justified a seemingly normal family believing in the idea of an Echo.
For all that, this was an quick, engrossing read and one I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to all ages.