12 Following

Leah's Bookshelf

Likes: Horror, macabre, fairy tales, ghosts, hauntings, serial killers, zombies, werewolves, shapeshifters, vampires, time travel, orphans, clones, thrillers, classics, gothic


I like to read anything that tells a good story, duh ;) Genre doesn't really matter much but I tend to read dark fiction and fantasy the most. I skip chick lit and romance novels with a few exceptions for the extraordinary.


My ratings system:

5 stars - ADORED; plan to read over and over and over.

4 stars - ENJOYED; will likely read once or twice more.

3 stars - LIKED; may or may not read again ... someday.

2 stars - MEH; no plans to read again.

1 stars - I didn't enjoy the story and was lucky to finish.

0 stars - I couldn't or wouldn't finish for reasons that may or may not be listed in the review box.

Currently reading

The Oxford Book of American Short Stories
Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Washington Irving, Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Ray Bradbury, Charlotte Gilman Perkins, Willa Carter, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Stephen Crane, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Katherine Anne Porter, Eudora Welty, Nath
Progress: 225/768 pages

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

The Lost Girl - Sangu Mandanna

Rating: 3.5 of 5


I'm a sucker for stories about human clones, what makes us human, and the nature of the soul, so The Lost Girl seemed a shoe in. Part one was the best: the introduction to Echoes and Eva's life, the Loom and its Weavers, and the budding romance between Eva and Sean. Mandanna's characterization was spot-on. At the end of part one I almost cried, almost. (If I had stopped reading at page 100, I would have rated 4 stars.)


Part two was a huge letdown. Its repetitive conversations between Eva and Ray, and Eva having the same thoughts over and over, annoyed me most. There were even instances of stating the obvious, which irks me to no end. On multiple occasions I had to remind myself this was written for teens and, thus, for a different mentality. (If I'd read only pages 101 to 294, I'd have rated it 2 stars.) Mandanna did successfully provoke my outrage over the treatment of Echoes and my desire for Eva to not only survive but be happy too.


Part three, where the majority of the action and revelations take place, was way too short. And the ending - what the frick?! Everything felt rushed: Eva and Sean, Eva and the Loom - it all seemed to "resolve" itself in the blink of an eye. There were definitely missed opportunities to explore theme and Eva's fate. I feel like maybe Mandanna's editor dropped the ball a bit. Parts two and three needed more work. For a novel over 400 pages, there should not have been a hurried feeling anywhere except the chase scenes.


Side note: Matthew was obviously a huge part of Eva's existence, but he's given little face time. The same could be said for the other Weavers and the Loom itself. I wonder if that's because the author hopes to write a sequel (or prequel) to The Lost Girl? Or was there simply too much time (aka pages) spent in part two and so she trimmed these characters and plot points?


Mandanna's writing was solid, the idea strong, the protagonist likable, and the world-building adequate. I'm definitely interested to see what she writes next.