Monday, July 28, 2014

Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Title: Let's Get Lost
Author: Adi Alsaid
Publisher: HarlequinTEEN
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Five strangers. Countless adventures. One epic way to get lost.

Four teens across the country have only one thing in common: a girl named LEILA. She crashed into their lives in her absurdly red car at the moment they need someone the most.

There’s HUDSON, a small-town mechanic who is willing to throw away his dreams for true love. And BREE, a runaway who seizes every Tuesday—and a few stolen goods along the way. ELLIOT believes in happy endings…until his own life goes off-script. And SONIA worries that when she lost her boyfriend, she also lost the ability to love.

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila. And when Leila leaves them, their lives are forever changed. But it is during Leila’s own 4,268-miles journey that she discovers the most important truth—sometimes, what you need most is right where you started. And maybe the only way to find what you’re looking for is to get lost along the way.

I remember when I first heard about Adi Alsaid’s Let’s Get Lost, I discovered it was a contemporary story with a road trip and I was sold. I knew I needed to read this book. And then it started getting a lot of really good buzz and that only heightened my desire to read this book. Now that I’ve read it, I can honestly say that Let’s Get Lost did not disappoint me. 

Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia all need a friend. In the moment when they need that friend the most, Leila barges into each of their respective life. She helps Hudson that there are different options for his future. When she meets Bree on the road, Leila helps her reconnect with her sister after she ran away. Leila and Elliot go on a quest to help him get his happy ending with the girl he’s in love with. And Leila shows Sonia that just because she lost her boyfriend, she didn’t lose her ability to love and she shouldn’t be scared of loving again. But no one really knows who Leila is. She’s just travelling across the country in the hopes of seeing the Northern Lights in Alaska. Maybe along the way, Leila will also discover what she’s looking for, even if it means getting lost first.

I was very excited to read Adi Alsaid’s debut, Let’s Get Lost. I mean, it’s a contemporary story set in summer and it has a road trip. What’s not to love? As it got closer to the release date, I started seeing the book everywhere (Side note: there was also a legit Let’s Get Lost car at BEA, it was pretty cool). Everyone I knew who was reading it seemed to be loving it and that only made me raise my expectations. So when I started reading, I’ll admit I was a little afraid of what I would find in the pages of the book. But I really shouldn’t have worried. Let’s Get Lost was definitely different, but it was the VERY GOOD kind of different. Reading this book, it almost feels like you’re reading four different short stories that have one common thread: Leila. Each of the sections of the books are very much about the four people Leila meets at different point during her trip. Each of those first four sections could very well stand on their own. They each have a clear start and finish. But they wouldn’t necessarily be the most satisfying of stories because each time you’re left wondering what happens to Leila. And that’s where that final section of the book comes in. That last section ties everything together beautifully. All those questions that I had asked myself, all those details that didn’t really seem like they fit, they were all explained. That’s what really made me love this story, the way all the pieces of the puzzle came together to give you a satisfying ending. And that’s all thanks to Leila.

Leila was a very interesting characters. As much as this is her story, as the reader you don’t really get to really know her until the last 50 or so pages of the book. For most of the story, you get to know Leila through Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia. Every thing I knew about Leila was based on those four people’s observations. In that sense, it painted a very interesting picture. Each of those people saw her differently but their was that common thread: Leila was the person who came into their lives when they all really needed a friend. And as varied as those glimpses of Leila were, I grew to like her a lot. Until I read her story, understood why she was taking this trip, and then  I found myself loving Leila. But I also liked the people she met along the way. Each one was so different. In hindsight, it felt like each one almost represented a different part of Leila. Sonia represented her desire to run away from her life. Sonia was the part of her that was afraid to move forward, while Elliot saw the hope for a happy ending. And Hudson was different, he was afraid of risking it all, something Leila didn’t seem so scared to do. And that’s what brought them together, even if there were some moments when it felt a little unlikely. But I still loved the way all these people came together and fit together.

Adi Alsaid’s Let’s Get Lost was an absolutely fantastic debut. This story was just so different but it completely worked and I loved reading every page of it. I honestly cannot wait to read more from Adi Alsaid.

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