LET’S GET LOST
by Adi Alsaid
Published by Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: July 29th, 2014
ARC received via Edelweiss – 352 pages
Goodreads | BN.com | Amazon
I was kindly approved for an ARC of this novel by Harlequin Teen via Edelweiss. In exchange, I am providing an honest review.
ABSTRACT (via Goodreads)
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 crashes 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-mile 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 think the best way to start this review is by stating that reading Adi Alsaid’s Let’s Get Lost has been an absolute privilege. Adi Alsaid has truly created a beautiful novel that explores the affects we, human beings, can have on each other. It seems simple, the idea of each of us affecting another person and someone affecting us, but Adi Alsaid captures not just the simplicity of it, but the complexity as well.
I think it is important to understand that this novel, in my opinion, is very much character driven. It is about the characters learning and growing based on their time together. So, let’s start with Leila who is the character that connects all of the other four characters (Hudson, Bree, Elliot, and Sonia). I think the best way to describe Leila is by quoting Hudson:
“She was the kind of girl who could make you think your life was not complete unless she was in it.“ (12)
Though at page 12 Hudson stating this is probably more of being love-struck at first, I think it really applies to Leila throughout the novel in some ways. She really is a character that seems to help bring these characters to a place where they want or need to be. This definitely makes Leila a rather interesting character, but she is also interesting because we know nothing about her past for most of the novel. All that is known at first about Leila is that she is setting off on a road trip and, as she goes through this road trip meeting the characters, she has a profound affect on their lives (and they too have an affect on her). What I loved most about Leila is her drive, wisdom, and seemingly positive spirit, which I believe can be seen in the dialogue that Adi Alsaid has bestowed upon her:
“People hurt each other… it happens to everyone. Intentionally, unintentionally, regretfully or not. It’s a part of what we do as people. The beauty is that we have the ability to heal and forgive.“ (132)
Eventually, towards the end of the novel, we learn about Leila more in depth. Actually, no, that is a lie. I think we learn immensely who Leila is throughout the novel, yet it is towards the end of the novel that we learn of Leila’s past, which I won’t go into out of fear of spoiling the novel. However, I will say that Leila’s past was not at all what I was expecting, which was a fun aspect of the novel, guessing and speculating, yet never knowing. But more about the ending later…
Moving on to the other four characters that Leila comes across, I will start with Hudson, who is Leila’s first stop on her road trip. Hudson starts off the novel as soon to be high school graduate who has a path set for him. He is extremely focused on this path until Leila shows up. He is love-struck. I admit I was very skeptical at this opener because I find that in many contemporaries it is “love at first sight” nine out of ten times. Okay, maybe not nine out of ten times, but it is a common pattern. However, as I read on it became clear to me that this was meant to be for Hudson and Leila, by having this strong connection with Leila, we see clearly what Hudson wants out of life, but the question is whether or not Hudson will go after it. This connection is important for Leila, which is seen more towards the end of the novel.
Following Hudson, Leila comes across a runaway by the name of Bree. Bree has a very interesting outlook on life: “Seize the Tuesday” is her motto and she does have a bit of a problem taking things that aren’t exactly hers. But there are demons that trouble Bree, which we see little by little throughout her part of the novel. Her story, without giving too much away, deals with learning to communicate and also how to trust. Bree’s story (just as you’ll see with each character) is very relatable, which is without a doubt a plus to this novel.
After Bree comes Elliot. Leila comes along in Elliot’s life on his prom night where he has just been turned down by his best friend whom he has loved since he was a little kid. As with Hudson, I was skeptical about Elliot because his big dilemma seemed a bit trivial to me, but it certainly wasn’t fair for me to think that because we all have things that we are passionate about- whether it be reading, sports, or (as in Elliot’s case) another person. My opinion changed quickly because I did realize this and I really credit to Adi Alsaid because he shows how things that may seem unimportant are very important. When you can say a book has taught you something, that is always an amazing moment, so I am giving major props and points to Alsaid for this. But more on Elliot- the adventure with Elliot is Leila trying to help him recover from his heartbreaking moment. In the end, she sets out to help him and readers to realize that while life isn’t necessarily a John Cusak movie from the 80s, it can still be wonderful.
Finally, Leila encounters Sonia. Sonia, as the abstract states, is trying to move on from the death of her boyfriend, but is really having trouble coming to terms with what that entails. Does that mean she can never love again because it would mean losing her deceased boyfriend’s memory? Sonia’s story really got to me because while we all may not necessarily have lost someone, we all get that feeling at some point where we feel we are betraying someone or something by doing something else or being with someone else. I know I have said this multiple times already, but I really can’t express how relatable this book is.
As far as the end of the novel, I admit that I was originally unsure of how I felt about it. After thinking about it and rereading the last few pages, I ultimately believe the ending was fitting and I did enjoy it. However, I don’t necessarily think the ending is for everyone because it could be construed as… maybe a bit “cheesy” (I am not a fan of using that word). But the way I see it is that Let’s Get Lost comes full circle and as a reader I definitely got closure. And let me not forget the fact that it did make me smile.
Looking at the novel as a whole, I think what I loved so much about it is that with all the seriousness came some light-hearted moments that evoked smiles (like the ending) and even some giggles. When an author can balance both seriousness and light-heartedness, their story is typically a winner and I think Adi Alsaid is a winner with Let’s Get Lost. Needless to say I have now problem rating it:
5 out of 5 stars
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good contemporary with five very relatable characters that teach us as readers a number of important life lessons. And let me not forget the fun that is had with the adventures the characters embark on.
Thank you guys so much for taking the time to read this review. I really had fun with this book and I certainly hope that if this review has persuaded you to pick up the book that you have the same fun I did with it. If you would like to know more about the author, Adi Alsaid, you can find him various places online, which I have linked below. Also, as of the date that this review is posted, Let’s Get Lost is not yet released, but it will be in a couple of short weeks on Tuesday, July 29th! You can click the links above (or right here) to check out the book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble and preorder it!
I wish you a wonderful day, week, month, year, life!
Find Author Adi Alsaid Online
Blog | Facebook | Twitter