Thursday, August 7, 2014

Let's Get Lost - Adi Alsaid

Let's Get Lost book cover
Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Source/Format: Harlequin Teen Spring Preview Party (Thanks!) || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects my review..]

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. Elliott 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.


Let’s Get Lost is, without a doubt, one of the most impressive debuts I’ve read this 2014! Beautiful writing, complex and varied characters and memorable stories – these things all added up to become this awesome book.

The novel is composed of five separate stories told by five different characters – Hudson (a mechanic’s son granted the incredible opportunity to interview for a college scholarship), Bree (a girl who lives for the moment, the road, and the adrenaline rush of doing what she likes), Eliot (a boy in love with his best friend), Sonia (a girl who has loved, and lost, and is afraid to love again) and Leila (the girl on a road trip to the Northern Lights, who ties all these stories together with her presence).

Each of these characters just felt so real. I’ve said that before, about many books, but really, that’s the best adjective I can come up with when I think about Let’s Get Lost. Each person is at a turning point in their lives, struggling to figure out what their next, their best move can be. It’s difficult not to stray into the land of caricature, especially when each character is so different and could be a stereotype. But somehow, Alsaid manages to write each character in a way that makes them come alive off the pages, flawed, imperfect, alive. I felt like I could be friends with each person, and that, more than anything, had me tearing through the pages.

The stories, too, are compelling. Each one actually captures a short span of time in the character’s life, whether it’s a night, a few hours, or a couple of days. This, too, captured something that felt authentic. Sometimes, there are people we only encounter for a brief moment in our lives, but they forever change our course. It’s truly the essence of Let’s Get Lost to some extent, and I greatly appreciate the quiet truth in that. Plus, it also helps that each experience shared is colorful, offbeat and pretty funny too!

Basically, there’s something about Adi Alsaid’s writing that feels positively magical. Let’s Get Lost is a contemporary tale about a girl on a road trip who changes people’s lives. But it also feels like a challenge to rediscover some of the things that are important in life: standing up for what you want, allowing yourself to forgive and be forgiven, taking risks for something you believe in, kindness to others, encouragement, communication, love. The combination of story + reflection worked incredibly well, as I really felt drawn into reading time and again.

Just writing this review for Let’s Get Lost has made me want to read it again. Immediately. There’s just something about these stories and these characters that really resonated with me. This novel is going to be one of those that I know deserves a place on my shelf, as I can see myself returning to it time and again. It’s going to be a story that lingers with me for a while, and I love that. Consider this review my recommendation to read this one, stat.

What are the five sites that you want to visit before you die?

I honestly have no idea why I make things hard for myself by coming up with questions like this! It is my deepest hope that I will have been able to travel as much of the world as possible before I am destined to leave it. But if I had to pick only five places, these would be my choices:

(1) Pyramids in Egypt
I've always found Egyptian history, culture & mythology fascinating.

(2) Eiffel Tower in Paris
"Paris holds the key to my heart."
(If you can sing it, you get bonus points.)

(3) Stonehenge in England
There's something awe-inspiring about historical sites like this.

(4) Cliffs of Moher in Ireland
It's always looked stunning in photos, and I just have to see them.

(5) Redwood Forests in California
I've always felt an affinity with nature, and these trees are amazing.

7 comments:

  1. I really want to read this book a.s.a.p. It sounded so good when I first read the synopsis and now reading your review (gushing) for it makes me want to read it that much more. I've always wanted to see Stonehenge in England & the Redwood forests in California. Those trees are amazing! My #1 place I want to visit is Italy. It's where my family came from. =)

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  2. I'm reading this atm, and my feelings towards it are really mixed. I agree with how you said the character's stories are compelling but I can't decide if I like Leila or if she actually irritates me.. However it does remind me a lot of Paper Town's by John Green which is one of my favs and I only have 20% left to go, I'm excited to see what the ending brings!
    amelia from wondereads.co.uk

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  3. Wow, this sounds like a fantastic book! I love when a book makes the characters seem to come alive and off the page. It's a magical feeling when I really feel like I can connect with me and want to be friends with them :) I'm adding this to my TBR list!

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  4. I am so glad to hear this! I have the ARC in my cabinet and have been wondering how it is. Great review!

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  5. I wasn't sure about this book based on the synopsis, but your review has really convinced me that it will be an interesting read. I really like your description of the writing as magical and it has really intrigued me and made me add this to my TBR list.
    I think the places I'd like to visit before I die are Scotland's Inner Hebrides, maybe Skye, Hokkaido, Amsterdam, Easter Island, and the California redwoods.

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  6. Wonderful review, Alexa! I had planned on holding off on this book, but your review is having me question that decision! It sounds very much like a "Danielle" book - road trip + colorful characters + reflection + a little romance... that sounds like it can't go wrong. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    P.S. I tooootally want to see Stonehenge too! The mystery surrounding it has always fascinated me. :)

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  7. This book sounds fantastic. I've been so excited for it ever since I even heard about it. The cover is completely gorgeous. Your review assures me that this will be a great purchase next week. It sounds amazing.

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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