Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
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.
Let's Get Lost was one of my most anticipated books from BEA 2014, and I am happy to report that it did not disappoint at all. In fact, Let's Get Lost exceeded my expectations, and I think it's going to become one of my new favorite books.
If you've been around this blog for awhile, you know how I feel about road trip books. I absolutely love them! I'm not sure what it is that appeals to me so much--the physical journey paired with the emotional journey? the shenanigans that always ensue? the traveling to new and exciting places?--but I just can't resist a promising road trip novel. I was beyond excited to get into this book, but I wasn't prepared to fall in love with it so quickly and so strongly. Let's Get Lost captured my heart on the very first page, and I knew within the first ten or so pages that it was something special.
Let's Get Lost follows Leila around as she drives all over the United States in her little red car. Along the way, she meets four different teens, and the story is told from each of their perspectives. When Leila enters these characters' lives, she affects them in ways neither the characters nor the reader could see coming. But this book is not just about the people Leila meets; it's also about Leila's journey. Leila starts out as an enigma, an unexpected but not unwelcome presence in her new friends' lives, but throughout the novel, the reader gets to know Leila better and unravel the mystery surrounding her.
At the beginning of this book, Leila gives off some strong manic-pixie-dream-girl vibes, so it was refreshing to have that illusion shattered as the story continued and the reader got to see the story through Leila's point-of-view. All five of the main characters in this story are thoroughly developed, complex, interesting, and unique people, and I enjoyed the format of this book. Rather than getting an entire book from one character's perspective, the reader gets to experience little snippets of each character's lives. Even though each character only gets a short section of the book, I was impressed by how easily I was able to develop connections to them. For the short period during which I was in each of their heads, I felt like I knew the characters and could relate to them really well. This novel is driven by the characters, and, while each character has a different story to tell, all of the stories are intertwined by Leila's presence in their lives, so the novel flows smoothly and the stories feel like they go together. Also, though each section is pretty short, nothing feels rushed or cut-off. Adi Alsaid manages to tell a full story about each character, so nothing feels unfinished when you jump into the next story.
Let's Get Lost is both fun and heartwarming. There are plenty of adventures and shenanigans and hilarious encounters, but there's also a deeper, more emotional undertone. I was expecting the fun side of this book, but the more serious side was a pleasant surprise. This book seems like it's going to be super light and fluffy and yay-let's-go-on-a-road-trip!, but it's actually so much more than that. It's still a fast and entertaining read, but it has some deep and emotional elements to it.
Let's Get Lost impressed me more than I thought it would. I fell in love with this story and these characters, and I will definitely be rereading this book sometime soon. If you love character-driven books about road trips, there's no doubt in my mind you'll enjoy this book. Let's Get Lost has earned a spot on my favorites shelf, and I can't wait to see what Adi Alsaid writes next.