Let's Get Lost
by Adi Alsaid
Published on July 29th, 2014
by Harlequin Teen
Genres: Contemporary, Friendship, Romance, Young Adult
Amazon | Goodreads
Also by this author: Never Always Sometimes
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.
When books get a lot of hype and many bloggers that I trust recommend it so highly, I get a little skeptical and hesitant. What if I don’t love it as much as they did? In the case of Let’s Get Lost, my hesitation was unfounded. I have one word to describe it: Magnificent.
I’ve always been fond of “road trip” books and Let’s Get Lost is one of the very best. This is a story told in five parts, and we shall tackle each now.
Hudson is graduating from high school and ready for a college interview in the eve of which he meets Leila. Hudson is smart, loves to read and loves his father and the life he knows. He immediately connects with Leila even if neither one can understand the depth of what’s happening. They know each other for less than 24 hours, but they leave a monumental imprint on each other.
“He let some time pass, focusing on nothing but her in his arms. Then he leaned his neck toward her and kissed the top of her head. He kissed her softly, not because he wanted anything, but because he could no longer keep the kiss to himself.”
Bree ran away from home and is living in the moment, even if she has to steal those moments. She has lost her way and lost sight of what really matters. It took a scary encounter with the law for her to realize the meaning of family and forgiveness.
“Bree thought about the arc of her day in terms of temperature, starting with the sunburn on the side of the road, the sweltering heat of Laila’s car, the cold initial blast from the Mercedes, and now the miraculous way that dark could make the air pleasant. “People don’t appreciate the Earth’s rotation enough,” she said, slipping a finger through the cracked windows.”
Elliot is so much fun! He has been in love with his best friend forever. When a prom night declaration goes south, he finds in Leila a partner working towards a common goal. Elliot is nerdy, quirky, loving, and honest. This was perhaps the funniest story! The creepy dolls, the almost running over, the bathroom scene, the movie references; and his mom is exactly like my aunt!
“You keep saying that,” Elliot said. He was shaking his head, even though he could feel a small part of him flaring with hope. “But life’s not like the movies, You try to live your life like the movies, and you end up with a bloody hand and a broken heart.”
Sonia has a lost love and found it again in a short time. She feels guilt and shame, and doesn’t know what to do, it’s in this state that she finds Leila. They become partners on their goal to get to a wedding and their antics are so funny. Stoner Timmy is hilarious in his “dude” sort of way.
“You’ve been lucky to fall in love twice in our life already. The coming of it may be a little confusing, but don’t think for a second later it cheapens either of the relationships.” Leila stood up, reaching for the tissues by the bed and handing one to Sonia.”
Leila wants to see the northern lights. She takes a car and travels by herself to see them in Alaska. We know throughout the story that it is the goal of the trip, but not why. She is forever solving other people’s problems, but volunteers very little information about herself. In this last part of the book we found out why. Leila is so accepting of other, she has an open mind and will try everything at least once. She’s spontaneous, loyal, loving, and unconcerned by conventionalism and rules. I’m so happy that things ended so well for her.
“People hurt each other,” Leila said without much inflection in her voice. “It happens to everyone. Internationally, 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.”
Each story is unique, with a combination of sad, happy and funny. You will laugh at the same time that you will cry. They all have Laila and her fun, insightful and accepting personality in common. Even though Laila’s time with each of the characters was short, she had a big impression on them on a moment that was crucial to them. I also love the postcards between each part of the book.
Let’s Get Lost is a story of discovery and loss, a story of heartbreak and the restoring power of love, a story about dreams and reality, a story about the power of losing yourself and most importantly of finding yourself; a story of dreams and facing reality; story of knowing when to fight and when to let go. The writing, as you can appreciate from the quotes above, is magnificent. It’s funny, heartfelt, insightful, and intuitive. I honestly wished the book was longer, so I didn’t have to reach the last page.
Personal note: I briefly saw Adi Alsaid at the Harlequin Teen Hour signing at BEA this year. He graciously posed for this picture and asked me where I was from (probably due to my accent!) and proceeded to pronounce Puerto Rico with a perfect Spanish pronunciation and told us he was from Mexico. Lovely!
Let’s Get Lost is one of the best books I’ve ever read and I’m sure that it will stay with me for a long time. I cannot wait for the next one. Mr. Alsaid, uno de los mejores libros que he leído en mi vida, espero que el próximo sea mejor (¡sin presión alguna!)
Have you read Let’s Get Lost? Do you like road trip books? Why? What’s your favorite?