August 7, 2014

Latest Read: Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
Publication date: July 29, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received ARC from publisher (Thanks!)
Summary: 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 lost the ability to love. Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia find a friend in Leila and 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)

The good
Let’s Get Lost will make you imagine driving down the open road, with the windows rolled down and hoping for adventure every step of the way. It’s amazing how Adi Alsaid was able to evoke that feeling and imagery while seamlessly weaving the stories of five different people together. The whole book felt like a collection of short stories that had one main connecting factor - Leila, a girl on a mission to drive to Alaska to see the Northern Lights. And along the way, she meets four people — Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia — and we get to see how Leila’s sudden and brief appearance into their lives affects them. What I loved about this particular writing style was that I would read one person’s story in the morning and then wait until the afternoon to read the next. I didn’t want to breeze through this book; I wanted to savor it.

I want to talk about Leila first because honestly, I was worried about how she would come across and that she would fall into the manic pixie dream girl stereotype. But she doesn't. She felt like a relatable girl who was lost and searching for something and could recognize that same lostness in others. In fact, I think the people she met along the way had a little more crazy going on in their lives than she did. Leila was just there to encourage, tag-along and be whatever they needed in that particular moment. There’s something beautiful about that. I do believe that sometimes connections are just meant to be fleeting but that doesn’t take away from what it meant to you at the time. And eventually we do get Leila’s backstory which I was so moved by and didn’t expect to be.

But all the characters were interesting and seemed to personify a particular emotion (but I can’t tell you which because that might be a spoiler!). There’s academically ambitious Hudson who has been working towards going pre-med in college but deep down, loves being a mechanic alongside his father in his small town. Leila’s moment with Hudson is probably the quietest of the four but felt the most real. Plus I’m a sucker for romances so I had a soft spot for it. Then Bree is a runaway and an adrenaline junkie with a penchant for shoplifting (her motto is “Seize the Tuesday!” which I adored). Leila gets sucked into Bree’s craziness but her antics are ultimately a facade for her grief. Elliot's story was the most over-the-top guy has to get the girl romantic (he does reference Say Anything!). He's in love with his best friend and he's finally making his move but it's not going the way he imagined. Leila helps him with some out-there antics but there was something endearing about him. I wanted him to get the girl! And lastly, there’s Sonia who’s afraid of what moving on means after she loses her boyfriend and first love. I can’t imagine that kind of loss at such a young age but I sympathized with all her internal conflict. I wanted all of them to find peace with what they each struggled with.

(No) Reservations
None, I loved how this was written! This was great for a leisurely read and it appealed to my love of road trips.

Do I recommend?
I do! I've read a couple books this year that have done the multiple point-of-views and this was definitely one of the best ones.

Collaborative feature with Alexa! 

What are the FIVE sites/landmarks that you want to visit before you die?
I'm going to cheat a little bit and name 5 cities/countries because I don't think I can narrow down my list of places to see to only 5 specific landmarks. Especially when I basically WANT TO SEE IT ALL. To say that I've been bitten by the travel bug would be an understatement. It's funny how much of a difference finally getting over my fear of planes has made. 

So here's my five:  
1. The Philippines (I'm Filipino and have never been!) 
2. Spain 
3. Italy 
4. Japan
5. Greece 

2 comments:

  1. i'm currently reading this, sometimes i love it but in other cases i'm just not feeling it...
    amelia from wonder reads

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  2. I'm pretty sure we should just travel together at some point, especially since we have a ton of countries we both want to re/visit. AND if we go to the Philippines together, you'd have to visit my hometown ;)

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