on August 2014
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.Book Club & Common Core-aligned materials included in book.
On her way to Alaska to see the Northern Lights, Leila’s path intersects with Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia. These teens are all so different yet meeting Leila has a profound effect on each of their lives. She meets Hudson on the eve of the most important day in his life so far. Bree is drifting until Leila helps her find an anchor. Leila runs into Elliot on prom night and she saves Sonia from herself. One chance encounter changes each of their lives – and Leila’s – in ways none of them ever could have expected. This is a book about the unpredictability of life, strangers, the open road and home being where the heart is.
This is a book which surprised me. I wasn’t expecting to like it anywhere near as much as I did. But I found myself completely absorbed by Leila and her adventures. Let’s Get Lost is a novel told in five parts with each part somewhat independent and yet completely intertwined with the others. Their only common element is Leila, a girl with an obscenely red car on a mission to see the Northern Lights before the end of Summer. Her car rolls into cities and towns along the way and into the lives of four very different teenagers.
The individual stories were the perfect length. We got to see a snapshot of Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia’s lives but at pivotal moments in time. Often with these sorts of stories I wish I saw slightly more of someone or a bit less of another but in this book I thought we got to see just the right amount of each person. Their stories may be short but each part showed a complete and finished moment in their lives. There is also enough variety to keep things interesting. Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia are all so different from each other and despite being of a similar age, their lives are all going in different directions. It was nice to see how Leila acted with each without overwhelming judgement for how they lived their lives.
Leila is a great character to tie all the others together. She’s mysteriously open and it is easy to see why the strangers accepted her and let her in to their lives. She brought out the best in each person she met and fit into their lives in a wonderful way – if only for the short amount of time she visited them. There was never the question of why she was there because she just blended in so well. There’s a dash of romance but this is by no means a love story. Let’s Get Lost is a book about finding where you belong in life. It may be a career crossroads, being geographically misplaced or just a matter of finding who you consider to be your home.
I highly recommend Let’s Get Lost for fans of well written contemporary YA fiction. Leila is a charming and engaging character with such a vibrant personality. After reading Adi Alsaid’s debut novel, I hope there is a lot more to come from such a great new voice in YA fiction!
Thanks to Harlequin Teen Australia for the review copy