Let’s get lost – Adi Alsaid
My friend Darren here raises a good point. This was beautiful. The cover is beautiful, the illustrations inside are beautiful, the narration is beautiful, the characters are beautiful. Basically, in summery, this book is beautiful.
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.
I once heard the phrase: to find yourself, first you need to get lost.
That phrase pretty much sums up Leila’s story in this book, she needed to take a roadtrip across America to discover everything that she wanted to know about herself and on the way, through her eyes, I discovered that there is beauty in everything, even mundane things and that sometimes, phrases like that aren’t totally cliched, they’re totally true. You can never truly know how you would react in a situation until you’ve been in it, Leila finds herself in so many bizarre situations, that call for all kinds of acts of kindness and displays of the very best of humanity, that she can’t help but work out who she is. I’m a bit of an anti social person, I’d probably quite enjoy being a hermit, but this book has opened up my eyes to the very best that life has to offer. The kinds of people you can only meet in small towns that you instantly connect with, the kinds of people you would attempt to smuggle yourself across a border with, the kinds of people you would run around town bleeding with. This book makes me nostalgic for things that have never even happened to me.
Being a bit of an eighties film nerd, I was all kinds of surprised, not only to find references to perhaps one of the greatest films ever made (the breakfast club) within these pages, but also, a sense of the atmosphere that that film instils. This book is that film, but in book form and like an eighties film, it had some absolutely cracking lines in it. (‘We’ve reached that point in the night, it’s epiphany o’clock!’ anyone?) It is truthful, sometimes in the harshest ways, insightful and brilliant, utterly brilliant. The characterisations, the various story lines, all of it is pure genius.
It reads a little like a collection of short stories, rather than one novel, told through the point of view of four of our characters and how the sudden arrival of Leila in all of their lives affects them. I really liked this approach, it made our lead character mysterious and magical and gave her the sense of being a manic pixie dream girl, without all the usual tropes surrounding that idea. I think my favourite chapter was probably Elliot’s because of the whole eighties film vibe, but all of them wormed their way into my heart and I found myself being completely invested in every single one of them and desperately hoping each of them got the ending that they deserved.
Honestly, I am no where near articulate enough to really express just how good this book is. Trying to review it is just not going to do it any justice at all. I think this could be one of my favourites of the year. Basically, because I cannot even begin with how good this is, all you need to know is that Let’s get lost is a masterpiece, a solid debut from an author that is going straight to the top of my automatic buy list, it’s delightful, heart warming, refreshing and will fill you with the best kind of wanderlust and nostalgia that you could ever hope for.
I mentioned when reviewing On the Road, that I was glad I read it before I got too old, I think that Lets get Lost has the same vibe to it, that you need to read it when you’re young, when life is intense an when it matters. But, even if you don’t, even if you are a little older than it’s intended audience, you should still pick it up, this is one of those books that will benefit your life greatly.
Because this very quickly became one of my favourite books this year, it gets a Nick Fury Seal of Approval, just so you know how serious I am about this.