|LET'S GET LOST by Adi Alsaid.|
Published by Harlequin Teen in 2014.
Let's Get Lost has many of my favourite things that can be found in a book: mulitple perspectives, stand-alone stories, and a focus on character development. I love the format of this book—each section is from the perspective of a different chararacter—so it feels like you're reading five different stories. Leila is the common factor in all of them, but the sections don't connect together as much as I thought they would. The sections stay focused on the narrating character with a few artifacts and themes tying everything together.
I like intelligent writing, and Let's Get Lost begins with clever narration and dialogue. The point of the story is never entirely clear, and beginning with Hudson's section is the perfect starting point for Leila's journey. This section is by far my favourite of the book. It accurately portrays small-town life as Hudson shows Leila around his hometown and all the treasures within it. It had me thinking about the treasures from my hometown: the "corner store," a tree named 'Spike,' a trail in the woods... seemingly forgettable places for anyone else, but incredibly important to me. Hudson's attempt to show Leila his own seemingly unimportant places becomes even more special by the end of the book... but I don't want to give away too much.
I would have been happy if Let's Get Lost was only the first and last sections. Still, the other characters have merits too, and all are on their own journey. The plot lines aren't repetitive, and they all feel hauntingly realistic. Alsaid hasn't written an over-the-top look at teenage life: Let's Get Lost is simplistic and it's this simplicity that makes it work.
In the end, Let's Get Lost is a story about Leila told from the perspective of other people in her life. As the reader, we get little glimpses of Leila's personality and story as she meets new people on her roadtrip, but it's not until the end that we learn any of her truth. Getting lost every now and then is a good idea, if only to find ourselves again.