Published by Harlequin Teen on July 29th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: ARC obtained at BEA
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.
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.
Welcome to my new feature Up Late With Kate where I share the latest midnight read that keeps me reading past the witching hour! Light that candle, grab a chair, and prepare to read all night!
I wanted to do a little something different with the review for Let’s Get Lost, and while this book didn’t keep me up all night reading it did inspire me with some of it’s characters.
I wasn’t sure when I started Let’s Get Lost that I would even finish it. Leila seemed your average Manic Pixie Daydream Girl and while she ended up being more fleshed out by the end (she get’s her own plot… eventually), it turned me off. Plus, Hudson’s attitude at the end of his story made me mad, and I wasn’t a fan of Bree’s storyline until the very end.
So two characters down and I wasn’t connecting. Which is usually a sign that it’s time to move on, but I didn’t hate the book, the writing was easy and the ARC has been on my shelf for a long time.
Elliot’s story hooked me, right off the bat. His was filled with 80’s goodness, and I loved it. Sonia’s story broke my heart, but in a good way, and by the end I even cared about Leila’s backstory (like the reason she was on the road and inserting herself into other people’s stories).
It was during Elliot’s tale, and Sonia’s, that I started to think about books the characters reminded me of- not that Alsaid ripped anything off, but I think the reason I liked certain character’s stories more than others was because of the books and characters Elliot and Sonia were ones I liked a lot.
So this is how I’m choosing to review Let’s Get Lost. For each character I’m recommending books that contain similar characters.
Hudson is a good old country boy. He’s happy to be a small town golden boy, but his father wants more for him. He instantly falls for Leila and her hideous car.
Books Recommended: Pretty much anything written by John Green. Green is the champ of coupling MPDG with nerdy boys.
Bree is a runaway, and she has shades of MPDG herself- she’s an orphan who ran off after things went bad between her older sister, who was raising her. She and Leila get into trouble with the law together.
Books Recommended: Bree’s story was nice in the fact that there wasn’t a romantic angle to it, it was just about Bree and her sister and jail. She was also the only character I had trouble thinking of other books to recommend, but I’m going with John Green again (Paper Towns in particular) and The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder. Neither fit quite right, but close enough.
Elliot is by far my favorite character of Let’s Get Lost. He suffers from the classic story of being in love with his best female friend… and when he tells her, she brushes him off. Then he meets Leila, and hilariousness ensues and it was basically like reading a mini-80’s movie.
Books Recommended: I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I Love You, Beth Cooper is very much about unrequited love and the Big Gesture, although Elliot is a million times cooler than that main character (to be fair, my 7 year old niece has more cool points than Denis Cooverman, so it’s not a hard thing to achieve). Ready Player One is just because I hardcore love the 80’s, and think everyone should read this book.
Of all the characters, she’s the one I would have liked a full length novel about. She’s lost her beloved boyfriend, is still super close to his family since her own is not particularly warm and loving, and she’s struggling with the grief and guilt of moving on. Her story line was heartwrenching, but also contained some of the funniest moments.
Books Recommended: The one that immediately sprung to mind was Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler and Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally. Of the two, Breathe, Annie, Breathe is my favorite. But I think everyone should read Miranda Kenneally, so I’m totally biased.
So, MPDGness aside, Leila is quirky. She makes friends easily and is funny. IF she were a human being, she’d be Maureen Johnson. So, I’m going with 13 Little Blue Envelopes- which has that road trippy feel and quirky characters. I’m sure The Key to the Golden Thunderbird would fit too, but I haven’t read that book yet.
In the end the positive outweighed the negative for me, and it made for a fun, easy read (once I got past Hudson’s story and most of the way through Bree’s section). I may not have stayed up all night to read this book, but about halfway through the book, I found it hard to put down and finished the rest in one sitting.
Let’s Get Lost gets a Midnight Book Rating of: