ARC Review, Guest Post & Giveaway – Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

July 25, 2014 Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 1 ★★★★

Author: Adi Alsaid
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Pages: 352
Goodreads Rating: 4.00/5 Stars
My Rating: 4/5 Stars

My Content Rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing; Some language and illegal behavior)

Summary from Goodreads: 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.


This book just made me happy. I found myself smiling while reading it. A lot. And I wanted to keep reading – I honestly wished that the book could just keep going on and on so that I wouldn’t have to put it down and go back to my own boring life. It would be way more fun to just continue living vicariously through Leila’s road trip adventures!

The book is really five short stories. The first four are told from the perspectives of one of the people that Leila meets on her road trip – first Hudson, then Bree, then Elliot and then Sonia. The final section is told from Leila’s own perspective. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this, since short stories can sometimes feel rushed or unfinished to me, but these stories were told well and intertwined with Leila’s own story beautifully.

What I LOVED:
  • Leila.  Leila herself was kind of an enigma at first. For the first four sections of the book, we don’t know why Leila is embarking on her road trip or what has led her to this place in life. We were given some enticing clues, but when everything was finally revealed, I found myself surprised! It was really interesting to learn about Leila first through the eyes of the people she meets along her way and then finally get to really know her in that final section of the book!
  • Friends met along the way.  Each of the people that Leila met along the way had a story that was unique and compelling – I found myself easily being drawn into each individual storyline. They were all on their own journey – some physically and some metaphorically. And Leila helped each of them learn something important about themselves. I especially loved Sonia’s story – my heart broke for her over the conflicting emotions that were tearing her apart.
  • Fun!  Even the stories that were filled with heartbreak were still funny and sweet at the same time. Elliot’s story was particularly humorous – he wanted his romantic life to play out like an 80’s teen romance, but it wasn’t working out for him. Leila wouldn’t let him give up, though – and lots of wackiness ensued! Like I said, this book made me smile. It was upbeat and positive, even when the characters faced difficult circumstances. The perfect summer road trip read!
The negatives:
  • The romance.  The romance in the story (the one that actually involved Leila) felt very much like insta-love. I didn’t quite see the true connection between Leila and the boy she falls for because it all happened a little too quickly (which is sort of a side-effect of the fact that the book is split into multiple short stories). Luckily her romance was just a small part of the book, so it didn’t mar my enjoyment of the overall story too much.
  • Somewhat unbelievable. There were definitely times in the book that things happened that just felt a little bit unbelievable. Fun, but unbelievable. And I didn’t always quite buy into the fact that Leila was everyone’s savior. She was just a little too good to be true – the perfect, caring, instant friend who seemed so level-headed when it came to relational issues, but then had a definite wild streak that led her on lots of adventures. While I loved Leila, I didn’t always feel like she was the most believable character.
I highly recommend Let’s Get Lost – especially if you’re looking for a fun read with heart! I will definitely be watching for Alsaid’s next book.  Overall, I give this one 4/5 stars.
 
***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by Harlequin Teen in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

 

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Why Airports are Great for Writers
One of my ultimate go-tos for inspiration is people-watching, and there’s no greater place than an airport to people watch. The sheer mass and diversity of people, the potential for imagined stories. I could sit at an airport and watch for hours even if I didn’t have a flight. I havedone that, actually. When I lived in Vegas, sometimes I’d go to the airport baggage claim with a friend and some coffee and we’d try to guess where everyone was coming from, try to decipher airport codes we weren’t familiar with.
Airports offer the freedom to observe. You have a few hours before your flight boards to do nothing but see all sorts of people gathered together, to imagine whatever you want about them, even if you are wildly wrong. Grab some coffee and sit at your gate, take a seat at the overpriced bar or at a restaurant that faces out at the terminal, put a book in front of you in case traffic slows down, a notebook next to that, keep an ear perked for eavesdropping some conversation. Watch the material come to you.
And if you’re the type of writer that gets inspiration from other people’s lives, stealing away their details for later creative use (aren’t we all that kind of writer?), just start talking to someone. Even with the walking-on-eggshells feeling that airports sometimes have these days, where your bags must be with you at all times and suspicious behavior might be defined as not getting any cream cheese with your bagel, people are still extremely open to each other at airports. The fact that everyone is just passing through opens people up to conversation, I’ve found. Seatmates in particular, but at bookstores and restaurants and anywhere else you might find yourself sitting next to someone at an airport. If they find you annoying and don’t want to talk, they’ll let you know by

answering only in grunts and continuing to read their magazine. But sometimes they’ll unload their stories on you, like the flight attendant for Air Force Two whom I met and had traveled the world (something like 87 countries?). Or the poor diplomat from Ecuador whose flight from New York to Mexico to Ecuador turned into a five-stop 24-hour+ nightmare.

Attractive people you’ll never see again, groups of teens dreaming of adventures, escapes, reunions, dreading the leaving of them. So many little scenes from daily life, on display for a much larger audience. Mothers trying to place a fast food order for a family of six, a couple already reminiscing about their trip, siblings ignoring each other with headphones. Businessmen on phone calls, working on their computers with a cup of coffee in hand, unwinding at the corner seat of the bar.
Where there are people there are stories, simply put.

 

 

 

About the Author

Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City, then studied at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in class, he mostly read fiction and continuously failed to fill out crossword puzzles, so it’s no surprise that after graduating, he did not go into business world but rather packed up his apartment into his car and escaped to the California coastline to become a writer. He’s now back in his hometown, where he writes, coaches high school and elementary basketball, and has perfected the art of making every dish he eats or cooks as spicy as possible. In addition to Mexico, he’s lived in Tel Aviv, Las Vegas, and Monterey, California. A tingly feeling in his feet tells him more places will eventually be added to the list. Let’s Get Lost is his YA debut.


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