The Opal Octopus

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Review: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

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Let's Get Lost
by Adi Alsaid

Published by Harlequin Teen
on July 19 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 352
three-half-stars
Review: Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
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 do love a contemporary YA road trip story. This is really four linked stories: the encounters that Leila has as she crosses the continent to Alaska. There’s Leila’s insta-love with Hudson, who thinks he knows what his goal in life is – but is it really his path? I found this story the most difficult to believe, and possibly the most formulaic. Then we meet Bree, who is alone and acting out. Elliot is in love with his best friend – can Leila help them get together? And then there are unexpected adventures with the grieving Sonia. The best of the stories comes last – Leila’s story.

With Let’s Get Lost, at first I was all “yeah yeah manic pixie dream girl yadda yadda”. I was angry at Leila for assuming she knew what everyone else needed. But as time went on, though some of the stories were a little predictable, I started liking the book more and more, as expectations turned into revelations. Maybe one person’s cliché is another’s comfortably familiar tale? And this is almost a modern fairy tale – a manic pixie fairy godmother, perhaps!

And callbacks to 80s teen movies always work for me, though how relevant they are to modern teens I do not know.

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