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.
Alsaid’s writing is breezy and approachable, and his characters engaging and charming. Each story individually is a fun, short adventure — but the thread that carries them together may, perhaps, be the book’s weakest link.
Though Leila is the one character who carries us through the entire journey, she remains for most of the book an outsider, mostly an observer. Sure, she gets involved in each new character’s life briefly – but only in a peripheral way. She’s sort of there, in many ways, just as an excuse for the reader to be there. When her story finally comes into play, it feels very anticlimactic. There’s no intensity – it just is.
And really, it’s only the first character – Hudson – who at all remains connected to the story throughout the rest of the novel, and even then he is mostly sidelined until the end. The rest of the individuals Leila encounters come and go; they have their story, and then we move on.
Ultimately, I enjoyed reading the individual stories – they were fun little adventures, albeit a bit simple – but I didn’t feel like the book, as a whole, came together. The glue meant to hold these stories together never really took hold, and the interconnectedness of the story felt very forced.
Let’s Get Lost is in stores July 29th.