Monday, February 2, 2015
Let's Not Get Lost
Author: Adi Alsaid
Publication Date: 29 July 2014
Note: ARC received via Amazon Vine program
Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid is the story of Leila as told through her brief encounters with four strangers while she is on a road trip of discovery. Because of the limited nature of these encounters, we only see glimpses of who Leila and her acquaintances really are. Alsaid’s writing is crisp and somewhat refreshing in its flowing nature and ability to not overcook the descriptors. You get enough of a picture of the scene to feel like you're there with the characters. Where the book falls short is the scenarios presented and the way in which the main characters go along with Leila's sudden presence in their lives.
The first section in which Leila meets mechanic Hudson and they start his journey of discovery feels the most realistically possible, but the following scenarios grow in absurdity. Runaway Bree encourages Leila to steal and they get tossed in jail for borrowing a sports car which they intend to return. Elliot nearly gets run over by Leila and then immediately trusts her to help him try to win the girl of his dreams on prom night. Sonia loses her passport and they need a stoner to smuggle them across the US-Canada border. In Leila’s final moments of self-discovery, a group of total strangers go along with a little girl's desire to throw Leila a birthday party, but, of course, that all goes wrong, too.
I must admit I felt little to no connection to Leila at the start as she seemed that sage stranger who seems to really be present to guide the other characters through a difficult period of their lives. The timing is all a bit too perfect and the strangers all too trusting, especially the peripheral characters who really should know better. By the end you'll find out why Leila is the way she is, a moment that wouldn't make sense earlier but feels like it should have found a way in anyway. Don't misread that as saying the book isn't without merit. Alsaid has talent and is an author to keep an eye out for in the future. Let’s Get Lost is the type of book you can tear through in an afternoon sitting. The writing itself has something indescribable that pushes you along and makes you care enough to get through to the end. The characters and scenarios, though, don’t quite have the same spark and make the journey less fun than it ought to be.