Let’s Get Lost, by Adi Alsaid (2014)

Genre: Contemporary
Appeal: 14-21
Let's Get LostLeila embarks on a road trip to see the Northern Lights, heading from Louisiana to Alaska by way of Vicksburg, Mississippi. There she meets Hudson, who falls hard for this package of contradictions who asks him to reveal the treasures of his hometown on what becomes the best night of his young life. But Hudson is only the first of five strangers whose lives are irrevocably changed by chance encounters with Leila, who drives an all-red car (“… be red, goddamnit. From your steering wheel to your hubcaps, be red”). On her way to Alaska, Leila gently encourages a runaway to reconnect with her sister, but not until after a joyride in a BMW that lands them both in jail. After nearly running him over, she encourages a young lover into rejecting the idea of unrequited love, and engages in cross-border human trafficking to ensure wedding rings get back to the best man. In a neat twist on the traditional road trip story, the focus is on the people she meets on the way. Leila’s own story is not revealed until the end, when a seven-year-old girl helps her find her way home. The stories are occasionally too neatly wrapped up, but the emotions and the dialogue are honest and raw. I loved this spunky, damaged heroine who can so clearly see what others around her need, but not for herself. A great addition to the road trip genre for young adults; a perfect follow-up for those who want more after Green’s An Abundance of Katherines or A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Horner, as well as fans of Herrndorf’s Why We Took the Car, as long as they don’t mind a heavier dose of romance.
More discussion and reviews of this novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18812437

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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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