DNF Review: Let’s Get Lost

Posted July 13, 2014 by Kara in book review / 6 Comments

DNF Review: Let’s Get LostLet's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
Published by Harlequin Teen on July 29th, 2014
Genres: contemporary, young adult
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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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.

Ugh.  Okay.  I wasn’t initially interested in this book at all, just based on the cover.  When it was first on NetGalley and was being super hyped up on Twitter, I was immune.  But then I attended the Harlequin breakfast at BEA, and Adi Alsaid made a little speech about his book and well, color me intrigued.  Let’s Get Lost is a series of short stories about four completely random people who have absolutely nothing in common, nothing to do with one another, except one girl.  They each meet Leila right when they need to, and she flies in on her manic pixie dream wings and saves the day.  The story normally wouldn’t be my thing, but I thought the idea of writing four different points of view that each come in contact with her was clever.  I really should have known better though.

I mean, on its surface, the idea is fine.  Leila is on a road trip with no real itinerary outside of “North” and during her travels she meets a bunch of other kids her age.  The first story with Hudson was a bit sappy for me, but whatever.  She takes her car to his garage and then they have this magical night together and it’s ruins his plans for college and he realizes, wow, maybe I don’t want that life anyway.  After meeting a girl and knowing her for 16 hours, he completely changes his life.  Right.  I rolled my eyes more than a few times.  And the fucking writing was JUST LIKE John Green, so negative one thousand bonus points there.

The second story was about a runaway named Bree who is reeling from the death of both her parents and a horrible fight with her older sister.  Bree is reckless and wild and ends up getting them both arrested.  There’s no one else to call so they call Bree’s sister and all is well in their universe thereafter.  I actually really enjoyed reading Bree’s story because it was about two young, attractive, and wild girls who got along so well, didn’t compete with one another, and didn’t secretly hate one another.  THAT is refreshing to say the least – it never freaking happens.  The friendship these two girls built together in just one day was wonderful, and I’m actually really disappointed that this book wasn’t about Leila meeting Bree and them having a wild and crazy road trip together.  That would have been a wayyyy better book.

Honestly though, I was basically bored throughout the whole thing so far.  I put the book down to go have dinner and I just dreaded picking it up again.  It was so dull.  The characters with real depth and development don’t stay on the page for longer than 50 pages, so there’s no one to get attached to.  There was no central plot, and like Kara said in her GR review, there was no suspense.  There was nothing to keep you turning the page.

But the story that actually made me mad and had me DNFing finally was that of Elliot.  It opens up during prom night, right after Elliot proclaimed his undying love for his (girl) best friend.  But she doesn’t like him like that and tries her best to let him down easy.  This leads to this enormous inner monologue of entitlement – basically, Maribel OWES it to Elliot to love him back because he’s always been there for her and they’re such great friends and he had all these dreams of their romantic summer together.  I’m sorry, Elliot, but fuck you.  And I know how this story goes because it’s already happened twice:  Leila is going to swoop into Elliot’s life (like she did with Hudson and Bree) and make things better.  So he’s trading in his entitlement to Maribel for just another girl making his life better.  Girls to Elliot are just tools for his own personal gain and just fuck that.  I am seriously not okay with the manic pixie dream girl trope anymore.  I over it.  Girls are not just there to spur male leads to life and make them see the error of their ways, question their judgment, give meaning to life.  No.  Girls are their own fucking people and I’ve had enough of them being written this way.

What started out as a sort of promising road trip book devolved into a boring mess, and then actually offended me.  Honestly, the writing wasn’t too bad, but it reminded me of writers before Alsaid, like John Green (who I also passionately dislike, so.) Maybe this will work for other people – it’s always so nerve wracking to be one of the earliest reviewers of a book.  I should have known better though.

bekkasummer-bingo

 

This book covers the Road Trip! square on my Bookish Bingo card.

6 responses to “DNF Review: Let’s Get Lost

  1. P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

    I’ve heard some not so good things about Let’s Get Lost and my co-blogger is currently reading it. I don’t know if it’s my sort of thing. It doesn’t seem to have an aim, and I’m not really into road trip books. I think I would have enjoyed the second story though, two wild girls having fun sounds great. Thanks for the review!
    P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex recently posted…The Weekly Progress: Bored Out of My Mind EditionMy Profile

  2. I think you’re very courageous just because you actually were willing to spend time writing a very thoughtful DNF review, Bekka. I tend to not do that – I only write a line or two on GR, Booklikes and Leafmarks and leave it at that. If a book either pissed me off or bored me to tears, I just don’t feel like spending any more time on it when I decide to DNF it, you know?

    I don’t really think this will be for me either. I tend to be easier to piss off or get bored these days, so I try to choose my books wisely 🙂

    I hope your next read will be awesome!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #40 – Series EditionMy Profile

  3. THIS ELLIOT GUY. I don’t know him but I hate him already somuchsomuch. I wish the male privilege/entitlement hadn’t been glorified and instead, you know, given a smack down. Elliot should have been given a smack down. But I’m still giving this one a try because of what I’ve heard about Leila in other places, plus ARC so.

  4. “I’m actually really disappointed that this book wasn’t about Leila meeting Bree and them having a wild and crazy road trip together. That would have been a wayyyy better book.”

    THIS. THIS. THIS THIS THISSSSSSS. Bree and Leila’s instafriendship was one of my favorite parts of the book. It should have been about them. Fuck all those other guys.
    Gillian recently posted…Looking Forward: AugustMy Profile

  5. Nancy L.R.

    The author will be doing a signing near me next month and I was thinking of buying it, though I couldn’t decide because of the ratings on GR(I tend to not read the reviews before because of spoilers). You made up my mind.

    I wasn’t dying to read this book, specially since I’ve been having such bad luck with contemporaries with no plots, the same damn plots, or entitled douches. At least the best friend said no to the asshole. I would have seriously lost my cool if she had said yes. But all the things you addressed are things I dislike in books. I think I would have picked it up had it had a solid plot with the two girls.

    Awesome review!

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