In case you couldn’t tell you from my previous reviews, I am a feminist. A proud gender studies student, who is not very extreme or loud in her beliefs, but very convinced that men and women should be on the same level and who believes society’s view on women (as just beautiful, quiet, “they have to love me” dolls) is very unfair.
So when there is a book that is well-written and has a charming and endearing female lead in it, but an entitled, rude guy who is not called out at all on the way he treats this girl, I’m done.
Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid is the story of Leila, a young girl who is making a road trip to the Northern Lights. It’s a long trip and on the way she meets Hudson, Bree, Elliot and Sonia. The story is mostly about them - until the last chapter, where we finally find out what happened to Leila.
I adored Leila, who is very reminiscent of Alaska in John Green’s Looking for Alaska. She’s lost and confused but has a really good heart. She’s also intelligent, a go-getter and has an amazing warmth to her that make people open up to her (I call it warmth, because if it would just be her good looks, I would like her a lot less - she would be another cliché). She leaves her home and goes to a garage to get her car fixed right before the big journey to Canada. The car fixer? Rude, entitled, stuck-up Hudson, who she somehow falls in love with?!
At this part of the book, I was already confused. I didn’t know Leila at all at that point, but Hudson’s true colours shone through pretty fast and I don’t know why Leila didn’t get into her fixed car and thanked her lucky stars that she got rid of him. But she didn’t do that - she actually writes him cards throughout her whole journey and she misses him.
But then came Hudson....
Why do I hate Hudson so much? Hudson is a mechanic/future med student who has the biggest interview on his life the day after he meets Leila. However, Leila is hot so he drops everything to go to an island with her. He falls asleep, he misses his interview and even though he suggested they would go to the island and she offered to go back home, Hudson blames Leila for ruining his future. And not in a silent treatment way, but in a very crude way that makes you cringe while reading it.
The effect of this? Every reader hates Hudson. But maybe a positive side effect was that I instantly became protective of Leila. I felt bad for her and her inability to stand up for herself and I wanted to protect her from Hudson - at least for a bit.
Leila continues her journey and meets Bree, a runaway teen, Elliot, a dumped teen on prom night and Sonia, my second favourite character who has to deal with the death of her boyfriend. And while Leila helps all of them, she’s also thinking about Hudson, which gets old really fast. They spend a day/night together and then he treated her like trash, yet she misses him? I didn’t get it and I must admit that I skimmed over the parts where she was talking about Hudson. I loved Leila and I didn’t want her to be ruined by her silly notion of love. So maybe I didn’t really love her, but certain parts of her. I’m not sure.
I don’t want to get into too much detail about the other characters, since it will ruin the whole book for any readers. All I can say: Stick it out until the end, because there will be a plot twist.
What I can say about them is that I hated how everything always had some kind of happy ending - Leila is only with them for 48 hours max and yet she helps them get their happy ending. As far as I know, not everyone immediately gets what they want and that would have been good to have incorporated in the book. Especially since I feel the author read a lot of John Green and really tried to tap into his audience. Unfortunately, what he missed is that John Green teaches us that life cannot be controlled and you get what you get and you have to deal with it.
So my aching feminist heart cannot give this book more than 2 stars. I hope Leila returns in another story and can be salvaged, but right now, Hudson just ruined the whole book for me. I wish he would Get Lost.