Losing Lila by Sarah Alderson (review copy) - WARNING! I cannot review this book without spoiling the others in the series. Read no further if you're planning on reading this series and don't want it spoiled for you.
Alex and Lila are on the run, desperately trying to stay one step ahead of the Unit, which is somehow tracking their every move. While Alex is determined to keep Lila safe and her ability secret at any cost, Lila's only thought is of finding a way back to California so she can rescue her brother and mother from the military base where they're being held. Struggling to control both her growing power and her deepening feelings for Alex, Lila decides the time has finally come to stop running and start fighting. Together with Alex, Demos, and the others she's come to think of as family, Lila plans not only to save her brother and mum, but also to completely destroy the Unit and everything it stands for. But the plan requires Lila to return to California alone, and to make friends with the enemy - and in doing so, she risks losing everything: Alex, her family...even her life. From Amazon UK
I absolutely adored Hunting Lila, the first book in the Lila series, so when Losing Lia arrived on my doorstep, I couldn't contain my excitement! More Lila and Alex! More Suki and Nate! More super exciting edge-of-your-seat action! I'm immensely happy to say Losing Lila doesn't fail to deliver!
Sarah Alderson is some kind of genius as these books seem so real! I said in my review of Hunting Lila that I was constantly put in mind of the American TV show Heroes, and that still stands. When opening Losing Lila, within a matter of pages Alex and Lila are running for their lives through the streets of Mexico City. It's the beginning of the book, there are numerous pages and chapters to go, but Alderson's skill at writing sction scenes and building tension that despite knowing there's a whole book to go, you're already scared for them, urging them to run faster. You know when you're watching a movie and during an action scene your shouting at the TV at/to warn the characters? It's the same feeling reading Losing Lila. I wasn't shouting out loud, but I was definitely thinking, "Run! Come on, come on, run! Oh my god, FASTER!" And it's like that throughout the book, whenever the guys are doing anything dangerous. You're so tense as you read, the book is actually in danger of damage while in you're hands. So tense, you're likely to be emotionally exhausted once you've finished reading. When it comes to action, Losing Lila is quite simply perfection!
Then you have the characters. Lila has grown into a strong and determined young woman. Her time with Demos and the others in Hunting Lila taught her that she's not alone, she's not a freak, and not to be afraid of who she is. The trouble she's in with the Unit, the experiments they're doing on other "psys", and the fact that they have her mum and now her brother too has her seething with a fury that gives her strength to act, and do things the girl we met at the beginning of Hunting Lila would never have even dreamt of doing. Don't get me wrong, she has her doubts and her worries, and isn't always sure what's the right way to go about things, but with everyone else by her side fighting the same battle, she'll do whatever it takes. Her telekinetic ability has grown much stronger, and she's learning more about it everyday, things that are surprising even Demos. Although she wouldn't think it, let alone say it, herself, Lila has become someone not to be messed with.
Oh my god, Alex! Oh, that boy. Can you get a more perfect fictional guy? This guy is just completely swoonworthy! And when Alex and Lila are together, god, they're just on fire! Alderson is a total tease! Whenever things between them start getting hot and heavy, Alex is all responsible and annoying! Plus, it is made clear that at some point between Hunting Lila and Losing Lila, they have had some kind of fun minus clothes! Lila doesn't even bat an eyelid when... ok, I'm going to be mean, and just give you two words. Those words are: Skinny. Dipping. Yes, you heard me! No, I'm not going to say any more! Despite all of this, I would have liked a little more Alex and Lila alone time where they're happy and not worrying about or trying to to get ready for other things. It's not all smooth sailing, and they do end up having some major issues. Oh my god, there were times when I felt like screaming, "LILA! What ARE you doing?! Shut up, shut up, SHUT UP!!" Things get majorly rocky for them. Seriously rocky. Your heart just sinks. It's awful, so terribly sad.
The rest of the crew are back in this book, and they're just as awesome, funny and quirky as they were before! However, Lila didn't get to spend as much time with them as I would have liked. Losing Lila's main focus is to bring down the Unit, so I guess it's understandable that there isn't a lot of hanging out going on, but I do love these characters, I would have liked to have seen a bit more of them.
There are twists! Three major twists! Twists I didn't see coming, and wooow! They were just awesome! But they leave me with questions, buts and what-ifs! However, there are no plans so far for a third book. Losing Lila is amazing, I absolutely loved it, and I want you to be aware of that and know that my next point is just a minor annoyance when measured against all the great things about the book... but it doesn't feel like the end, despite how it finishes. It feels like it's been left open for a third book. There is still things that I want to read about relating to the twists, important things! I was talking to Alderson on Twitter, and as things stand there have been no discussions or any plans for a third Lila book. As amazing as Losing Lila is, if that's the end, I'm a little disappointed. Not everything is tied up enough for me, and the ending feels a little too easy. If there was to be a third book, then I think it the ending of Losing Lila would work really, really well; everyone thinks the situation is ABC, but book 3 comes along, and actually it's XYZ. But just left as it is, it just feels too simple - I can't expand on that without spoiling things though, I'm sorry. Alderson did tell me she has ideas for a third book, but is quite busy with other things at the moment. There's some hope, at least, and I'll keep my fingers crossed for a third book.
Included in Losing Lila is a short story called The Moment which is told from Alex's point of view, and goes over the events at the beginning of Hunting Lila, when he and Jack find out Lila is coming over, the event at the bar where they meet Suki, that we read in Catching Suki, and when Alex sees Lila for the first time in three years. Oooh, it's awesome! I do love that boy! It's a short story, so it's not chapters long, things are condensed a bit, but it's a great insight into Alex's head and allows us to get to know him better. I love him even more after reading it, he is just adorable!
Losing Lila is an incredible follow up to Hunting Lila, and this is not a book to be missed! An exciting, steamy, adrenaline-pumping ride, because of it's intense action and larger than life characters, Losing Lila is a brilliant reminder of why Alderson is one of my favourite authors!
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Children's Books for sending me a review copy.
Published: 2nd August 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse UK
Buy from Amazon US
Sarah Alderson's Website
My other reviews in the series:
Hunting Lila (Lila Series Book 1)
Catching Suki (Lila Series Prequel Short Story)