Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

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I received this book for free from Hachette Book Group Canada in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. SmithThe Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Poppy on April 15th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, YA
Source: Hachette Book Group Canada
Buy on Amazon

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met.

A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too.

Super cute as expected. Jennifer E. Smith has given us another sigh-inducing, feel-good read that leaves you with a smile on your face. I adore these books of hers and each one is like a little escape into a fairy-tale kind of perfect romance story. While The Geography of You and Me may be my least favorite of hers, it’s far from a disappointment!

If you’re a fan of this author you pretty much know what to expect when you get into one of her books. Her characters are likable, the romance is always swoon-worthy, and they have this fairy-tale quality to it – meaning it’s a bit idealistic and sometimes too good to be true, but it’s what I love about them. Once in a while, it’s fun to escape into this kind of dreamy romance story. The Geography of You and Me, however, is a little different from the others, as in the two love interests are on different continents. They meet in New York and have this incredibly romantic, butterfly-inducing evening, but they both move away shortly after. They stay in touch through postcards which have become a kind of personal joke for both of them, not to mention Owen’s aversion to technology. This is super cute at first and full of hope and wonder, but it does lose its spark after a while where things start feeling a little directionless. Told in dual POVs, we see the streets of France and Scotland and London on one side, and a road trip through America on the other. While I can’t complain on the settings which were really wonderful and atmospheric, it’s the story itself that becomes kind of stale where after a while it consists of nothing more than two teenagers second guessing themselves and full of regret. Being separated for 90% of the book is likely part of the problem here. Even though I knew the premise of the book, I expected it to be a little more passionate and impulsive and a little less… awkward? Less radio silence for sure.

On one side we see a girl experience the world and different cultures, on Owen’s side we dive a bit deeper where we see him deal with his mother’s death, unsure of how to move on. This gives a little something other than romance to concentrate on, a little something more profound and serious. I also found myself much more compelled to his storyline than Lucy’s for the most part, so we’ll say Owen was my favorite character in this one. Eventually – and finally!! – the two do meet again and proves to be worth the wait. Statistically, long distance relationships rarely work, but this book makes you want to believe in it for these two. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, is what they say! πŸ™‚

Overall, The Geography of You and Me is another Jennifer E. Smith book that I would recommend to all you hopeless romantics who want to not only escape, but travel the world with Lucy and Owen.


3.5 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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28 Responses to “Review: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith”

  1. Soma Rostam

    I have read one book from this author and I liked it. It is definitely the happy kind of romance that you know doesn’t always work out in real life. But believing that it will work out for the characters is a dreamy feeling and i like it.
    I am definitely adding this to my TBR
    Missed your reviews Giselle
    Your reader,

  2. Carina Olsen

    Great review sweetie. <3 I'm unsure if this would be a book for me, but I do think it sounds amazing. A bit beautiful. I'm glad you enjoyed this book πŸ™‚ Thank you for sharing. <3

  3. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    I haven’t tried a Jennifer E Smith book yet but the consensus is she’s the go to author for contemporary YA reads! Lovely review Giselle, I love the sound of this book and the different cultures and cities covered here.

  4. Jenea @ Books Live Forever

    I haven’t read anything by Smith, and this sounds like a good one to start with. Long distance relationships are so hard, but Owen and Lucy sounds like a great couple. Glad that it was a good read for you. πŸ™‚

  5. Amanda @ Book Badger

    I’m so glad you did enjoy it Giselle! I do agree, the time separated probably wasn’t fantastic, but I think it’s the absolutely swoony sense of joy and happiness I get from her work that just makes this perfect to me. I just have Is That What Looks Like to read now and I’m sorted, and I’m so excited to get to it! Fantastic review lovely! πŸ˜€

  6. Nick @ Nick's Book Blog

    I’ve read only Smith’s first book and I really did enjoy it, but I haven’t been sold on her other books yet. This one does look really cute, but I can see why the story got stale after a while. Having the couple away for 90% of the book is pretty ridiculous considering this is a romance. Still though, I’m glad you enjoyed it overall.
    Lovely review, Giselle!

  7. Michelle @ Book Briefs

    I love dual POV and I love when a book is what you expect it to be. especially if what I am looking for is a cute, romantic read. These are always hits with me.

    Great review. I am a little ashamed to admit that I have not read any books by Jennifer yet.

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

  8. Siiri

    Oh, I’m glad you enjoyed this. Yeah, you can’t really connect with the romance or anything when the two mains are separated for so long. I’m still glad that you enjoyed this though πŸ™‚ And different cultures? YES, PLEASE.

  9. Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    I haven’t read anything by Jennifer Smith yet, but this definitely sounds intriguing! The fact that it’s your least favorite book by her and it still manages to receive 3.5 stars from you? That’s a pretty good sign! πŸ˜‰ But I can definitely see where you’re coming from…it’s a little awkward to have a book classified as a “romance” and have them only together for the last 10% of the story.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing Giselle, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

  10. Pili

    I haven’t read anything by this author but I think I should give this one a try once I’m feeling better and can deal with HEA romances!
    Thanks for a great review, Giselle!

  11. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    With all of the snow we’ve been getting lately, I actually wouldn’t mind travelling the world with Lucy and Owen. LOL I’m due for a good romance; thanks for the recommendation!

  12. Chel

    I’ve only read Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and I liked it a lot. Glad you still liked this one despite some of its shortcomings, Giselle. I find idealistic and too good to be true romance happysigh-inducing even though they can also be frustrating at times.

  13. Melliane

    I confess I was curious about this one, I read the stastitical… and I really liked it but I was wondering if it would be the same with this one. Maybe I should have tried it.

  14. Faye @ The Social Potato

    I’m in a long distance relationship myself and it’s quite true that distance makes the heart grow fonder! There’s always that “looking forward to” feeling you get when you receive something from that loved one, or the giddy feeling of meeting them again after many months of not having any physical contact. I’m glad this book shows a bit about that because love-wise, that’s my reality, and I think I’ll be able to relate well.

    Great review, Giselle!

  15. Jennifer Bielman

    I love that the romance has a fairy-tale quality to it. Those tend to be my fav, but I am still not sure if this book is for me. Maybe I should try another of her books.

  16. Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

    I’m actually reading this now, Giselle! I’m just a little bit in so I can’t say much so far, but I’m really glad you enjoyed it! I have a feeling I’d be more interested in Owen’s story as well. Lovely review, Giselle!

  17. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    I’ve read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, and I have This is What Happy Looks Like, so it’s good to know that Smith is staying true to her writing style. I’m sure I’ll get this one too πŸ˜‰

  18. Juhina

    I had the same problem too.. the radio silence and awkwardness and obsessiveness of each other.. i expected a bit more.. I gave it either 3 or 3.5 so we agree on that. Great review Giselle!

    – Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

  19. Vi

    I do adore Jen’s writing, even if, like you said, they’re a bit idealistic. I agree, it’s nice to get away from reality and lose yourself in a fairytale romance. Can’t wait to read it!