The Geography of You and Me
Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: April 15th 2014
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.
-A copy was provided by Hachette Book Group Canada for review-
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!
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.