I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Geography Of You And Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Also by this author: Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between, Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories
Genres: Young Adult
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For fans of John Green, Stephanie Perkins and Sarah Ockler, THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME is a story for anyone who's ever longed to meet someone special, for anyone who's searched for home and found it where they least expected it. Owen lives in the basement. Lucy lives on the 24th floor. But when the power goes out in the midst of a New York heatwave, they find themselves together for the first time: stuck in a lift between the 10th and 11th floors. As they await help, they start talking... The brief time they spend together leaves a mark. And as their lives take them to Edinburgh and San Francisco, to Prague and to Portland they can't shake the memory of the time they shared. Postcards cross the globe when they themselves can't, as Owen and Lucy experience the joy - and pain - of first love. And as they make their separate journeys in search of home, they discover that sometimes it is a person rather than a place that anchors you most in the world.
Jennifer E. Smith can totally be depended on to deliver a light and sweet contemporary romance, with the feels and swoons on Stephanie Perkins level. Her latest book, The Geography Of You And Me is an adorable read that challenged how I thought of the concept of home. She examines the idea that home might not be a place, but a person which in effect makes me reconsider the “you can’t go home again” saying. I think Smith does an awesome job showing that maybe it’s not where you are that matters, but who you are with. The Geography Of You And Me is a book that had me smiling upon closing it and feeling a little bit lighter.
The Geography Of You And Me opens with a girl, Lucy getting on an elevator in her building. Already in the elevator is the building superintendent’s son, Owen. The two barely know each other. All of a sudden, the elevator gets stuck and the lights go out. In the dark, Lucy and Owen connect through conversation. When they eventually get out of the stuck elevator, the two discover that there’s a blackout in Manhattan and go out to wander the city. They see the stars and talk and continue to connect. The black out does not last forever and neither does Lucy and Owen’s time together. You see, Lucy is about to move to Scotland and Owen is heading out west with his father. In the time apart, the two send postcards and connect briefly through email. Yet, distance will take it’s toll on their quasi-relationship or friendship. Will their paths cross again? You will have to read Jennifer E. Smith’s book to find out, but based on the cover and summary it’s pretty safe to guess yes.
Where Smith excels, at least to me, is in crafting characters that seem real. Lucy and Owen are both loners in their own right. It’s actually kind of odd that they would come together and form such an attachment, but it totally makes sense. Lucy is often alone, lately. Her brothers are going to college in California. Her parents are often across the ocean, traveling. Lucy finds comfort in books, choosing to read books that have to do with her own current setting. For example, when the book starts she is reading The Catcher In The Rye because she feels it’s the ultimate New York book. Eventually she picks up Trainspotting and The Metamorphosis. It’s kind of a cool thing that Smith does with Lucy. What I liked about Lucy is that she sees her moves that come up as opportunities to reevaluate how she views herself. She’s interesting and it’s a pleasure to see her character change yet remain true to herself over the course of the pages of The Geography Of You And Me.
Owen, unlike Lucy, is not privileged enough to fly across the ocean. Like Lucy, he is alone, but for different reasons. His dad is constantly working or searching for work as a contractor. His mother unfortunately died in a car accident. Owen and his father are still grieving and waiting for their old home in Pennsylvania to sell. Unfortunately, New York does not quite feel right for Owen or his father. At least, not until he meets Lucy. But even then, their time together is very, very fleeting. Owen feels boxed in while in New York and so, he is thrilled when he and his dad must leave New York and begin to drive west. He feels a weight lift as they get to Chicago and then as they get closer to California. I loved Owen’s love of astronomy and the role it plays in The Geography Of You And Me. It’s something you should pick up on and pay attention to.
The thing about Jennifer E. Smith’s latest is that it made me want to commit the cardinal sin of dog earring every single page. Smith’s writing really speaks to me. Her prose is unadorned, it’s kind of simple, but it speaks a truth. There are certain turns of phrases that had me wanting to dig out a highlighter or a pen. She writes of longing and distance and had me agree that yes, indeed, absence makes the heart grow fonder. She had me believing this fleeting moment in time of a relationship and romance could work. Frankly, if you want a book that is romantic and deliciously phrased, pick up The Geography Of You And Me by Jennifer E. Smith.