Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Review: The Geography of You and Me
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Published: April 15, 2014
Hardcover, 352 pages
5 Gold Stars
(summary from Goodreads)
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.
Smith loves taking two characters that live nowhere near each other and making them fall in love in a small amount of time. She certainly made me fall in love in both The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and This Is What Happy Looks Like. She creates these worlds and characters that are normal in most every way, but they each find a chance at love in the most unlikely places. Lucy and Owen are perfect examples. Lucy has lived in New York all her life and Owen has just moved there. One day the power goes out and they get stuck in the elevator together. They spend one night together, up on the roof in view of stars. But everything changes after that. Lucy finds out she's moving to Scotland and Owen's father gets fired, leaving them with no reason to stay. Told in alternating view points, we watch as Lucy and Owen grow further apart, connecting only via postcards and emails. As their lives threaten to pull them so far apart that they'll never see each other again, things keep reminding them about that night, about the other, and the realize they need to find a way to be together.
I won't lie, I was very jealous of Lucy's family situation. Her parents seem to have endless amounts of money and she gets to live in Scotland and England and see most of the world. But her life is lonely and I'd rather be near love than be in England. She's not very close to her family and spends more time wandering around alone. Owen's life is not very good at all. After his mother died, his father and him knew they couldn't stay in their old house. So they travel around, trying to find a new job, while also trying to settle down so owen can graduate high school. Both characters led not so normal lives that were a bit hard to relate to, but it still hurt whenever they moved further from each other and tried to move on with their lives.
This one didn't beat out The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, which is still my favourite of the three books I've read of Smith's. But it was cute and made me want to get to the end just so I could see if they would get together. It broke my heart knowing they were both thinking about the other even thought hey couldn't be together. There were some really cute moments, especially during the black out and whenever they found postcards for the other. Overall, it was a cute read that certainly satisfied my hunger for a cute contemporary read.
“Maybe they were never meant to have more than just one night. After all, not everything can last. Not everything is supposed to mean something.”
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