The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Release date: April 15, 2014
This ARC was provided by Edelweiss and Little, Brown for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: One of the best parts of this book is the premise and how it plays out. It's all very well-written. And the second best part is the romance. It's very slow burn. It takes months for any sparks to actually happen between Owen and Lucy, and they don't end up together until much later in the book (and boy, is the ending sweet). I would've liked a bit more permanence, as it felt like the characters flitted all over, but that's part of the book's charm. Edinburgh, Scotland really comes to life in Lucy's chapters and, besides New York, it's my favorite setting in The Geography of You and Me. The whole idea of Owen and Lucy sending postcards to each other was charming, and it played out well. They joked about postcards shortly after they first met, and I loved how that was the catalyst for their communication throughout most of the book. Their first kiss was sweet, and I definitely reread the moment many times. I enjoyed the scene in Prague and how Lucy gradually pressed at her parents to acknowledge her and spend time with her. I both liked and disliked chapters 25-34. They flowed well, and I sort of get why they had to be different chapters, but I think they probably would've worked all as one, especially since the book is in 3rd person POV. At times, Owen's relationship with his dad (and his dad in general) felt a bit cliche and perhaps a bit blah to me. However, I did like how Owen and Lucy found different people in their time apart. It was incredibly realistic. As for relationships I wanted to see developed further, I wanted more of Lucy and her brothers! Sibling relationships are always some of the best to me. And, as for the ugly, one of the things I love most about Jennifer's books is that the language and romance are always PG.
The Verdict: I think The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is still my favorite Jennifer E. Smith book, but The Geography of You and Me is a lovely read - definitely one I'll enjoy for quite some time and one that is worth giving a chance.
And now I have a special treat for you. Jennifer has generously donated a hardcover of The Geography of You and Me and magnets that have quotes from her books on them. I'm a bit jealous of the winner - that is one awesome prize! You can enter the giveaway below.