Monday, April 14, 2014

The Geography of You and Me ~ Jennifer E Smith (earc) review [@JenESmith @lbkids]

The Geography of You and Me
April 15, 2014
352 pages
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free 5 chapter preview

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 Geography of You and Me is another fun, contemporary YA romance from author Jennifer E Smith. While it features different all different characters than her previous novels  This is What Happy Looks Like
and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, the three are very much in the same vein. (The latter and the new book, especially.)

The two characters, Lucy and Owen, are thrown together in unpredictable, extraordinary circumstances (a blackout in NYC), as in The Statistical Probability, that one meeting, that one night could be all they have. Only, they may not want it to be. Soon separated by great distance - and without much of any foundation to their relationship - the connection they each felt is tested.

Told through dual points-of-view, The Geography of You and Me alternates between chapters told from Lucy's perspective and those from Owen's. For this type of novel, for this story, it is the perfect way for the story to be told. We not only get to know what the narrating character is experiencing, but also how they're feeling about the other character. It adds that bit of tension, of drama, of hope and of frustration when one character misinterprets something or makes a decision that the other cannot understand.

Readers have all the benefits of a first person narration, yet there's almost a sense of an omnipotent narration when the second character's telling happens. It's great to see things from both sides.

The novel takes place over the course of a year. As Lucy and Owen are taken farther away from each other, they try to keep in contact while also trying to establish their new lives. It's the distance the new beginnings create between them that is both the most realistic and the most frustrating. As readers we're left to wonder if they really did have something that unique, that special . . . and if they did, will they recognize it and be able to make it work.

From the beginning, two teenagers stuck in an elevator in their NYC building, to where the novel ends, after each's geographical exploits, it's really enjoyable to see how each character grows. While you wonder if they will be together after all that's changed, it's still fun to read about their lives and adventures.

Rating: 8/10

egalley received from publisher, through NetGalley, for review


  1. Glad to hear this one was good! I love Jennifer E. Smith's novels. Especially TSPoLaFS. I'm definitely going to have to get this one soon!


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