Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Geography of You and Me
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
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 marvelling at the rare appearance of stars about 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.

I love Jennifer E. Smith’s books are some of my favourite contemporary YAs. As you can imagine, I was beyond excited about reading her latest, The Geography of You and Me and I loved every page of it. This story was exactly what I had hoped it would be, but it was also so much more. I just loved it all.

If it wasn’t for a blackout trapping them together in an elevator, Lucy and Owen may have never met. But that time spent together in the elevator, and the hours spent roaming a dark Manhattan, bring Lucy and Owen together. But once the power comes back, the two go back to their own lives, almost as if nothing happened. Owen and his father drive west and Lucy and her family move to Edinburgh. But even though they only spent those few hours together, Lucy and Owen can’t seem to stop thinking about each other. They keep in touch through postcards and a few e-mails, even meeting when the opportunity presents itself. But it’s hard to know what could happen when every meeting is so brief. Could it be that Lucy and Owen have become the center of each other’s worlds?

Jennifer E. Smith is one of those authors who is on my auto-buy list: as soon as I see her name on a book, I buy that book and read it as quickly as possible. So far she hasn’t disappointed me, and that still holds true now that I’ve read The Geography of You and Me. I loved this story so much. I loved how I got to see both what was going on with Owen and with Lucy over the course of the story, seeing how each one was basically going through a lot of the same things the other was. But more than that, I loved how the story developed over time, everything that happened wasn’t crammed in a few days or weeks, it took place almost over the course of a whole year. And I loved that this story was set all over the states, and at times, all over Europe. I’m not going to lie, as I was reading The Geography of You and Me, I got this urge to travel and see all of the places Lucy and Owen visited over the course of the story. But most of all, I loved that the whole time I was reading I just had this big, goofy smile on my face.

I loved Lucy and Owen. I mean, how could I not? Not only were they kinda perfect together, they were also these awesome individuals outside of that relationship. When I first read about Lucy, I saw a lot of myself in her. I could relate to so many aspects of her personality and so I connected with her right away. Owen I can’t really say I related to, but I was immediately drawn to him, much int eh same way that Lucy was. There was clearly a lot going on with him, and I loved peeling back the layers and finding out everything there was to know about him. And then put Lucy and Owen together, and I was a happy reader. Though it wasn’t immediately obvious that they would work together, especially when both of them immediately found someone else when they moved away from New York. But still. The more I read about them individually, the more I could see that they really belonged together. And so I just kept turning the pages to see how it would all play out. 

In case it wasn’t obvious, I seriously loved Jennifer E. Smith’s The Geography of You and Me. This is the kind of story that reminds me just why I love contemporary stories as much as I do. And if you haven’t already picked up any of Jennifer E. Smith’s books, you are seriously missing out.

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