The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
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 Jennifer E. Smith that I enjoyed, but didn't fall in love with like I thought I would. Reading the summary of this book, I was ridiculously excited to get my hands on a copy. It sounded cute and fun and perfect for me. But then, once I started reading it, I realized that perhaps my expectations were a little bit too high. The same thing happened with This is What Happy Looks Like, so I guess I should have learned my lesson, shouldn't I?
To clarify, I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy The Geography of You and Me. I did enjoy it. This book is a fun and fast read, and I definitely don't hate it. However, I was expecting this book to blow my mind with its awesomeness, and that did not happen.
This book has a strong beginning. The story starts off with a bang, when Lucy and Owen find themselves stuck in an elevator together. It's cliche and kinda cheesy, but it totally works. This encounter leads to them spending more time together, and the reader can see the beginnings of a relationship between the two of them.
However, after this strong beginning, the story seems to go a bit downhill. This book is supposed to be about a long-distance relationship, but there really isn't much of a relationship to go long-distance. The characters go their separate ways and move on with their lives, and it gets a bit boring for the entire middle of the book.
The Geography of You and Me picks up again towards the end of the book. Obviously, I won't tell you how it ends or anything, but I will say that it ended very strongly, much like it started. I just wish the journey to get to the ending had been more interesting.
One thing I really love about this book is the writing style. The Geography of You and Me is split into different parts, and I particularly liked the format of Part 3. There are certain parts of this book that read almost like poetry, and I think Jennifer E. Smith has such a unique way with words. The setting is also fantastic. The Geography of You and Me takes place in several locations all over the world, and I love that this book has the classic charm of New York right alongside the glamour of Europe, in addition to a few other places.
I also like the way the relationships between Lucy and Owen and their parents are explored in this book. Each character struggles to connect with their parents, but throughout the book, the parent-child relationships grow stronger and become an important part of the story. The parents start off as background characters that don't play big roles in the book, but by the end, their relationships to their children become important factors in the story.
The Geography of You and Me was fun to read, but it's not as fantastic as I'd hoped it would be. The beginning and ending are strong, but the middle leaves something to be desired. I love the writing style, setting, and familial relationships in this book. If you enjoyed Jennifer E. Smiths books The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and/or This is What Happy Looks Like, I'm positive you'll enjoy this book as well.