Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Poppy -- Hachette Book Group
Published: April 15, 2014
Hardcover: 337 pgs
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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.
If you let me, I would never stop talking about Jennifer E. Smith. From the moment I read The Statistical Improbability of Love at First Sight (check out my review here), I was hooked on her writing. You know, normally, when I read a book by a new author, I never remember their name. But Jennifer E. Smith is one that I have never forgotten! Trust me, this is a big deal for me :)
When I had the opportunity to read The Geography of You and Me, I didn't hesitate for a second. Nor was I disappointed. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to believe in fate, who wants to believe in the bigger picture, who wants to believe that somehow, some way, love will conquer all.
Owen and Lucy are a high school senior and junior respectively. One hot September day in NYC, they get stuck in an elevator right in the middle of a blackout. What follows is the reader's opportunity to watch an incredible relationship blossom right before their eyes. And I use the word blossom purposely because Smith's writing style has us unfolding these character layers bit by bit. Owen & Lucy don't just instantly fall in love. They don't necessarily have an instant attraction to each other either. They're just two teens who happen to have great conversation, a lot in common and personalities that are yin and yang. I was engrossed in their wit and humor from the very beginning.
I also love the "geography" part of this book. Not only do we have our two characters physically traveling all over the world (with incredible descriptions that makes me just want to jump on a plane right now), but they're also traveling metaphorically. Both Lucy and Owen are at these points in their lives where they're unsure which way to go, unsure of what they want, and of course, have no idea how to get there. As a result, they become each other's compass -- their point of reference -- their home. And just like that incredible feeling you get from coming home after being away for a while, that's how Owen and Lucy feel when they come back to each other. It is really beautiful to watch.
I have nothing bad to say about this story. It's a teenage love song (although neither character ever uses the word "love", which is a great realistic touch) that tugs at your heart strings and makes you long for those days when you were a starry-eyed day-dreamer (don't deny it, we've all been there).
5 out of 5 stars