Friday, April 11, 2014

Book Review: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Release Date:  April 15th 2014 (review copy from Netgalley)

Info about author: TwitterGoodreadsWebsite

Publisher: Poppy

Age Group: YA

Pages: 352

Buy the book: AmazonBook Depository

Rating: 3/5


Description (from Goodreads):

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.
After reading and really enjoying both A Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and This is What Happy Looks Like, I knew that this new release by Jennifer E.Smith was a must-read for me. What added more excitement was the promise of Edinburgh setting – it’s always fun to read books set in places you know and have lived in.
Lucy is used to dreaming about foreign places she has received postcards from – her parents have always travelled a lot, and almost as a consolation price for not being taken with them to these awesome places, she has always received a postcard. Living in New York City, the city she loves, she dreams about Paris and other European cities, without realizing that soon all those dreams would come true.
Owen has gone through some difficult times and he is anything but happy in New York City. He feels that the city is too crowded and he feels like he does not belong to the apartment building he lives in – even when the apartment he shares with his father is in the basement. Owen dreams about driving around the country, like his father and mother did before he was born, without realizing that soon all of that traveling would become a reality for him.
Lucy and Owen meet in a East Coast wide electric blackout. They get stuck in an elevator and once they get out, wander around the dark streets of the city, eating melted ice-cream and watching stars, a sight very rare in New York City. They both feel like there’s some sort of connection there and get interested about further discovering it – both then life comes to the way. Lucy is whisked to Edinburgh and Owen’s father gets fired which takes them out of the city. They switch addresses and start exchanging postcards and letters in an attempt to see if they actually had a spark or whether it was just something that happened out of necessity and didn’t really mean anything.
I really liked how the novel followed these two characters on their journeys. I kind of hoped that the author would have decided to discover a fewer set of settings/locations, instead of taking these characters around so much. I loved the Edinburgh parts, and hoped that there would have been more of those – though it was interesting to read about these other places as well, I hoped that we would have gotten more information about her time in Edinburgh (I might be a bit biased here). It just occasionally felt like this book was too small/short for all of these big cities (New York, London, San Francisco etc.)
I also hoped there would be more about the problems Owen has faced. I feel like his dealing with them was very generic, and I especially hoped that he would talk about them more with Lucy, thus deepening the relationship. Owen seems like a super cute guy and all, but I never really felt a connection to him. I was rooting for him and Lucy, but I was never over the moon for him myself.
All in all, The Geography of You and Me is quick, cute and occasionally funny read for the fans of contemporary YA love stories. If you have enjoyed the previous novels of Smith, you’ll probably like this one as well.
(If you happen to live in the Edinburgh area, they already had copies of this on Nicholson Street Blackwell’s)

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