Monday 10 February 2014

Book Review - The Geography of You and Me

The Geography of You and Me
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genres: Contemporary | Young Adult
Release Date: 15th April 2014
Publishers: Little Brown
No. Pages: 352
Source: Review Copy - Little Brown
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
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.

In the midst of problems: personally, mentally, physically, emotionally and financially, throughout the general pressure and stress of finding my way through those problems and moving on with life, I found The Geography of You and Me on NetGalley. I'd been interested in this book ever since I knew it would exist, going as far as it being my first ever Waiting on Wednesday post, and the moment I saw it, I knew I had to request it; it sounded and looked fantastic, so sitting and waiting, waiting and sitting, I checked NetGalley every hour for 3 days until I was accepted, and let me tell you, the excitement had hit a record high. Without even thinking about it, I downloaded it and waited patiently until I could read it; I read it in 3 and a half hours.

There was instantly something so simple, sweet and adorable about the entire scenario, getting stuck in a lift with someone, and how those few seconds difference could have made the biggest of changes, yet Lucy and Owen were such realistic characters, and they brought this naive and spontaneous nature to themselves that made the story what it was. There's something kind of wonderful about the thought of meeting someone in a lift, and being stuck with them and their company throughout what should have been one of the most scary experiences of somebody's life, and to then share that moment for a whole night, in the middle of a New York City blackout with defrosting ice cream and a sky full of stars, is just magical. Smith managed to make the whole thing so believable and almost like a conscious thought that I was so lost and wrapped up in the whole story from chapter one; I couldn't have asked for anything better.Smith has produced some great characters in the past with Hadley and Oliver from The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, and I thought I couldn't love another sweet-talking, family guy like Oliver, but Smith surprised me with Owen, and gave me a damaged, yet caring and adventurous young man whom if I was a year younger, I'd have snapped up like a shot. Her characters suffer a lot when it comes to their parents, and sometimes, authors won't venture into deaths and AWOL parents, but Smith doesn't think twice, and really manages to show how much a single accidental death can affect and father and son relationship, and how it can start a spark in a new future for them both, how one single decision can make the difference between going forwards and going backwards. Not only did she give me Owen, but she gave me Lucy too, a girl with big dreams and an even bigger heart, who dreamt of travelling to somewhere out there, specifically Paris, and letting her heart take her to where she needed to be; a brave, charismatic and solitary young girl, and I could really relate to her on an emotional level. Their story, written across the globe in miles and postcards, via lakes and rivers, from the hills of Edinburgh to the seaport of Seattle, right back to New York, to the night they met, for me, couldn't have been more perfect.

There's something about this book that is addictive; I just couldn't put it down. It covered the aspect of growing away from people, moving on with life, taking what live throws at you, living your dreams and how your dreams aren't always what you want in the end. Something about family, the difference between having someone and not having someone, having something, somewhere, a part of you lost everywhere you've been and being happy with it. Owen and Lucy grew so much as people, growing as they learnt from their wrong relationships, growing into themselves and the journeys they took over nine months, growing as they learnt from each others lessons, and growing to meet each other once more. There was something so honest and perfect about this story, something so sweet and lovable, something so amazing about trecking across the world to find that home isn't a place, it's a person, and a feeling, a pull to something better. This book, to me, is what home feels like.


  1. I only skimmed your review because I'll be reading this soon and I like to go in with not much expectations of anything. It sounds like her usual writing though I really enjoyed her other 2 books so I have no doubt I'd like this one, too!

    1. If you liked her other two, you should like this one just as much! It's fine that you skim read, I completely understand.
      I hope you enjoy it :)

  2. I haven't read her last book yet but I adored The Stat. Prob. (I seriously avoid spelling that out as much as possible - lol) and am so glad to hear ho addictive this one was!

    1. I've always wondered how I can shorten that name, I finally know now! And I think if you've enjoyed her previous stories, then you'll love this one too, it's wonderful! :D I hope you get to read it soon :)

  3. This sounds amazing! I love when you're able to emotionally connect to characters, so I'm excited to meet Owen and Lucy. Their character growth also sounds fantastic. Great review :)

    1. Thank you Montana, I really think everyone could enjoy this book, there's something for everyone :)


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