Publication: April 15th 2014 by Poppy
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
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.
I haven’t read a Jennifer E. Smith novel and I’ve been wanting to for a long time. Besides the eye-catching covers, her books seem really easy, breezy, ready-to-read for me. And thankfully, it’s true.
Lucy and Owen’s map-stretching relationship begin in an unlikely elevator incident. The power’s off across New York City and they’re stuck in the confined metal quarters. They spark up small talk which later blooms into committed conversations. Once they get off the elevator, they head on to the rooftop where the magic begins…
Nothing is what it is. Things are always changing. They can always get better.
There are a lot of elements in this book that I really liked. From Lucy and Owen’s postcard/email situation to the different places they visit. It was like eating ice cream with lots of assorted toppings. I suddenly have an urge to fly to New York City and find the nearest building with a rooftop beneath the blanket of stars. What have you done to me, Jennifer.
I don’t normally say this, but the romance was total swoon. WHAT DID I JUST SAY.
But seriously, I loved how their relationship played out. It started like a flicker; it’s there but they don’t acknowledge it. Eventually they start to notice the attraction between and I just loved reading about their awkward reactions. This is a great example of YA romance done right.
And the geography of the thing — the geography of them — was completely and hopelessly wrong.
Another aspect that I really liked is the format of the story. It’s told in alternating POVs and it really justifies the long-distance situation Lucy and Owen are going through.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel more than I had expected. There were a couple of missteps here in there, but after finishing this book, I couldn’t care less. Jennifer E. Smith is an excellent storyteller. I’m looking forward to reading more of her work.
I also created a playlist (if you could even call it one) for The Geography of You and Me. For me, these songs capture the atmosphere of Lucy and Owen’s romance. Hope you like them! 😀
Long Drive by Jason Mraz // I think this song perfectly encapsulates the novel’s plot and emotion. And there’s something about those acoustic guitars that remind me of stars and rooftops.
Manhattan by Sara Bareilles // This song reminds me of Lucy and Owen’s long-distance relationship and the vague sense of longing that comes with it.
Happy Ending by Danny Elfman // This song is perfect for the last chapters of the book. I can totally imagine this playing while they reunite at the rooftop and gaze at the night sky.