Latest Read: The Geography of You and Me by Jen E. Smith

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Publication date: Apr. 15, 2014
Publisher: Poppy
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Purchased
Summary: 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. (Adapted

The good
Ever since I read The Geography of You and Me, I keep wondering where I was during the northeast blackout in 2003. I was already working in the city and I even remember my best friend telling me she got free ice cream from Coldstone because everything was melting.  But I have no idea where I was! I'm guessing I got straight on the bus to go home and missed out on all the craziness? Which makes me kind of sad. I would've loved free ice cream. All that aside, I loved this book! You may as well know that now. It evoked so many feelings and this yearning to travel. I loved all the NYC parts of course but that's not their only destination. It's just the starting point. The characters, Lucy and Owen, get separated by states and countries and we're along with each of them as they discover a new place and try to keep this unnamed thing between them alive.

Lucy and Owen meet on the night of the blackout when they get stuck together in the elevator of the apartment building they live in. This situation sparks a conversation and when they're rescued only to discover the power is out everywhere, they spend the night together. They explore New York as it oddly celebrates the lack of power and look at the stars from the roof of the apartment. It's a pretty unforgettable moment for both although neither knows what it means. And before they get a chance to explore it, Lucy finds out she's moving to Edinburg with her family and Owen is road-tripping out west with his dad. Thus begins their long-distance relationship - told in alternating point-of-views - and how they use postcards and emails to stay in touch.

I love Jennifer E. Smith's writing but there was something extra beautiful about the writing in Geography. Something about her words captured so much yearning. To see the world, find out who you are, to be in love, to find a true connection and be able to hold onto it. Maybe it's because these are emotions and desires I completely relate to but I was just so moved by Lucy and Owen's relationship and their own personal journeys. It's not just about the one night and the romance though. They're seeing more of the world and in the process learning a lot about themselves and their families. Owen and his dad have always been close but their roadtrip brings them closer together. Lucy has always felt disconnected and almost unwanted by her parents but she discovers how wrong she was (the mother-daughter moments really got to me!). I wasn't expecting their parents to be a big part of the book and I loved that they were.

(No) reservations
I wanted to more? I was not ready to say goodbye to Lucy and Owen! But this is definitely a good thing to feel at the end of a book.

Do I recommend?
Yes! This just might be my favorite Jen E. Smith book, or a very close tie with The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. Read this, that and basically every one of these author's books.

Happy reading!

1 comment

  1. I absolutely LOVE your review of The Geography of You and Me, Rachel! You captured so perfectly the feelings that this book invoked, especially in the last paragraph under "The Good". I fell so completely for this story, for Lucy and Owen, and for the words in this book. Glad you loved it too!


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