Monday, 21 April 2014

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

The Geography of You and MeTitle: The Geography of You and Me 
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Series:  Standalone
Pages:  352
Publisher: Headline
Date of Publication: 15th April, 2014
Source: Publisher via NetGalley*
Synopsis 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.

My Thoughts:
I absolutely adored This Is What Happy Looks Like back when I read it last year, so I had high hopes for The Geography of You and Me.  While it didn't quite leave me loving it as much as I loved What Happy Looks Like, on the whole I really enjoyed Jennifer's newest release.  It wasn't quite how I expected it to be, but that was okay - it's definitely a worthwhile read.

Apart from the fact that it was Jennifer's newest offering, it was the premise that really drew me to this novel.  I liked the idea of two characters meeting in a lift during a power cut, as cliched as it is, as I was in just the right mood for something easy going and light-hearted.  However, it's not the sweet and soppy romance that I thought it was going to be - but fun and cute nonetheless.

Apart from the beginning scene in the lift, Lucy and Owen spend very little time together throughout the whole book.  They're both whisked away by their parents - Lucy to Edinburgh, and Owen to the west coast of America.  They're thousands of miles apart but neither seems to be able to forget the other.  It was very cute how they kept thinking about each other and I also really liked how when something happened to one of them, a similar something would happen to the other (I'm being purposefully vague here so as not to spoil) - the parallels in their narratives really helped to show how they were still together, in spirit, if you like, despite the distance between them. It sounds kind of soppy, but it was frustrating how much time they didn't spend together so I was taking anything that I could get.

The novel is told in a dual narrative - one Lucy, one Owen.  I liked them both, although I got a little bored of Owen sometimes, preferring to read about the time Lucy spends in Edinburgh and London - both places that I've visited and really love, so they had a particular draw for me.  However, I did really enjoy reading about all the places that each character went to - I didn't know much about a lot places so it was really interesting to travel around America and Europe with them.  I have to admit though, the plot is very slow moving.  It's definitely not a whirlwind romance, and there were times when I got a little bored waiting for something to happen.  Not very often, mind you, but still enough that I thought I ought to mention it.

While The Geography of You and Me didn't quite deliver everything I wanted from it, it was a good read that I would recommend if you're a fan of roadtrip or travel focused contemporaries.  I'm still a huge fan of Jennifer E. Smith and I can't wait to read more of her work.  Bring on the next title!

*Huge thanks to Headline and NetGalley for allowing me access to this title in exchange for an honest review.  In no way has this affected my opinion of the novel. 


  1. I started this one at the beginning of the year, put it down and never went back to it :( I was enjoying what I read though so I'd like to eventually go back to it and finish it...

  2. I love this author so I can't wait to read this one!


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