The Geography of You and Me – Jennifer E. Smith

Synopsis

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.

Review

This book was so saccharine sweet it was almost unbearable. I liked it, yes, but it was TOO MUCH. It was too quirky, too cute, too romantic and dramatic. What are the chances?

I wish their one night together was a bit more magical. I didn’t really feel their spark on the elevator, which made the rest of the book fall a little flat as a result. I loved The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and This is What Happy Looks Like, so this was a bit of a let-down in comparison. Are they meant to be soulmates? I didn’t really feel their connection. 

I loved the travelling though. There are so many places in the world, and I really got a flavour if each one. It was almost laughable how far these two people got from each other. But at the end of the day, they still found each other through beautiful coincidences. 

I think the book understands and embraces its own unrealistic qualities. Who writes letters anymore? Who chooses to send postcards to get back in touch rather than going through cyberspace? And yet somehow, it worked with these characters in the places they lived.

I felt like everything came secondary to their relationship. Also, I understood the point was to realize how similar these two people were, but the déjà vu of this dual-perspective narrative was a bit much. If ever, it might have been cool if each page was divided into two columns, one with each person’s perspective at the same instance in time or with the same thought. It got too repetitive at times, and I felt like not much ended up happening. The story was uneventful and unfleshed out, but Smith really does have a way with describing the setting. I felt like I was right there with Lucy and Owen.

Related Reading

  • Just One Day & Just One Year (duo) – Gayle Forman
  • Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist – Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight – Jennifer E. Smith

Rating: 3.5/5

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