The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E Smith, to be published April 2014 by Headline.
Read: March 2014
Genre: Young Adult/Romance
Source: Publisher – this does not affect my opinion of the book.
# Pages: 352
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis: The Geography of You and Me is a story for anyone who’s ever longed to meet someone special, for anyone who’s searched for home and found it where they least expected it. Owen and Lucy meet in a stalled elevator in New York City during both a power cut and a heat wave, and the brief time they spend together leaves a mark. As their lives take them to Edinburgh and San Francisco, to Prague and to Portland, they can’t shake the memory of the time they shared. Postcards cross the globe when they themselves can’t, as Owen and Lucy experience the joy – and pain – of first love. As they make their separate journeys in search of home, they discover that sometimes it is a person rather than a place that anchors you most in the world.
Initially, I wasn’t too sure what to expect from this book, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. Would it be an over-complicated teeny-bopper drama? Or would it be a sickly sweet and impossible insta-love? l think it just touches the edges of all of these criteria and more, but The Geography of You and Me manages to do it in a humorous, non-offensive and heart-strings-tuggingly brilliant way…
If you are after a gritty read, a story with over-complicated teenage angst or a reasonably realistic love story I suggest you move on. However, if you want just the right amount of impossible insta-love, a story that will make you smile and a leading man who has faced some incredible challenges and battled on, then The Geography of You and Me is right up your street.
- I just can’t help but like this book. It wasn’t particularly mind-blowing or complicated, and it didn’t exactly have my heart racing, but there’s just something about it that seems to have stayed with me since I turned the last page. The relationships between family members bring a realness to the story and the general essence of it makes for a pleasurable read.
- The story is written from the viewpoints of the two protagonists simultaneously, and I really loved this, it gave you an insight into what each person was thinking and feeling as the same events occurred, so that I found myself quietly cheering them on to come to the same realisation at the same time…
- The Geography of You and Me touches on quite a few more serious and emotional topics, like loss, and growing up and away from your past, but it doesn’t linger or focus on them for too long. In this way the novel speaks delicately to the reader about these more serious topics, but still the story presents a whimsical and innocent take on love and relationships.
- The main characters, Owen and Lucy, are both likeable characters who have had their own struggles in life and in relationships, and as a reader it is easy to warm to them and to their story. There aren’t many thrills in this book, my heart never really raced until pretty close to the end, and I would go as far as to say that because it is so non-offensive, some readers may find it slow or boring (shock horror!) but with a story that is just this sweet, it’s hard to resist.
“Maybe they were never meant to have more than just one night. After all, not everything can last. Not everything is supposed to mean something.”
I think your opinion of this book will be greatly influenced by your mood when you read it. If you are done with fluffy, feel-good (and maybe slightly unrealistic) teenage love stories, then please put this book down and come back to it when you can just let go and enjoy it, it is what it is. On more than one occasion though I did think this could make for a good adult rom-com, I’d go see that at the cinema… I’m aware Smith has some other books out that are lingering in my to-read pile, including; This is What Happy Looks Like and The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (if nothing else I LOVE her titles), so I’ll try to get my hands on these to see if the feel-good factor is a running theme in her work.