The Geography of You and Me – Jennifer E Smith
So, aside from the pretty cover, what is this about?
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.
Now, Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was a book that I wanted to read pretty much from the moment that I set eyes on the cover and when I finally did get my hands on it, I thought it was cute, but also a little bit forgettable, so it was with some trepidation that I picked up This is What Happy Looks Like (which I reviewed here.) I loved that so much that when I saw this, I though I’d give it a go, based purely on how absolutely adorable This is What Happy Looks Like is and I have to say, The Geography of You and Me is probably my favourite of the three.
Imagine a basket full of wide eyed kittens sat beside a big ball of candy floss and you’ve got a general idea of how lovely, warm and fuzzy this book is likely to make you feel. Geography reminded me a lot of Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, it’s set in NYC, which, if even if you’ve never been, everyone knows is a place of magic and adventure and honestly, Lucy and Owen’s first meeting fitted with it’s setting perfectly. A night of a city wide black out in the city that never sleeps. Gorgeous.
After that we get a subject I’ve wanted to read about for a really long time but not successfully found anything about, a long distance teenage relationship. I don’t know why, but I feel like there is a lot of foil there for a good emotional story. This wasn’t wrought with tension or anything, they were two kids who had a connection and were now travelling and exploring the world whilst keeping in touch using post cards, there were no grand announcements of love or broken promises, which was quite nice and I think makes this a nice gateway into more intense stories with that kind of friction.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was that both Lucy and Owen wanted to travel and explore and wanted to do that for different reasons, the places that they visited and their individual wanderlust are just as much characters and plot lines as they are themselves. I love travelling, I don’t do it often enough, and whilst I, like Lucy, would often claim to be most at home in a city, I do love a good view and I love the culture shock of being somewhere new.
Basically, I could harp on all day about the different sights and sounds and the general adorableness of this book, but all I really need to tell you is that it is well crafted, beautifully written and rather cute. So, give it and everything else by Jennifer E Smith a go, particularly if you’re stuck in on a rainy day or you need to give yourself a little TLC, it is absolutely perfect for that.