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

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Series: No

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance

Release Date: April 15, 2014

Originally Read/Reviewed: June, 2014

Format: Kindle

Source: NetGalley

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon


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.
My Thoughts

Fans of Jennifer E. Smith know what to expect with her YA novels. Contemporary setting, likable characters and a sweet romance. The Geography of You and Me is no exception. Lucy and Owen are teenagers who have a happenstance meeting and spend a brief but unforgettable time together during a blackout. Before they have a chance to truly get to know one another and find out if there could be more, they both move away and are an ocean apart.

And therein lies the story. This is not a typical romance in that the main characters are separated for the vast majority of the book. They do keep in touch somewhat but the story largely revolves around their lives while they are apart. Owen embarks on a cross country road trip with his father, searching for a place to call home. Lucy lives and travels across Europe with her parents. It was during this part that I felt the story lagged a bit and became somewhat repetitive. Two teenagers, unsure of what is coming next in their lives, feeling somewhat directionless about the future, and continually plagued by what-if's over their initial meeting. The re-connection about three-quarters through the book was too brief to be satisfying. While I enjoyed the premise, I felt there was simply too much separation to truly be effective. After so much time apart I found myself losing interest in the would-be relationship.

On the plus side, I really enjoyed the dual POV. It worked perfectly for this story and both Lucy and Owen had unique voices. The multiple settings was also interesting and I enjoyed the brief looks at Lucy's travels through London, Edinburgh, Paris and Prague.

I would recommend this one to fans of Jennifer E. Smith and to those who like their YA romance on the sweet, 'clean teen" side.

3.5/5 Stars 
Do you prefer to read "sweet" YA contemporary or something a little edgier? 


13 comments

  1. This sounds like a good read. I've had it on my TBR list for a while now. I'm not sure how I feel that they only meet briefly 3/4 of the way through though. I'd have thought that they'd have more contact with each other once they went their separate ways. I'll still give this book a shot if my library gets it in but I'm not currently in the mood for a clean teen book right now. Maybe it's the upcoming holiday but I find myself wanting to read more dark and edgier books at the moment.

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    1. This was the second I'd read by Smith (first being This Is What Happy Looks Like) and I decided to give her one more try after this. I read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight last year or so and it was about a 3 star read for me. The stories are good enough but I came to the conclusion that Smith's particular brand of YA are just not my cup of tea. Very sweet, very "clean teen", and I typically prefer something a little grittier and realistic. I hope you'll enjoy this one if you decide to give it a try. I wouldn't necessarily buy it but it's perfect for a library loan. :) And I agree that it's also a good time of year for something a little darker.

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  3. I think I own this one. I really like her books when in the mood for a sweet YA read. Great review!

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    1. Thanks Grace. She definitely does sweet YA well.

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  4. Great review! I don't mind sweet YA but for some reason every book I've read by this author has driven me mad! I just don't gel with her

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    1. I'm kind of with you, Eva. This was the second I read by her and was kind of underwhelmed. I gave her one more try after this and came to the conclusion that her books just aren't for me.

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  5. I'm not sure I would like the theme of this book. I think the time apart would be a problem for me. Thanks for sharing this review, kept me from reading something I might not like.

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    1. Yeah, all the time apart for the MC's started to wear thin. Had I known that going in I might have not read this one.

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  6. I'm so glad you reshared this review because I didn't get to read it the first time around! Also this book has been on my radar for a while but I never got around to reading it. Although to be honest, I'm glad I read your review first because I might pass on this. The long distance relationship doesn't sound like I'll like it because I think I'd be the same as you: I would find myself losing interest.
    Great review Tanya!
    Emily @ www.rabbitholereviews.com

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    1. Thanks Emily! I've read 3 by Smith now and I've decided her books just aren't for me. The writing is fine but I find her characters always feel so young (even younger than they are supposed to be) and they're just overall so sweet/squeaky clean which isn't really my preference. Tbh, I probably wouldn't recommend them. There... I have saved you from making a terrible mistake. LOL

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  7. I've never read Smith but I've always been drawn to her covers. ;) I think I'd probably feel similarly about this particular story. The traveling and slower pace would grate if there isn't a clear outcome to the travel. And I'm curious about how things work out since the MCs are apart for most of the book and barely keep in touch... If I do give this one a go, I'll probably get it from the library.
    As for sweet versus edgy YA - I don't really have a preference. I just want a good story. :D

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    1. She does have some cute covers, Brandee. That's probably what first drew me to her books. I read This is What Happy Looks Like, then this one, then The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I can honestly say I've given her books a fair shot but realized they're just not for me. A little too young/squeaky clean for me. I'd definitely recommend the library if you wanted to check one of hers out to see how it worked for you.

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