The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Originally Read/Reviewed: June, 2014
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 ThoughtsFans 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.