Friday, August 28, 2015

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

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.

While there were a number of elements I liked about this book, as a whole, this book didn't grab me the way I thought it would.

In The Geography of You and Me, Lucy and Owen meet when they are trapped in an elevator during a blackout. They spend ther est of the blackout together, but circumstances soon force them apart. Still, there's something there that they can't quite let go of. Is there any hope for them at all.

I enjoy reading books set in Manhattan, as well as books that are a bit like travel books. That is, the character/s explore the city and you get to more or less see for yourself what's there to love about the place. It's during these exploration scenes that the book shines for me. The characters travel to lots of places in the US and in Europe and in most of these places, you get a sense for what's special about them and there's something about the way they're described that inspires me to travel to these places.

The characters, I think, are where my disconnect with the book lies. Lucy and Owen look like okay people, but I felt like there's still some distance between me and them. I did like their romance, though, even if there were times when it felt frustrating to read. It was a bittersweet romance that holds promise for the future, but it's the kind of romance that can go either way in the real world. Hopefully, in their fictional world, they do live happily ever after.


  1. It's a fun look at living in New York.
  2. It can inspire you to travel.
  3. It can get you to take a look at how you communicate with the people you love and the people you used to be very good friends with. 


  1. It can be a little sad to watch the characters struggle to find their place in the world.

He was like one of her novels, still unfinished and best understood in the right place and at the right time. 

  1. You like traveling.
  2. You like books set in New York.
  3. You like reading about characters that have an unconventional courtship. 



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