Lucy and Owen meet unexpectedly when they are thrown together as the power goes out over New York – trapping them both between floors in the elevator of the building they both live in. As they wait for help, they start talking, both leaving an impact on the other. And as their lives take them in different directions and across the oceans, they discover more about life, the journeys they take, and home too….
I loved the interactions between Lucy and Owen. I loved how one meeting in an elevator could spark something that could turn out to be so important and beautiful. The idea of the elevator was brilliant, being stuck in a moment like that and not only sharing it with someone but having that one moment change your life. As they move around the world they keep in touch through things like postcards or emails. But throughout all of this I really felt their connection, and it felt like no matter what happened in their own individual lives, they still had their connection to each other and that was wonderful.
I really liked that The Geography Of You And Me had such a selection of locations in! Like with many of Jennifer’s novels, this is SUCH a heart-warming and beautifully written story. It isn’t all smiles though, as Jennifer writes very realistic scenes and as readers we see the different issues and problems going on in Lucy and Owen’s life separately. Regardless of this, Jennifer still manages to keep a special element to the novel, and this book had me thinking of the many places I’ve been and the true meaning of what it is to be “home”.
I thoroughly enjoyed the time that I spent with Lucy and Owen, both separately and together. Jennifer E Smith has written another fantastic novel, which is vibrant, honest and beautiful. Jennifer’s fans and new readers too will be delighted by this book.
on 14 May 2014
God I just love Jen E. Smith's books. I am a HUGE, HUGE fan of hers and I am pleased to report that I loved The Geography of You and Me so so much!
To me, a book that really stands out is one that I just can't wait to finish work to read; one that I just want to keep going back to over and over again because it is just so good. When I had finished this, I wanted to read it all over again. It made me feel all nice inside and left me feeling happy.
The title for this fantastic book also really summed up the story; we get to travel to so many different places with Lucy and Owen. It made the story feel all the more special and unique, and I loved reading how their relationship developed across the distance between them.
I found Lucy a very relatable character. She prefers her own company at times and loves reading. It was Owen that I felt the most sympathy and compassion for though. So young and had already dealt with so much.
This was an incredibly sweet and uplifting novel based on young love, but real love and how all it takes is a chance meeting and it was this that melted my heart.
An incredibly poignant story that will stay with me for a long time.
Despite owning all of Jennifer E Smith's books, The Geography of You and Me is the first book of hers that I've read. There is quite a lot of hype surrounding her books so I've always had high expectations of them and unfortunately I think this is what tarnished my reading of TGoYaM. Don't get me wrong, I thought that it was a great read, it just didn't blow me away which is what I expected.
The Geography of You and Me follows the story of Lucy and Owen, two teenagers who get stuck in an elevator one fateful night in New York after the entire city loses power. Owen is the builder manager's son who lives in the basement and Lucy lives in a swanky apartment on floor 24 but despite living in the same building and seeing each other around, they have never spoken to each other. After just 30 minutes in an elevator together, they both realise that their first impressions of one another aren't completely accurate and they spend the rest of the night together walking around New York before eventually ending up on the roof of the building they live on. After talking for hours they fall asleep lying side by side on the roof, but when Lucy wakes up the following morning Owen is gone. Shortly after this night, Owen's dad loses his job as building manager and they are forced to vacate the basement apartment. Not long after that, Lucy dad gets a new job in Edinburgh. Despite being on opposite sides of the world, the two of them continue to send postcards to each other, keeping their relationship alive but both of them wonder whether the distance between them, both metaphorically and physically, is just too great.
The Geography of You and Me is a great young adult romance that isn't overly sappy or melodramatic. It's simply about two people who have a connection fighting to keep that connection alive, even when oceans separate them. That is what makes this novel more unique and, dare I say it, better than other YA romances on bookshelves today, because it focuses on two people finding common ground in the unlikeliest of situations and it isn't some whirlwind romance. What's interesting is that there isn't actually that much interaction between Lucy and Owen throughout this story. A lot of the narrative focuses on their individual lives in their respective cities and yet there are still threads which keep the two together in your mind so you don't forget about one whilst you're reading about the other. This was nice as it meant that this story isn't solely focussed on romance but about personal growth and development. The only problem with this was that it made it a little difficult for me to find their connection credible as I didn't think that the amount of time that they'd spent communicating was enough for a relationship as deep as theirs to develop.
Although I liked the romance aspect of this story, it's nothing earth shattering and I never got butterflies in my stomach or anything like that. I think the real winning factor of this story is the two characters themselves and it's seeing them develop as individuals, rather than as a couple, that really had me engrossed in this story. There's something very real about both the protagonists, Lucy and Owen. Although this story isn't written from the first person perspective, Jennifer E Smith still manages to give the reader a real insight into their minds and their way of thinking. Both characters are surprisingly mature for people their age and I can imagine both of them being real people that I'd like to get to know. There is a certain chemistry between the two and their, for lack of a better word, 'banter' made me chuckle to myself frequently throughout this story.
I did feel that certain aspects of the story were rushed or under-developed but the overall plot and story were still excellent. This story is heartwarming and it restores your faith that sometimes those small moments can turn into big moments as long as you're willing to chase after what you want. There's something about this book that made me want to read it all at once. I read this entire story in one sitting and it's the sort of you flick through on a lazy afternoon when you're in the mood for something light-hearted.
All in all, I greatly enjoyed reading The Geography of You and Me and the only reason I say I was disappointed is because I expected this to be a book full of romance and I believe that it what Jennifer E Smith's books are marketed as, but I didn't really get that vibe from this novel. Instead I thought this to be a great story of personal development and going after what you want even if the chances of your dream coming true are minute. This book leaves you feeling really content, not overly happy or sad, but content and I'd highly recommend it to fans of YA, particularly YA romances.
First posted on: http://whats--hot.net
on 16 April 2016
Before I started The Geography of You and Me, a lot of people told me that I simply had to read books by Jennifer E. Smith. With that in mind I bought Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and borrowed This is What Happy Looked Like but I still haven’t read either of them. So when The Geography of You and Me came out, I knew I should try it. Feedback came in saying it was really great so I finally read it. Unfortunately I was slightly disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy the book but for me it wasn’t a masterpiece. It was a quick, simple, plain love story that was okay but nothing spectacular.
Possibly what made this book feel mediocre to me were the characters. In my opinion they felt a little flat. I didn’t connect with either of the two main characters and thus I wasn’t overly invested in their grand love story. It was entertaining to read about them but nothing about either character has really stayed with me. I didn’t fall in love with the characters which made it difficult to fall in love with the story. I’m not sure if they needed more characterisation or if they just didn’t work for me personally.
Another issue I had with the book was that it had a fairly predictable plot. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem as the characters or writing style make it easy to look past but that is, unfortunately, not the case with this story. Or, it wasn’t for me. While the writing style was easy to read and fall into, it wasn’t anything exceptional which it needed to be to counter everything else. However, before I sound too negative, this story is a little bit like your average teen rom-com. Light, easy to watch, and a nice way to feel good for a while.
Essentially I think my expectation of this book ruined it a little for me. I was expecting something that would grip me, make my heart sing and make me yearn for a love as beautiful as the one on the page but instead I got a simple, light-hearted romance book that is nothing to sing about. I enjoyed this book on the lowest level; it allowed me to escape for a little while which was nice and I felt a little lifted afterwards. I would recommend this book if you want a quick book that will make you smile for a while.
on 17 January 2015
My Thoughts On The Book:
'Home is who the heart finds'
The Plot Of The Story:
I'm not really a big reader of contemporary romance novels but after reading several rave reviews of The Geography Of You And Me I decided to request it from Bookbridgr and give it go and I'm actually rather glad I did as it's a lovely and beautifully crafted tale of love separated by the ocean.
This really is a lovely book, granted to a particularly long one but long enough to restore your faith in the power of love a little as we watch the romance blossom between the two lead Lucy and Owen but it's not a straight forward love as they are separated by a great distance when the pair's fathers both take jobs that move them as far apart as you can get, with Owen remaining in the States but regularly moving on and never settling anywhere for a great period of time and Lucy being moved all the way across the ocean to a windswept Scotland and a brand new life. Yet, the pair can never truly forget each other as they correspond by postcard, which an incredibly cute and touching thing. The distance does eventually cool their feelings but truly it never leaves either of them but is there any point if they are never going to lay eyes on each other ever again?
The crux of the plot is that all important first love of your life and how that love never really dissipates completely..... I for one still have certain feeling towards my very first real boyfriend and he will always hold a part of my heart that no-one else can ever touch and I think that it the important factor in this story, ow first love changes your life forever.
What I really liked about this book was that the pair are parted by a real and genuine reason and not by some silly McGuffin that doesn't make sense. Lucy literally leaves the country to live abroad and that's something real and makes the story all the more realistic. For the majority of the book they live very separate lives as they try to 'get over' each other and the strange and new feeling they felt in the very short space of time that they were together
The story is a story of how you should never let go of what you love regardless of how fr apart you are, if someone is dear to your heart that their presence lingers even when they aren't there if you hold them close enough they are never really gone and in the end you'll appreciate them even more when you have those moments together.
Lucy - the shy girl from a well off family, very innocent in her one way and lives a strange and quite lonely kind of life until that fateful moment in the elevator with the strange boy happens to her. Owen opens her eyes to the world and her heart to the possibilities love brings.
Owen - the outgoing boy from a working class family, grieving the loss of his mother and living a disjointed and unsettled life until he meets Lucy. She give him a focus to take his mind off of his sad and grief stricken life and gives him something positive to focus his attentions on.
The Book's Setting (Time and Place):
The Time - The Now
The Place - Mainly set in the USA and Scotland
This book is such a simple book to read, it flows easily from the page into the mind and you don't need to put a great deal on concentration in to reading to understand what's going on which is unusual for me and I usually go for more challenging reads but being challenging doesn't make a book better as sometimes a simple book can be just as good as is the case with this book.
It's a refreshing book for me, who likes the grim-dark and somewhat depressing fantasy books, to read something this light and reminds me of how I felt as a teenager just venturing out into the world of real and genuine romantic feelings. It was scary but so much fun and had made me really miss it to a degree and that is what this book is to me, it's reminder of the possibilities that face you when you fall for that first boy and how it widens your horizons in ways you don't expect and Jennifer E. Smith has captured it all perfectly in The Geography Of You And Me. It has all the innocence of young love and it's that that makes to story so sweet to read, you feel for them both as you begin to remember moments in your own past and I really enjoyed the chance to reminisce through my own memory's of similar times.
I really did love reading this book and I will be on the lookout for more books by Jennifer E. Smith as I'm quite intrigued to see if she can pull off another book the way she has this one. It's such a sweet and simple book that leave your heart feeling much lighter and brighter by the end of the story although I would love to know how things pan out for Lucy and Owen after the book closes..... do they make it work? How do they make it work, what lengths did they have to go to..... things like that, I need to know if they have their happy ending or did it all fizzle out? And that's the only downside of the book for me that unanswered questions that book raised for me of what happened beyond the pages of the book but apart from that this book is a amazing piece of contemporary writing and should not be missed under any circumstances.
on 28 December 2014
Having enjoyed Jennifer E. Smith's previous books The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and This is What Happy Looks Like tremendously, when I got the chance to request The Geography of You and Me for review I jumped on it. And Smith's third YA offering doesn't disappoint. With an easy writing style and some quirky playing with chapter lengths, The Geography of You and Me offers a charming exploration of love at (almost) first sight, but also of two young people trying to find their feet in the world independent of their families.
On one end there's Lucy. Born into privilege, with all she might want at her disposal, yet when we meet her she is lonely and home alone as her parents have jetted off on holiday to Paris and her brothers are both away at university. Yet while she may be lonely, Lucy is in no way a tragic figure, in fact she's quite funny. While her story is bookended by her meetings with Owen, much of the book sees her moving away from New York and living outside of the US. I loved her discovery of life abroad and away from her safe NYC haunts. Though at one point I wanted to just shake her parents when Lucy has the courage to express her desire for more time with them, especially on their travels and they react as if she'd only had to ask. How could she have known? Why didn't they just ask the children!? That just made me mad. Lucy was already at home in herself at the start of the novel, but she finds her place in the world through the course of the novel, with Owen only being part of that development, not the catalyst.
Owen is the Downstairs to Lucy's Upstairs: the son of her building's property manager, he lives in the basement of her high rise. His home situation is less financially and emotionally stable than Lucy's, especially with his dad still in deep mourning after the loss of his wife and Owen's mum. I really empathised with Owen's feeling of responsibility for his dad, having to cover for him at work and feeling guilty at possibly moving away for university after graduation. It always breaks my heart to see a child feel that way and Owen was no exception. I liked though that over the course of the novel, and during their trek across the United States, Owen's dad comes out of his mourning fugue and he and Owen rebuild their lives and their bond.
Smith does banter extremely well and the dialogues between Lucy and Owen are wonderful, as are Lucy's brief scenes with Liam. I didn't like Owen's scenes with Paisley as much, as they seemed somehow ephemeral, though perhaps that was the point, seeing how that situation comes to an end. Something that struck me with all of Smith's books and with this latest one in particular, is how visual they are; they feel like they would translate to film very well. Besides the great banter and lovely emotional beats, Smith's smooth writing makes The Geography of You and Me an extremely engaging story, one that is hard to put down before reaching the final page.
In the end The Geography of You and Me isn't about love at first sight, it's about growing up, about the people that move into your head and linger there, asking you to imagine what could be, about exploring all the possibilities. I love that Smith ends the book not on a happily ever after, but on an `we're here now and we'll see what happens next'. It's what I'd like to call a realistic happy ending, because how many people live happily ever after with the person they fall in love with at seventeen? While The Geography of You and Me isn't my favourite of Smith's novels - that title still belongs to This is What Happy Looks Like - I had a wonderful time with the book. If you're a fan of Smith's or you're looking to read a fun and charming YA romance, this is a book you'll want to read.
This book was provided for review by the publisher.
on 8 December 2014
Have you ever finished a book and felt as though not a lot happened during the story? Or have you ever finished a book and feel very underwhelmed by it? Well, that’s how I feel about The Geography of You and Me and, I’m starting to feel as though maybe I’m just not meant to enjoy any of Smith’s work.
The premise of The Geography of You and Me is very cute. It’s about two teenagers – Lucy and Owen – who live in the same apartment complex but they don’t meet until they find themselves stuck inside an elevator together after the electricity is New York City goes out. After that one meeting, they find themselves drawn to one another but it seems as though fate has other ideas when Lucy moves to Edinburgh and Owen goes on the road, moving from place to place so his father can find work. But somehow they manage to keep in touch by short and sweet postcards and soon they find they can’t forget about each other at all.
Like I said the premise of this story is super cute – but that’s probably about it all it has to offer. Lucy’s and Owen’s story forces them to have some form of long distance relationship – if you could call it that – because they’re never really in any kind of relationship. They’re only tied by the postcards they send. They don’t speak on the phone, they very rarely email – due to Owen not liking social media – and when they do finally meet, everything seems to go wrong. Their supposed to have a deep connection with each other but it’s not something we really see right until the very last minute. During the 300+ pages of the story, 200+ pages are just about their normal day to day life and I have to say, I really found the story quite boring just because there is not any real communication between the characters during most part of the story. I was kind of expecting the story to have a swoon-worthy romance and, exciting moments and fantastic quotes with the hope of them getting together, but honestly the whole story was just so flat that it just didn’t work for me. By the end of the story the characters were in a no better place than when they first met each other and, it felt as though I’d read the whole story for nothing – no progress whatsoever.
I have one more book of Smith’s sitting on my shelf and I will give that a try soon, but if that has the same result as her other books I’ve read, I think it’s time to leave this author behind. But I do hope you enjoy this more than me.
"There's a difference between loneliness and solitude." Never were there truer words spoken. I loved this wee book and the sheer simplicity of it. No complicated love triangles, no predictable bad boy and no overly dramatic teen scenarios. It is just Owen and Lucy, and the perfect imperfection of the two of them. Life is strange when it comes to rare random encounters, especially when two people click in a way that is hard to describe. Something more than just a physical need, a connection of souls, although it may be somewhat of a cliché.
Sometimes when you meet the right person it just isn't the right time to be together. People pass each other like ships in the night, and that's all it will ever be. Just a chance encounter.
Owen and Lucy hold on tight to that red string , which seems to connect them. Throughout the span of time, the complexity of different locations and other relationships, they still pine for each other. Sending postcards to each other, almost like stepping back a few decades before emails, sms and social media. Not many of the new generations understand the nostalgic thought behind this now outdated mode of communication. Not many of them will ever experience the beauty of receiving a handwritten letter. In this technology filled era communication is electronic, digital and paperless.
The Geography of You and Me is suitable for both younger and older readers, despite the main market target being YA. The story is such that the ages of the two main characters could be raised a few decades and the tale would still remain the same. The undeniable and inexplicable connection of two human beings.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.
on 5 August 2014
Lucy lives in New York City and she is a dreamer, always wishing that she could travel the world and be anywhere but stuck in the city, although she considers NYC a great love of hers, and even though she's always being left behind there while her Parents travel the world, she still loves it regardless. Owen is fairly new to the city. His Dad is the new Building Manager of the building Lucy also lives in, and he isn't so keen on the city after moving around quite a lot after the loss of his Mom.
The two of them are thrown together when they are stuck in an elevator in their building one day in the midst of a wide-spread blackout of the city and further into other cities. It's then that Owen takes off his headphones and him and Lucy talk, unveiling more about their similar lives, surrounded by the emotion of feeling like they're always searching for something and are stuck in one place. After being let out of the elevator, the blackout is still surrounding the city and Lucy and Owen explore up to her apartment in display of the postcards her Parents send her from their worldly travels, discuss life and how they ended up where they were in life and up to the roof where Lucy had never been before, but still shows Owen just how beautiful the city is, in the only place they can see the stars that are usually hidden by the skyscrapers. It's then that he starts to see the city isn't what he thought it was and starts to see more into the wonder of it all.
Those moments kick off the events and story that follows through the countries, postcards and meetings for Lucy and Owen, showing how what they had defied miles - their connection and how that rare moment of the blackout changed their lives - and I truly couldn't help but fall head over heels in love with it all. The characters...the beauty of the travelling aspects and cities...the writing...Jennifer E. Smith has definitely outdone herself yet again with what could only be described as one of the best YA books I've read this year, and maybe even more than that.
on 4 July 2014
Simply adorable! This was the first Jennifer E. Smith book I have ever read, and I can guarantee you I will definitely be reading more; it will make you swoon at the long-distance relationship of two loveable teens. The cover is gorgeous, so happy and bright it immediately grabs your attention. The colour of blue may represent the idea of how they are both separated by the sea.
Lucy from the top floor and Owen from the bottom floor have never met one another, but when they become trapped in a lift together, their friendship soon blossoms. Even though they both travel in opposite directions, they still possess a strong longing for one another. About the strength of friendship and love, these two opposite teenagers are stretched apart though like anything, they soon find one another again.
Lucy and Owen are two adorable and sweet characters, their friendship will make you 'ah', and their postcards will make you smile. They are two opposite characters, both from opposite backgrounds, but their similarities and love bring them together into a lovely, cute relationship.
I liked the idea of the significance of countries for them, like France and how their love for travel was one of the main focuses that brought them together. My only criticism was I found the plot very slow, however the chapters were nice and short meaning it became a cute, fluffy read.
A simple yet fun and quick read, perfect for a summers day.
*Received from Publisher in exchange for an honest review*