Book Review: The Geography of You and Me

About the Book:

Lucy lives on the twenty-fourth floor. Owen lives in the basement. It’s fitting, then, that they meet in the middle — stuck between two floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they’re rescued, Lucy and Owen spend the night wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is back, so is reality. Lucy soon moves abroad with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

The brief time they spend together leaves a mark. And as their lives take them to Edinburgh and to San Francisco, to Prague and to Portland, Lucy and Owen stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and phone calls. But can they — despite the odds — find a way to reunite?

Smartly observed and wonderfully romantic, Jennifer E. Smith’s new novel shows that the center of the world isn’t necessarily a place. Sometimes, it can be a person.

About the Author:

Jennifer E. Smith is the author of Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in BetweenThe Geography of You and MeThis Is What Happy Looks LikeThe Statistical Probability of Love at First SightThe Storm MakersYou Are Here, and The Comeback Season. She earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and her work has been translated into thirty-three languages. She currently lives in New York City.

The Review:

I had previously read Jennifer E Smith’s book, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight back in 2014. It was a lovely story of Hadley and Oliver and how four minutes had changed their lives. I never got around to reviewing the book. Though I was reminded quite strongly of the story when I was waiting for my flight back home at the Heathrow airport for much of it had been set in London. This novel, however, follows the lives of Lucy and Owen, and how they come meet each other in the most unlikely of circumstances.

In stuffy New York City, Owen and Lucy run into each other in the elevator when everything goes dark. Stuck together in a place which offered neither respite from the heat, nor a way out, stuck between two floors, the two begin talking to each other. They spend the remainder of the night together (after being rescued from the clutches of the elevator) and end up being equally intrigued by one another.

The problem is that what could have been their budding romance gets cut short because the two are forced to abandon their homes in New York, and travel to the opposite ends of the world.

While Owen and his dad go to the west of United States of America, Lucy’s entire life relocated first to London, then Edinburg and then back to London again. They don’t communicate on the instant social media but through postcards. And because as the reader you can understand these two belong together on some level, you begin rooting for them.

Their story for the most part takes place across two continents and they meet in person a handful of times in the novel. Even when they decide to cut each other out from their lives, a magnetic force pulls them back together again.

The Geography of You and Me explores the themes of distance, love, friendship and bonds which seem to stand the test of a lot of things – and risks we take just to find out if something would be worth it in the end or not. I loved the simple language of the book, and while I wish the story had shown us a little more of Lucy’s lives with her brothers, I loved every minute of this particular read.

I’d definitely recommend this book if you’re looking for a light, breezy read. Something to welcome the weekend with or take a break from the monotony of life.

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