The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
'For fans of John Green, Stephanie Perkins and Sarah Ockler, THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME is a story for anyone who's ever longed to meet someone special, for anyone who's searched for home and found it where they least expected it.
Owen lives in the basement. Lucy lives on the 24th floor. But when the power goes out in the midst of a New York heatwave, they find themselves together for the first time: stuck in a lift between the 10th and 11th floors. As they await help, they start talking...
The brief time they spend together leaves a mark. And as their lives take them to Edinburgh and San Francisco, to Prague and to Portland they can't shake the memory of the time they shared. Postcards cross the globe when they themselves can't, as Owen and Lucy experience the joy - and pain - of first love.
And as they make their separate journeys in search of home, they discover that sometimes it is a person rather than a place that anchors you most in the world.'
Although I have another book by Jennifer E Smith sitting on my bookshelf I have not yet read it. So this was my first encounter with this author. There has been a lot of hype surrounding this book on Twitter and Booktube and I was expecting great.
The story idea is a good one, Lucy and Owen both live in New York in the same apartment block, one day the city loses power and they both happen to get stuck in a lift together. They begin to talk to help pass the time until someone comes to rescue them. After this night they have both left lasting impressions on each other. As their lives take them down different paths, they find themselves in opposite directions of the globe.
On visiting a new place they send each other postcards keeping in touch, a small joke between them that was started after that fateful night.
We follow Owen and Lucy as they move from city to city - something that I particularly enjoyed reading about as a keen traveler myself this appealed to me. The description of the cities was excellent and the book flowed well.
I would say that at times I thought the book was moving a little slowly and a chunk in the middle felt like not a lot happened. I found that the story picked up again around part 3 and really enjoyed the book from this point.
The story is told from both Lucy and Owen's point of view and we learn bits about their family from their own perspective. I particularly enjoyed reading Lucy and knowing more about her life. I felt sorry for her at times that she was always left at home while her parents went off traveling without her. I also feel that the relationship Lucy had with her mum was very real, and a mistake like not asking a question can dramatically change things. If only Lucy had asked to be taken away maybe she would have been.
I didn't feel like I connected as well with Owen and his family, there were times when I really enjoyed reading about him, especially with his dad but I found him a bit depressing, a lot of the time he would be down about his mum and didn't seem to ever have anything to look forward to, this was until I would say getting into part 3 of the book and this is where I began to enjoy his character more.
The story is a sweet one, but not a massive page turner for me. This gives you hope and faith that long distance relationships can work if you want them to.
Overall I did enjoy the book, it was not taxing and quite a light read. I did not find that it gripped me but I loved to read about places in the world to visit and I liked the idea of how a long distance relationship like this could work.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this copy in exchange for a honest review.