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.

*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

The story is told from both Lucy and Owen's POV. While Lucy has always lived in the big city, Owen is more used to the quieter living. You think they couldn't be more opposite, still they have a lot more in common than meets the eye. When a blackout traps them in the elevator, they get a first glimpse of life on the other side and it seems to be not that different. Both of them are lost. She is living on her own, with her brothers away at college and her parents always travelling. He has lost his mom, his dad has mentally checked out and now he had to leave everything behind that he knew. Together though they might find themselves again.

Before they can discover what this connection between the means and ocean literally comes between them. The only way they keep in touch is through postcards (Owen) and email (Lucy). It's not easy and life sometimes interrupts them, but they keep coming back.

What I liked maybe the most was the part when they were on opposite sides of the world, they didn't stop living their life. They were not pining away for each other. Of course there was that connection, which they didn't fully understand and can not explain at first. While realizing what it just meant, they did keep on going with their lives, which also means other potential love interests. Very refreshing.

Overall it was a heartwarmingly sweet story, that will make you long for home, wherever of whomever that may be. The writing was superb, with great settings that just tickled my travelling bug. It was really easy to connect with both the main characters and even though it has the makings of a fairy tale, it all still felt very possible and real.

The Author
Jennifer E. Smith is the author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, The Storm Makers, You Are Here, and The Comeback Season. She earned her master's degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and currently works as an editor in New York City. Her writing has been translated into 28 languages.

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