Title: The Geography of You and Me
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: YA Romance
Summary (from Goodreads)
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.
Please excuse me while I go and order Jennifer E. Smith’s entire back catalogue.
No, really, this was that good.
I’ve said many a time that there are books you read to change your world, and books you read to take you out of it for a while. Geography was firmly in the latter category, and it did it so effectively, I forgot how tired I was and sat up on the sofa reading it for nearly three hours.
Lucy and Owen have that awkward sort of teenage attraction that, when you think about it, you can’t really explain. It’s just a thing – a weight that hangs between you that you can’t quite ignore. I remember feeling like that about the Boyfriend all those years ago when we were in college, and Smith perfectly captures those feelings here. The slow burn of Lucy and Owen’s journey towards each other builds up deliciously, and by the time you reach the inevitable payoff, it’s almost a cheer out loud moment.
There are some lovely set pieces too – almost cinematic in the set up and execution. I loved the sequence in the blackout, particularly. Smith vividly brought to life the city liberated from the rush of modern life, but simultaneously oppressed by the inescapable heat. And, of course, it was hopelessly romantic.
I love to finish reading a book with a big smile on my face, and that’s exactly what Geography achieved. A really wonderful book that I highly recommend.