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 think The Geography Of You And Me is one of the few fluffy, light books I’ve given a (slightly) less than average rating for, and one can assume I didn’t find it as entertaining as I thought it would be. That’s partially true, but most of my problems with this book parallel closely with the issues I had with Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between, the last book I’ve read by Jennifer E. Smith, and the only book I’d read at the time by her. This book had so much potential with its concept, but was ultimately disappointing due to the dull storytelling, unrealistic scenarios, and enormous amount of wasted potential.
The story starts out with Lucy and Owen, stuck in an elevator when they realize nearly all of New York has lost power. After finding their way out of the elevator, they stay together, wandering the pitch-black night of New York, talking about their lives and watching the stars. But, after the electricity is back, they realize they are both moving away, traveling and starting new lives. Obviously Lucy and Owen are still in a daze, thinking back to the dream-like night they spent together, and while they vow to keep in touch through email and postcards (a recurring symbol throughout the book), it isn’t enough. Will they ever find their way back to each other?
I do feel like the writing was the downfall of this book. Lucy and Owen were apart for most of the time, and while the descriptions of London, Scotland, and Paris were beautiful, there was a spark missing in their personal lives that was so evidently present when they were together. It is a long-distance “relationship” after all, but Lucy and Owen’s individual lives lacked seriousness and insight, it was pure fluff when it shouldn’t have been. This is was the same problem I had with Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between, while the concept was relatable and common among young adults, the writing and storyline refused to break out of the “light and cute” barrier, when it should have gone to discuss deeper, insightful topics through the stories of the characters. Other than that, I thought Owen and Lucy’s lives were eventful, yet told in a dull, monotonous tone. The POVs are in third person in present time. which I find awkward and the writing overall didn’t have a spark to it, much like the characters.