Sunday 29 June 2014

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith Review!

20499195Title: The Geography of You and Me
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Headline
Release Date: April 10th 2014
Source: Review copy received from publisher

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.

Julies Thoughts : 

To be honest, I had to step away at the end of Jennifer E. Smith’s The Geography of You and Me to compile my thoughts and decide my views on it. I think this mostly has to do with the fact that the only Smith book I’d read prior to this was The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, and as I adored that book immensely, my expectations were very high before I’d even opened the first page. And sadly, whilst I did very much enjoy The Geography of You and Me, it didn’t wow me quite as much as the other did.

So let’s touch on the characters. I love Smith’s characters. They always seem to have a slightly whimsical air to them. A quirkiness. In the way that they’re different and aren’t afraid to be so. And Lucy especially fit this type. I loved following her side of the story. From feeling for her that she’d been left alone and that she felt abandoned by her parents, though she’d never admit it to herself, to being hauled to the UK, where she ends up moving to for her father’s job. How could anyone not feel sorry for this? I mean, going from being allowed to pretty much do whatever she wants and left to her devices, to a complete life upheaval—right after she’s met this dude she can’t stop thinking about.

Which leads us to Owen. Said dude. Whilst he’s didn’t charm me quite as much as I’d expected, I forgave him because he truly had good reason to not be an upbeat kind of guy. His mother recently died, leaving him and his father floundering and unsure of where they now fit in the world without her there to anchor them, and he, too, ends up unearthed right after meeting this girl called Lucy he can’t stop thinking about.

But all is not lost. Because, due to a joke shared during their initial and almost magical rooftop rendezvous regarding postcards, Owen sending them to Lucy fast becomes their ‘thing’. Just as emailing him and not expecting a response becomes her thing. I love their little interactions. Love their patience with the weird relationship and willingness to try and be understanding of one another, even though they’re no more than acquaintances who spent quality time together due to circumstance but whose memories of the other linger in their minds and hearts. There are some sad moments—and amongst those can be counted each of the MCs finding a boyfriend/girlfriend and almost losing their way toward each other. Though, even attempting to move on from a situation they’ve decided is impossible—and the reader is left hoping that they won’t have to.

Thankfully, after a bumpy one evening meeting that went horribly wrong before they went their separate ways again, Lucy comes to terms with the fact that she’s not over this guy, as well as learns that her views on her parents and their motivations—her mother in particular—were pretty far from the mark, and Owen and his father get the opportunity they need to move on in their lives with Owen’s mother. And both of these lead to an agreement to meet up with Owen and Lucy—which is such a lovely way to draw the book to an end.

Without a doubt, The Geography of You and Me is enough to make your heart swell and ache, and your eyes shine with smiles and tears, and your soul fill with sorrow and hope and adoration and yearning.

In short: this book is enough to make you feel young again.