The Geography of You and Me

The Geography of You and Me
by Jennifer E. Smith

Publishing Date: April 15th 2014
Publisher: Headline
ISBN: 1472206290
Received from: Headline Publishers via BookBridgr

Summery (From Back Cover) 

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. 


This is my first Jennifer E. Smith book and as excited as I was to read The Geography of You and Me, I was also a little dubious. I'd heard some mix reviews, some saying it's the best thing since sliced bread, while others said it dragged on. And the strange thing? I think both opinions are correct. I really enjoyed this book but I'm not entirely sure anything actually happened. But I'm getting ahead of myself, lets start with the story.

Lucy, a sixteen-year-old rich New Yorker and Owen, the seventeen-year-old son of Lucy's building manager get trapped in an elevator when the power goes out in New York City. They're only stuck for a short period but that time was enough for them to catch each others attention and they end up spending the rest of the evening walking around a powerless city, eating melted ice-cream and staring up at the stars. It almost seems too perfect and when the power comes back on their lives start to take them in opposite directions. But Lucy and Owen can't shake each other. They refuse to let the other go. Can they make the whole long distance thing work? Were they ever meant to be more than just friends? And is one night really enough to base a relationship on?

"The map was as good as a door swinging shut. And the geography of the thing - the geography of them - was completely and hopelessly wrong."
If you're not one for romance heavy books then you probably won't like this. The whole focus of The Geography of You and Me is how and if Lucy and Owen can be together. It's so sweet it will give you tooth ache. But isn't that what summer reading is all about? The conversations between our two lovestruck teens are adorable, sarcy and put a smile on my face almost instantly. Lucy wants to see the world, she wants to wander Europe and be free, while Owen has this innate sense of responsibility towards his father. Everything is against these two, and I think that's what makes it all the most endearing.

I had a couple of issues with the whole changing location part of the book - which seems ridiculous being as it's the whole point of the story - but there you go. I just found that because there was such a big gap between each chapter (time frame wise) that the story itself felt a little choppy. Also, while I'm nit-picking, I struggled with the third person point of view. It got confusing at times, and I'd forget who I was meant to be reading from. I think it would have worked better in first person as we would have gotten two distinct voices and I feel it would have made it easier to follow. But as I said before, I'm nit-picking!

You'll either be a lover or a hater of this book. It's subtle and not one to skim through as you'll miss all the little things. Jennifer E. Smith is a literary goddess when it comes to adding in the details, and it was really clever the way in which both Lucy and Owen's thoughts crossed over throughout different sections of the book. And things one did at the beginning the other mirrored towards the end, adding yet another layer of sweetness to this little love story. It's not a life changing novel, but it is the perfect easy read for the upcoming summer. I fully recommend it to all you contemporary lovers out there and I hope you enjoy it.
"Even before he flipped it over to find the note, he was thinking the very same thing: that he wished more than anything she was here, too. And just like that, his heart - that dead thing inside of him - came to life again."
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**I received this book as an ARC from Headline & BookBridgr to read and review. This is a 100% honest review**

Now, to switch things up a little we have a second review from the lovely Sam over at The Book Corner. You can find this review on her blog, but if you haven't read it yet then here you go. No need to thank me, I just love spoiling you! Enjoy and let us know what you think.

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.  


  1. Aww thanks Emily! Love my little pic too with the art work! Very clever and my sign off :)

    Brilliant review and great idea to mix things up with another POV loved being part of your post today. Thanks again x

    1. I'm glad you're happy with it :)

      If you're up for it, I'll keep you in mind for future posts like this is you want? Let me know!


  2. Great reviews both of them!
    Given that you've said it's a very romance centric book, I think I'm gonna skip it for now.

    1. Oh Pili! I WILL post something you're interesting in one of these days :) On the plus side, you now know what books to avoid


  3. I know I'm going to love this one. Heavy romance, alternating POVs that cross over, and traveling? I'm sold!

    1. Glad we could help :) It really is a great summer time read!