Review: The Geography of You and Me

Title: The Geography of You and Me 17735600

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Rating: ★★★★

Provided Synopsis: 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.

Review: If anything, this book made me deeply consider the long-term ramifications of meeting someone for the first time in an entirely vulnerable setting. Like the first chapter of an intriguing book, Owen and Lucy meet in an elevator as it stalls during the beginning of a coastal length blackout, and go on to make an impression on one another to survive distance and time.

The heat of a New York summer day presses in on the tiny confinement they find themselves in, and rather than descend into a complete panic, these two teenagers speak to one another. They make each other laugh, they gloss over the tip of the iceberg that is their lives, and when the ordeal is said and done they cannot get the other out of their mind. In the most unlikely of circumstances they find a way to reveal parts of themselves to a complete stranger and in turn leave a part of themselves behind with one another. The blackout of New York is a moment in time, never to be replicated or even expanded upon as both go their separate ways.

Postcards sent back and forth keep them connected, as do thoughts of what the other is doing at a specific moment in time. Lucy heads abroad while Owen heads towards the West, and both teens — with their respective families — are in search of a home. I really liked the travel aspect of this book; there was nothing incredibly detail-oriented about the places Lucy and Owen travel to, but it was the impression these places made upon them that mattered. I loved the idea the book presents, which is that home does not always have to be a place but can easily be a single person or a group.

Fans of cute and quick contemporary romances in the young adult genre should be sure to give this story a try. As I said in the beginning of this review: it is a story that makes you wonder, and even sort of hope, that you can find someone to be vulnerable and connected with as the white noise of the world falls away to reveal the things that we overlook but that often matter the most.

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