by Jennifer E. Smith
Released- April 15th 2014
Purchase- Amazon / B & N
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.My Thoughts:
My favorite thing about reading one of Jennifer E. Smith's books is there is usually some kind of greater force that brings her characters together. Call it love at first sight, soul mates or destiny, one way or another two souls will meet and their lives will irrevocably be changed forever. I was really excited to read The Geography of You and Me, since it followed along the same lines as destiny, but this time around we get a different side to fate. We all know that fate can be both your friend and enemy, and for Lucy and Owen, it seemed that fate meant for them to meet in a stuck elevator while the world around them turned black and proceeded to have that one magical day where you connect with someone who, at that moment, is just as lost and alone as you. But fate decided to take a different road for both Owen and Lucy and their one night turned into a beautiful memory, one they'll never be able to forget or let go.
I remember that citywide blackout that reached from
to New York back in 2003. It was August
and unbearably hot and I missed my air conditioner more then the lights for the
next three days. I'm only guessing this is where Smith got her inspiration for
this book, so I thought it was pretty cool to be back in that moment with Owen
and Lucy, turning a chaotic situation and giving it the opportunity for fate to
step in and make it something better. For the most part, I really enjoyed this
book. I love the idea of meeting someone and having an instant spark. Living in
the moment, laughing and having fun with someone you barely knew, but wouldn't
change any of it for the world. It's a grand romantic notion that is realistically
believable and irresistibly sweet, but I'm not sure it was always convincingly portrayed
by the actual characters. The feeling of deep emotions and longing was always
present throughout the novel, but at the same time it felt like you really have
to want that connection to really believe in it.
Owen and Lucy met on a stuck elevator on a city wide blackout. The experience instantly bonded them together and somewhere between their walk through the dark NY streets and the rooftop morning, they left a lasting impression with one another that unknowingly tied them together. But in a twisty fate, these two unlikely friends both end up moving away but are determined to keep in touch by postcards and e-mails and eventually met up in-between the years. This is the part where I wish we had more time with the characters together. Individually, Owen and Lucy are good people. I respected the way Owen wanted to take care of his grief stricken father and how he wanted to keep his mothers memory alive and I liked that Lucy finally was able to get her parents attention and that she gets her opportunity to travel instead of just living it through sent postcards...but together, Owen and Lucy seemed to try to maintain some form of a long distance friendship more then a relationship but lacked the bigger moments to want to go to that extreme. I'm a hopeless romantic and a complete sap for these kind of books so I get how strongly someone can make a dent in your heart big enough to take with you as you move along through life. Always keeping the thought alive and close but to far away to really touch. Postcards, e-mails and one visit were nice gestures but it needed something more. I felt like something was missing, something epic where you can look at these two people, feel that undeniable connection and hope against hope that they will find a way to be together, and yet, this ended up feeling underwhelming and forced.
With that said, for me, this may not have been Smith's strongest escape, but I still ended up enjoying this for what it is, a lovely story about the what-could-have-happened and the hope of one days. Jennifer E. Smith is a wonderful writer who tackles destiny like no other and I look forward to seeing what she comes up with next. A decent read.