Book Review: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
I received a copy of this book for review from Bookbridgr and Headline Publishing.
Lucy and Owen’s story starts when they are stuck in an elevator during a blackout. Even though they live in the same building, they’ve never come across each other before. But a citywide blackout brings the two of them together. One single night spend together paves the path to their friendship and first love.
Lucy’s parents have taken off on a trip to Paris and her brothers are off to school. All alone at home, it should be the time of her life for Lucy. But with no friends and nothing to do, Lucy spends her time talking to the building’s guards and reading books.
Since, his mother’s death, Owen’s dad has been broken and aloof. To Owen it feels like he has lost his dad along with his mother. He spends his time studying and on the roof of the building he lives in, staring at the stars.
Lucy and Owen’s lives are as different as they can get. Lucy comes from a well to do family, whereas Owen is the son of the building’s super. Lucy is as optimistic as they get and Owen and pessimism are best friends. They both have something in common though. Both of them are lonely. Lucy doesn’t realize it and Owen realizes nothing else. The one night they send together proves to be one of the best nights of their lives. As the lights come back, reality crashes in on them. While Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh, Owen heads out west with his father. Hence begins a friendship across the oceans.
Lucy and Owen’s steady correspondence through letter was really cute and I especially loved all the post card they sent each other. But soon this got boring, probably because soon they stopped writing to each other. It came a story of Lucy, and Owen as individuals rather than them together. Both of them deal with new friendships, heartbreak, jealousies, joy and pain of first love. I felt like Lucy and Owen lost their connection over the course of the story.
“If you were to draw a map of the two of them, of where they started out and where they would both end up, the lines would be shooting away from each other like magnets spun around on their poles. And it occurred to Owen that there was something deeply flawed about this, that there should be circles or angles or turns, anything that might make it possible for the two lines to meet again. Instead, they were both headed in the exact opposite directions. 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”
I wanted to see more of Lucy and Owen together rather tan apart. There barely any scenes with both of them together. I think they both come face to face only about 4-5 times in the course of the whole novel. Even the ending left me wanting more.
Though the book was well-written and the story narrated beautifully, the chemistry between the protagonists was missing. And the way the author ended the book disappointed me. I wanted something concrete between Lucy and Owen rather than the open ending the author chose. That said, the book was quite realistic in that sense. Life does not always end with a happily ever after. People leave, relationships change and you grow apart.
Overall a decent read. A sweet and cute story of two teenagers who are willing to find love and friendship even if it’s across the oceans.