Sunday, May 04, 2014

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

Book Description via Amazon:

ARC
Published April 15th 2014

Lucy lives on the twenty-fourth floor. Owen lives in the basement. It's fitting, then, that they meet in the middle -- stuck between two floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, Lucy and Owen spend the night wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is back, so is reality. Lucy soon moves abroad with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father.

The brief time they spend together leaves a mark. And as their lives take them to Edinburgh and to San Francisco, to Prague and to Portland, Lucy and Owen stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and phone calls. But can they -- despite the odds -- find a way to reunite?

Smartly observed and wonderfully romantic, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. Sometimes, it can be a person

Reviewer's Copy: ARC

Source: Pinoy Book Tours (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

The Geography of You and Me was one of my most anticipated reads for 2014. I have been a big fan of Jennifer Smith since the days of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I started the book eagerly, letting myself sink into Lucy's world.

The story world of The Geography of You and Me was a place where even the simplest of all things could become beautiful. It was literally a world spanning from one continent to another, from one coast to another. One of the amazing things that I encountered was that both of the main characters, Lucy and Owen, were travelers, never grounded on one spot for too long a time.

Lucy lived in New York. She was exceptionally good in being "barely there" in the big, bad city. I was able to connect with Lucy, though I wouldn't say that she came as close as Jennifer Smith's other heroines. The novel was like an exploration of foreign lands and future homes, with the ever-changing home, city, country, culture and society. Our girl was obliged to keep on adjusting to the environment - to the new home, to the new school, to the new neighborhood and to the new timezone. For me, it seemed that she was searching for her real home, the place where her heart belonged.

Owen's life was another story altogether. His was tragic and sad, punctuated with moments of loss, pinpricks of hope and distance from Lucy. To be honest, Owen's character was someone I would have liked to know in real life. He was an abyss, so deep, filled with so much secrets and a past in various shades of emotions. Most of all, he thought differently, out of the box. At such a young age, a part of him seemed like an old soul, silent and mature, in his own way. I liked him as a character. He always drew me in with his thoughts and experiences.

When it came down to the writing, Smith did not disappoint. The writing was beautiful as ever and superfluous. I would like to think of the story as a world map, the major events were colorful pins stuck to the corresponding places where the scenes took place. Amidst the pins and the lines tracking down Lucy and Owen's travels within America and across the globe, there were photos and postcards. With this said, The Geography of You and Me, for me, was a complete narration of the main characters' journey - physical, emotional and holistic at that. I struggled a bit with the slow pace of the book. I was very much used to Smith's fast paced books and was surprised with this new novel's pace. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and This is What Happy Looks Like were quick reads for me.

Overall, The Geography of You and Me was a beautifully written contemporary, splashed with life's colors and emotions, ups and downs, and driven by the search of home and love. People who enjoy books that involve traveling would like this book. As a deep, in-the-moment fiction, this book would appeal to teen and even adult readers. The themes of finding one's place, searching for 'home,' and taking chances were explored. 



Rating:


4 Cupids = Strong book love.
I really enjoyed this. I recommend this!


7 comments:

  1. Nice review, Precious! :) This makes me want to read it now since you said it's a "beautifully written contemporary." I love contemporaries and it's not everyday you come across a really good one. :) I definitely have to check this one out.

    And thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment! I really appreciate it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ahh can't wait to read this one! I keep seeing everyone's reviews and so far I've only seen positive things!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope the book meets your expectations. :)

      Delete
  3. What a lovely review! I enjoy books that involve travel so this may be right up my alley.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Christina! I hope you enjoy this. <3

      Delete
  4. My one and only complaint is the almost minimal interaction between the two. I mean, yeah, they corresponded through postcards and such, but it left me wanting more. I was a teensy bit frustrated.

    Great review, Precious. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That, too. It would have been better if there were fireworks and sparks everywhere. </3 Thanks, Joy!

      Delete