Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Review: The Geography of You & Me, by Jennifer Smith

If you are meant to be together, will distance make a difference?  In The Geography of You and Me, by Jennifer Smith (The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight), Owen and Lucy’s story starts in an elevator in New York during a black-out.  Their meeting is completely coincidental--although they live in the same building, Lucy’s well-to-do family has lived there her entire life, and Owen and his father have just arrived from Pennsylvania to take a job as the building manager after Owen’s mother passed away.  They are both alone during the black-out, with their families out of town, so they spend the evening on the roof, talking and gazing at the stars that are surprisingly visible in the sudden darkness.

But once the blackout ends, circumstances rip them apart.  Owen’s dad loses his job and they set off on a road trip across America, looking for work and a place they can call home.  Lucy’s often-absent parents decide to move to Scotland for a job opportunity, and Lucy actually gets to accompany them this time.  While Owen travels, he sends postcards to Lucy, and Lucy replies through email.  But can their tenuous relationship withstand time, distance, and the distractions of life?

The Geography of You and Me is a well-written, light-hearted story, with several serious themes, including finding a place where you belong, absentee parents, and grieving the loss of a loved one.  Although the storyline is a little predictable, you are still invested in both Lucy and Owen as characters, and want them to come together in the end.  The premise is slightly unrealistic, but weirder things have happened in love stories.  Recommended for readers who like Sarah Dessen, Susane Colasanti, Jenny Han, and other young adult romances.