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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.
*I received a free ARC of The Geography of You and Me from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*
Fresh, cute and filled with longing, The Geography of You and Me transported me to faraway places.
The Geography of You and Me follow Lucy and Owen during their unlikely meeting, and the months afterwards. Meeting in New York, they both move shortly after their initial meeting, and through a few postcards, a lot of longing and some e-mails, they stay in touch. They only spent one night together, a strange night while New York City as a whole suffered through a power outage, and they stayed on the roof of their apartment building watching the stars, chatting, then falling asleep next to each other.
As they both move further away from where they met, and in opposite ways from each other, both Lucy and Owen think their meeting and fleeting relationship is an important one. The Geography of You and Me shows how much longing it is possible to feel, both for possible, seemingly impossible and impossible things. Lucy would like her parents to pay a little more attention to her, Owen wishes he could see his mom one more time, and they both really want to see each other again.
The Geography of You and Me is well written, quite slow-paced, which fits the story perfectly. Through their thoughts, actions and short notes to each other, I got to know both Owen and Lucy very well, both their strengths and their weaknesses, and I fell for them in a big way. Reflected, a little insecure at times, but still ready to take a leap of faith, they are the kind of characters I wish I had the pleasure to meet more often.
I also got to travel with both of them to places I have never been throughout the story of The Geography of You and Me, and the differences in their universes made them all the more appealing to me. If you are looking for a sweet story, but that manages to cover some darker themes of inadequacy, growing up too quickly, and wanting something that all teens should have, you should pick up The Geography of You and Me right now!
Owen smiled, too, letting his eyes fall shut, but he could still see them, glowing bright against the backs of his eyelids. For the first time in weeks, he felt all lit up inside, even on this darkest of nights.
Being there like that, so close to him, she had to remind herself that this wasn’t real. It wasn’t a date but an accident. It wasn’t romantic, only practical. They were just two people trying to make it through the night, and it didn’t mean anything beyond that.
There, on the back of the postcard, were the exact same words he’d written just yesterday. I actually do. He blinked at it, stunned, and he felt his mouth stretch into a slow smile.
A part of her would always love New york, but she’d loved Edinburgh, too, and now London. And if you were to set her down in Paris or Rome or Prague or any of the other places they’d visited, she was certain she’d find a way to fall in love with those, too.