Published by Poppy on 15 April 2014
Genres: Adolescence, Contemporary Romance, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, People & Places, Young Adult
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Also by this author: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, This is What Happy Looks Like, Summer Days and Summer Nights
Place(s) Traveled To: New York, New York // London, England // Chicago, Illinois // Indianapolis, Indiana // Edinburgh, Scotland // Lake Tahoe, California // San Francisco, California // Napa, California // Berkeley, California // Prague, Czech Republic // Portland, Oregon // Rome, Italy // Tacoma, Washington // Seattle, Washington // Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
First Line(s): On the first day of September, the world went dark.
I was really looking forward to The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith as I keep hoping that the magic that was Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight will be recreated. As with This is What Happy Looks Like that magic was not to be found in The Geography of You and Me. The start of Geography is cute enough with Lucy and Owen meeting and connecting in an elevator during a city wide black out for even though they live in the same building chances are they never would have met if it wasn’t for this moment. I liked the premise of how one ordinary moment could spark something extraordinary and enjoyed the friendship that was begun between Lucy and Owen.
I enjoyed the star-crossed aspect of Owen and Lucy’s relationship. Its hard to be a couple if you are both constantly moving and its hard to be friends if you want more than that. Its also hard to maintain a friendship when you are dating someone else mainly because they are in the same place that you are. My heart ached for these two as they struggled with their daily lives but loved how they tried to maintain that connection they started in the elevator. I loved how they sent postcards to each other and avoided not just traditional means of communication but also sent non-traditional postcard messages.
Geography is a cute, light hearted, contemporary romance and its a great way to spend a few hours. I read this one in a few hours and enjoyed the time spent within its pages. I like the how Smith tackles the concept of home in a similar manner as Stephanie Perkins did in Anna and the French Kiss and Lindsey Leavitt mentions in the upcoming The Chapel Wars. That home isn’t any one place that instead home is contained in the hearts of the people you love. This is an important thing for teens to read as many are reading books like Geography just before they leave the cities and towns they just spent most of their lives in, leaving their friends and parents in order to embark on a new adventure in college. I remember my first few weeks in college. I felt lost and scared and questioned my decision to go to a school outside of the state I grew up in. I thought maybe I should have gone to the school where 90% of my high school was going. It wasn’t until I really started to forge new relationships that I began to settle in and enjoy my time at college.
While I enjoyed everything that Geography was I do think that Smith was a bit of a lazy writer for parts of it. Most of the chapters, especially those leading up to the end, would start with phrases like “In Rome, Lucy cried…” or “In Berkeley, Owen watched” and it just felt clunky and a poor way to set up where they were. The ending felt a little rushed and while I was hoping for a Lucy and Owen ending it didn’t always feel real as they spent so little time together and most of what they knew was on the surface. Some books will end and you can tell yourself that the two characters will live out their HEA but with Owen and Lucy its more uncertain as there is just so much left unsaid between. It makes me wish that there was more to this story so that we could see them learning more about each other so that there HFN seemed more solid.
Geography isn’t my favorite book by Jennifer E. Smith but I did enjoy it more than This is What Happy Looks Like it gives me hope that her next book will be more like Statistical and so I will read it for its potential magic. Geography is a good read but not a great one. Its not a book that I will rush to re-read but its not a bad way to spend some time. Its an uncomplicated read and sometimes you really just need something light and easy.