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April 18, 2014

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

The Geography of You and Me
Title: The Geography of You and Me 

Author: Jennifer E Smith
Publisher: HBG Canada
Publication date: April 15, 2014
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary/Mystery)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 324
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 have read Smith's previous two books, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and This is What Happy Looks Like. I personally liked the first more than the second but even then, both books didn't wow me. I am a huge contemporary fan so I read a ton of contemporaries and I felt I was missing the wow factor. However, I wanted to read The Geography of You and Me because I wanted to give her writing another try and because of the intriguing synopsis. While I also wasn't wowed by this book, I can point out that this would be many people's cup of tea. I ended up giving it 3 stars which is a rating that means I liked the book but I did have a couple of issues with it. So the synopsis, have I mentioned how awesome it is? I like books told in 24 hours or we witness the lives of the main protagonists at a slower pace than we're used to. Also the whole idea of getting stuck with a hot stranger in an elevator made it sound exciting. However, I just felt that the author didn't grasp the full potential of such a setting. The whole elevator scene was short, as well as the night they spent exploring Manhattan. I wished we got more. I feel that I always say that for Smith's books. I wanted more exploring, more adventure, activities, and more emotions.  
Lucy and Owen meet up for that half day then each are whisked into their own lives. Lucy has to move across the atlantic ocean while Owen's dad is going traveling across the US in hopes of getting a job. There was some great background with both their families and just emotional depth but I just wasn't invested. I honestly don't know if it's a "it's me, not you" thing with Smith's books. I can never fully enjoy them while so many people do. I did start getting interested when Lucy and Owen started building up their own lives alone.. but then I get pushed right out of the caring circle because of their obsession for each other. They've only known each other for 24 hours, at least a third of that was spend on them asleep so I just don't get how they just couldn't move on from this. They both get a girlfriend/boyfriend but all their thoughts are on each other. I just found that really crappy of both of them and unfair to their partners. I wished there was more at stake, a better root for their love towards each other.. because no matter what, they were infatuated by each other and that doesn't logically result in them spending months thinking and obsessing over each other. Maybe i'm a cynic, but I just can't wrap my head around it. I do have to point out that I love how the relationship between Lucy and her parents got better in a nondramatic way. It was all because of lack of communicating their thoughts and feelings to each other and I liked how they were able to get past that. 
Basically if you were a fan of Smith's previous two books then this is for you. Also if you don't mind insta-love contemporary books then you would also enjoy this. I did enjoy it, hence the 3 star rating, but it isn't a book that I will remember a couple of months from now.
 Check out my mini review of The Geography of You and Me along with Don't Look Back! 


  1. I've only read one book by the author and I enjoyed it. I must admit I don't remember much of it, but I'm glad you still managed to enjoy the book Juhina even though you had some problems with it :)

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  2. After reading the synopsis, I was surprised to learn that the elevator scene and the Manhattan night scene were short. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Juhina!

  3. I haven't read any of this author's books before, so I'm not sure whether I would like her style. But it sounds extremely cheesy and I'm not a huge fan of that. I like characters who have more depth and get to know each other slowly. The premise of the book sounds really good though, but that elevator scene seems way too short from what I've been hearing. And the emotional cheating on their partners? NOT a fan. Ugh, personally I think it's worse that physically cheating. Wonderful review Juhina xx

    Joy @ Thoughts By J

  4. I did like her other novels, but I felt like there wasn't much else apart from the fluff and the fun so I'll probably not read this until I feel like another light-hearted read.

    Lovely review, Juhina! <33

  5. Sob! I've read a lot of "meh" reviews for this book. I really liked SPoLaFS, so I may ry this out at some point.
    Jen @ YA Romantics

  6. Awesome review sweetie. <3 I am not sure about this book. Okay, fine, I don't want to read it (A) but I'm glad you did manage to like it, despite having some issues :) It do sound cute. Kind of. I'm not sure. Agh. But anyway. Great review. Thank you for sharing. <3 WAAAAIT. "They both get a girlfriend/boyfriend but all their thoughts are on each other." What the fuck? Yes. This is NOT a book for me. At all. Ugh. That would be too much of an issue for me. So not okay. Agh. Hih :)