The Geography of You and Me
Jennifer E. Smith
Lucy and Owen live in New York. Lucy loves New York but wishes she could travel with her parents who always seem to be jetting off someplace. Owen does not even like New York. It is a place he tolerates because he has to. But he wishes he could up and go everywhere. When a crazy blackout leaves them stranded in an elevator they meet. Not only do they meet–they connect. Soon after Lucy and Owen end up moving away from New York, but they always tend to keep thinking of the other person and that night when they could see the stars shining over a dark New York City skyline. But with both of them half a world away, they don’t know how they could really connect due to the geography.
I read this book in one day. Less than 12 hours even. And to be fair, it would have taken less time if only I didn’t have to work and eat and come home from work during that time. (Yeah, I totally started this book on my lunch break and couldn’t put it down.) But there are so many things that I loved about it. I loved that Lucy and Owen both longed for the same thing, only in different ways. Lucy wanted to be close to her parents because they were always traveling. Owen longed to be close to his Dad who was grieving after Owen’s mom passed away. Owen wanted to go everywhere (because he had never been anywhere). Lucy wanted to go somewhere (for the same reason). Both of them are so different, yet they knew from that one long conversation that they were good friends with maybe a little something more. But time (geography) and choices pushed them away. Sure there were the postcards and emails…but those didn’t really fuel the type of friendship they had formed after one night. They both said things and did things that hurt the other. They both hid their feelings. But they both still longed for the something the everything that comes when you find the one person who you can be yourself with. The person who you worry about because you would never want any harm to come to them. The person who is worth asking a question, because if you don’t ask the question you will never know. This book is about giving love a chance. Despite the crazy circumstances or the harsh odds. It is about doubting your doubts and taking a chance on the real you who enjoys and loves being with the other person. It is about making things happen so that you can be with the person who you are the most real with. Even if it means you change the geography of where you are so you can be close to that person.
Needless to say I enjoyed this one. My little romantic heart was oh so happy at the end. I have only read two books by Jennifer E. Smith, but I think she will be on my list of must-read authors from here on out. Nicely done.
Book discussion questions:
Would you prefer to correspond by post cards or by email? Why?
Compare and contrast the similarities and differences of Lucy’s life and Owen’s life.
Would you fly half-way around the world to see someone? Who would you want to see? Where would you fly to?
Lucy says you should see a city from the ground up. What do you think she means?
Why do you suppose Owen disliked New York so much? Especially when at the end he realized that so many big cities have so many similarities.
Where would you travel to if you could go anywhere? Why? What would you do?
Little, Brown and Company, 2014
FORMAT: Realistic, with a little bit of Romance and Travel thrown in
AGES: Middle School, High School