The Geography of You and Meby Jennifer E. Smith (Website, Twitter)
Narrator: Corey Bradberry, Leslie Bellair
Published by Hachette Audio, Poppy on 2014-04-15
Genres: Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Length: 6 hours and 29 minutes
Amazon • Book Depository • Goodreads
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
Owen and Lucy get stuck in the elevator of their upscale apartment building during the blackout that cripples the East Coast. They couldn’t be from two more different worlds. Lucy’s lived their her entire life, attends private school, is often left alone now that her two older brothers have left for college while her parents travel the world for her father’s job. Owen just moved with his father to New York City so his dad could be the Superintendent for the apartment building. They’d reluctantly moved from Pennsylvania where they are both still reeling from his mother’s accidental death a few months earlier. But Owen has to leave his friends and the only home he’s known behind so his unemployed construction worker father can have a job, and more importantly maybe his father can have a chance to live again after losing his wife.
Despite their different backgrounds, Owen and Lucy make a deep and easy connection during that blackout. Lucy is able to make Owen laugh for the first time since his mother died, and he makes her feel as if she truly has a friend outside of her brothers for the first time. But fate is conspiring against them, and soon Owen’s father is fired due to poor performance and they have to move from their basement apartment. Coincidentally, Lucy’s parents decide to move to Scotland when her father gets a promotion. Can they stay connected even though an ocean and thousands of miles separate them? Should they even keep in touch, especially since they barely know each other, but something keeps telling them that they really want to be with the other one?
Owen is such a smart, lovable, supportive boy. His father is falling apart and barely hanging on, but instead of being an angsty, bratty teenager to his father, Owen does nothing but help his father out in any way that he can. He moves to a bustling, crowded city that he hates for his dad. And once that is no longer an option, he and his father take a trip of a lifetime across the country together, seeing the sights as they make their way to California. Signs of life finally emerge from Owen’s dad, but Owen can’t forget about Lucy. Since he doesn’t have much access to a computer on his trip, he sends her postcards from his travels, which are a bit of a personal joke between the two of them. It’s super cute, but a bit sad at the same time since this is the main interaction that Lucy and Owen have for a decent chunk of the book.
Lucy is a lonely but upbeat girl, generally happy with her life. But she’s barely left New York City, and she yearns to travel the world like her parents do. When they make the move to Scotland and her parents finally realize that Lucy wants to see the world, Lucy starts to make trips with them–to London, Paris, Greece. Her world swells, but it doesn’t quite feel as complete as it should because she can’t share it with Owen. They finally begin to email each other, but even then it’s not the same.
I give The Geography of You and Me a four out of five. With great writing, this long distance romance between Lucy and Owen is told with realistic dialogue and situations. In alternating points of view, you get to travel along with each of them as Owen road trips across the United States with his father and Lucy travels to Europe, relocating for a year with her parents. The only thing that was a bit of a let down was the amount of time Lucy and Owen actually interacted face to face. They were apart for 90% of the book, so this novel is mostly the two characters living their separate lives, which makes for an intriguing, enjoyable novel.
I listened to the audiobook provided by Hachette Audio
Get your own Audiobook at Audible: The Geography of You and Me.
Oh, how I loved the two narrators of this book. Leslie Bellair and Corey Bradberry did such a great job narrating Lucy and Owen’s point of view chapters that this book just flew right by for me. Just a word of caution though if you do pick up the audiobook: there are several short chapters towards the end of the book where the point of view switches back and forth, and the sentences are short and fragmented on purpose. I had to go back and listen again since I thought that it didn’t download properly, but it’s just the way it’s written. LOL, the hazards of audiobooks sometimes.
I definitely recommend listening to The Geography of You and Me.