The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith Review: Travel with this book

May 12, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith Review: Travel with this bookThe Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Hachette Australia, Headline on April 10, 2014
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
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For fans of John Green, Stephanie Perkins and Sarah Ockler, THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME is a story for anyone who's ever longed to meet someone special, for anyone who's searched for home and found it where they least expected it.

Owen lives in the basement. Lucy lives on the 24th floor. But when the power goes out in the midst of a New York heatwave, they find themselves together for the first time: stuck in a lift between the 10th and 11th floors. As they await help, they start talking...

The brief time they spend together leaves a mark. And as their lives take them to Edinburgh and San Francisco, to Prague and to Portland they can't shake the memory of the time they shared. Postcards cross the globe when they themselves can't, as Owen and Lucy experience the joy - and pain - of first love.

And as they make their separate journeys in search of home, they discover that sometimes it is a person rather than a place that anchors you most in the world.

Travelling is one of my loves and Europe and America are dream destinations. The Geography of You and Me satisfied the tourist in me by giving us the taste of different places in these two continents – from the vibrant, energetic streets of New York, to the classy, gloomy London, to Prague, California, Pennsylvania, Paris and all the places in between.

From an innocent, fateful meeting on a broken elevator in New York, to one that would diverge wildly in opposite directions, Owen and Lucy find in each other, a kindred spirit who is as lost as they are. After they meet, they move to other sides of the world as both of their families are in a state of flux for various reasons. They keep in contact through postcards, letting each other know that they’re “thinking of you”. New partners will come and go, their parents will experience different struggles and the two will make new homes, but they learn over the course of the novel that their hearts belong together.

The book blooms from a simple concept, where two characters meet and share a memorable experience, into one which demonstrates that absence makes the heart grow fonder. In our world where we can connect with each other within seconds online, Jennifer E. Smith captures the experience of two people’s hearts and minds from different countries aching for each other beautifully.

If you were to draw a map of the two of them, of where they started out and where they would both end up, the lines would be shooting away from each other like magnets spun around on their poles. And it occurred to Owen that there was something deeply flawed about this, that there should be circles or angles or turns, anything that might make it possible for the two lines to meet again. 

Owen’s instability lay in wanting to accompany his dad after his mum passing away, and not knowing where he wanted to be upon graduation. His point of view was filled with aching loss over his mother and a sense of faithfulness to his dad. Lucy on the other hand, is a lost soul who has been neglected by her parents as they go on amazing overseas trips. Both of these characters seemed so real and were well developed and mature, which I really enjoyed in a YA contemporary. I also loved how this book had a large focus on family and not just the romance, which made it seem more realistic.

Jennifer E. Smith gives you just enough to taste the culture of different places – I thoroughly enjoyed every new place and landmark the pair visited. New York, San Francisco and California reminded me of my own recent visit to America and certainly captured the heart and personality of each of these places. With a certain elegance, the author manages to give us a taste of different places without being bogged down in the detail, while still faithfully keeping to the theme of the book.


The Geography of You and Me is a fantastic contemporary that will set off your travel bug, while delving into the struggles of a long distance relationship. Yes the book was fluffy and isn’t particularly strong on the plot, but it was executed really well and the writing makes the experience all the more vivid. Every new experience, thought or emotion connects back to both Owen and Lucy wanting to be with each other and against all odds – making it happen.

Thank you to Hachette Australia for approving me on Netgalley to review this book. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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65 responses to “The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith Review: Travel with this book

  1. Yay! I'm so glad you liked this one, I love the author's other books and have it out from the library. All the settings sound so nice, it's fun when books do that because you don't ever really have to go anywhere 😉 I would love to visit Europe someday too.
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  2. Ive actually read some mixed reviews on this book, but I'm so glad you enjoyed it. The concept is very cute, and I love the whole idea of distance making the heart grow fonder. It's wonderful to see that family plays a large role in this book too, I feel like readers are starting to want that in their books now as it provides more realistic situations. Thanks for sharing Jeann! x
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…ARC Review: The Year of the Rat by Clare FurnissMy Profile

    • Yeah, I think some people mentioned that not much happened in here but for a contemporary I can kind of forgive that. I did like the role the family played in both of the characters' lives too. Thanks Joy!

  3. There's been so much talk about this one! I didn't realize it was about travel, but I'm really glad it is and am super excited to travel the world with this one! 😉 I read a lot of dark stories, so I'm definitely going to pick this one up and give it a try since I love the occasional light and fluffy read. Even if the plot was a bit lacking in development, everything else sounds absolutely fabulous. Definitely going to have to give this a try. Thanks so much for sharing Jeann, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3
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  4. I started reading this book while waiting for my ride, so I only got to the part where they were trapped in the elevator. But now, I am unsure if I want to finish this one any time soon because of the LDR element. I do agree that JESmith writes really well even if the plot isn't that special.
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  5. Oh I loved the Statistical… book and I confess I was curious about this one but as I was anxious I didn't ask for it but it sounds finally really good and I'm curious to discover it as well. thanks for the review, it sounds sweet.

  6. I've actualy been debating about whether or not to read this one since i am a huge fan of Jennifer E Smith but i wasn't all too keen on her second book but TSPOLAFS was pretty aweseome and i like how the book explores different cultures and things! 'Great review Jeann! i probably will end up getting this one from the library!

    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

  7. I've only read one book from the author, but I did enjoy that one. This one sounds pretty interesting. I don't read a lot of books that have travel involved in them. Great review!

  8. First, like always, great review! And secondly…I need to read this book! Europe is one of my dream destinations and Australia is too. You'd love the US. There's a ton to do and see and hopefully we live up to your expectations!!! LOL! It sounds like I would totally enjoy the writing style of this book.

    Glad this was such an enjoyable read for you! 😉
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    • Thank you lovely, I hope one day you get to visit my home country (Australia) hehe. I visited the US over Xmas and New Years and want to go back already, it was a dream come true! Thank you Cristina!

  9. Although this wasn't my all-time favourite book, I appreciated it, and it's one of the few contemporary novels that I keep on my shelf to re-read this book. You're right though…it's the perfect book to travel with! Lovely review, Jeann!

  10. I need to give this book a try asap. I love the sound of the different settings in Europe, Jeann and the author sounds like she knew what she was doing. I'm also really curious about how I'll feel about the romance. I hear that they are separated for the longest time, but still I'm excited.

    I'm so glad you loved this one, Jeann. Beautiful review!
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  11. Yay! You enjoyed this! I'm so so glad because I loved it. Spent a whole night whizzing through it and fell in love with the travel and the romance and the development. You've captured everything beautifully in this review Jeann, right down to the details. I so wish I had a physical copy, need to get on that so I can reread it. Happy times! 🙂
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  12. Bwahahah, my job is done. I've been the same Laura but I've been craving some great contemporaries lately. Can't wait to hear what you think if you do pick it up soon!

  13. Gaah, Jeann, you never fail to sell me with these reviews! I've had this one on Netgalley for the longest time now and I guess I've just never gotten around to it. This definitely sounds like something I'd really really love though! So definitely (hopefully) soon! 😀
    Laura Plus Books recently posted…Bout of Books 10.0: Goals + UpdatesMy Profile

  14. Oh, now I don't KNOW about this book. On the one hand you gave it four stars, and you have excellent taste in books 🙂 on the other hand, I read this is What Happy Looks Like and wasn't that impressed…I'm keen to read The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, though – everyone raves about that. And if I like it, I'll read this one 🙂 lovely review!!