I have heard a lot about Jennifer E. Smith’s books, but have never yet read one. I’m glad I picked up The Geography of You and Me. It is simple, sweet, and adorable; easy to read in one sitting, and brings back high school memories.
Do you remember the blackout of 2003? 10 million people in Canada and 45 million people in eight US states lost power; a big chunk of northeastern North America went dark for 24 hours. It was incredible living in Toronto, and seeing total darkness and a star-filled night. We don’t get that here! Imagine that happening in New York City, and imagine living in a 42 story building. What about if you happened to be in an elevator with a boy you barely recognized when the power blew?
Almost 17 year old Lucy and and really 17 year old Owen meet in the elevator, stuck between the 10th and 11th floor of their building in New York City, during the citywide blackout. The son of the new building manager and the daughter of the successful financier hadn’t crossed paths until this point. But the unexpected event leads to an hour of cautious getting to know each other, and a further evening of exploring the dark city and surveying it and the heavens from the rooftop in the stifling end of summer heat.
With the following day comes the return of power to the city, and reality to Owen and Lucy. After a few mistakes dealing with the building, Owen’s dad loses his job. Father and son leave NYC to look for work, and a new school for Owen. Lucy’s parents move to Edinburgh for her father’s career, and she leaves the city without having a chance to find out if Owen and she share the same feelings.
What follows is the story of two teens who can’t get each other out of their minds, who remember a few stolen hours and an instant connection, and try to find a way back to each other, to see if the feelings are real.
Oh, FUN. Instant, teenage, heart wrenching love. Silly fights because you don’t want to be the first one to say how you feel. Long distance pouting. Kissing the wrong boy/girl, just to get someone out of your head. Smith writes a light summer read that will have you remembering that first boyfriend that you fell in love with across the room in 11th grade science. The characters are believable and the scenarios reminded me of high school escapades that are a milestone for every teen.
Appropriate for any teen, fun for you. It’s not life-changing, but pour a glass of wine, read the story, and look through your high school year book.
The Geography of You and Me is published by Little, Brown and Company.