Friday, 13 June 2014

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Geography of You and Me
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Published by: Headline
Publication date: 15th April 2014
Pages: 337
Genres: Fiction
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

'Lucy felt it deeply just then, as if for the very first time: the bigness of the world, the sheer scope of 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 Fransisco, 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. 

So many bloggers are huge fans of Jennifer E. Smith, and after seeing a ton of excitable tweets about her new book The Geography of You and Me, I added it to my wish list. Who could resist that pretty cover? THE TYPOGRAPHY. *hugs book*

See, I actually hugged the book. Dedication. 

Eventually the book landed through my letterbox and I started reading straight away, desperately wanting to like it. Instead of enjoying the book, I've ended up with a question: did I read a different book from everyone else? Seriously, this book has an endless stream of five-star reviews on Goodreads, and yet... this book was so underwhelming.

As someone rightly told me on Twitter the other day, if I want to read badly enough, I'll find time for it no matter what. I've always managed to find time for reading...but not with this book. Believe it or not, it took me just over three weeks to read The Geography of You and Me. I kept putting it off and making excuses because I was bored, and I didn't want to face up to the fact that such a hugely popular book was boring me. This book was so slow. Nothing much happened except for two people exchanging postcards from across the globe, and while this was a sweet concept, it failed miserably at managing to hold my attention for longer than twenty pages at a time.

Lucy has known Owen for less than a week - they met when they were stuck in an elevator - and then they both ended up being oceans apart. Meanwhile they had clearly fallen in love with each other. Bearing in mind these people had barely had two conversations, I thought that was a little strange. They didn't properly know each other,  and suddenly they were in love and flying halfway across the globe to meet again? What? Firstly, it was implied that Owen and his father were pretty poor so I have no idea where Owen got the money for plane tickets. Secondly, YOU ONLY SPENT A COUPLE OF HOURS TOGETHER. *headdesk*

The whole thing was just cliché after cliché. Towards the end of the book nearly every sentence was making me cringe.

If you're into reading each and every tiny detail of someone else's life minute-by-minute, then this book is for you. Personally, though, it wasn't my cup of tea even though I was really looking forward to it. The Geography of You and Me was actually one of my most highly anticipated reads of the year, so I'm incredibly disappointed, underwhelmed, and also relieved to have finally finished it so I can now move onto something else. Please don't let my review put you off, I'm clearly in the minority here; everyone else seemed to love this, so chances are you will too. :)


  1. I requested this book after hearing everyone rave about it on Twitter but once I started reading more reviews about it (even 5 star reviews) it quickly came to my attention that maybe this isn't the sort of book I'd enjoy. I don't like romance, so I'm not entirely sure why I requested it in the first place - probably just so I could join in with all the conversations about it!

    Your review hasn't particularly helped with my suspicions that I'm not going to enjoy it... Haha! Fantastic review though, it's great to see a completely different opinion for a chance and I love how honest you are. Sorry that you didn't like it! xx

    1. I think we were in the same boat when it came to requesting this book, then! Thanks for your lovely comment, Jenny ^-^ xx

  2. I haven't read this book yet, but actually I want to. I have it on my to-read, but ... I don't know. Somehow I want to read it, but I am not expecting much of it. If that makes sence? It just seems like a nice summer read.

  3. I don't agree when you say that if you like a book, you'll read it quickly. It took me over 2 months to read my all time favorite book, A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, due to school and exams, but I still loved it!

    Anyway, this book sounds completely unrealistic. Falling in love with someone you barely know? Alright. I think I'll pass... Great review though!

    Ivana @ BookishTeens

    1. I was talking about me personally. If I love a book I'll read it fairly quickly because I'll make time, but I was reluctant with The Geography of You and Me. :)

      Thank you! Yep, it's very unrealistic...although I guess it's a good book for those who want to escape? I don't know. Just not my thing...

  4. You know, I really enjoyed The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer, but I'm not sure about this one. I've heard so many good things, but from reading your reviews, it sounds like the book is a little ridiculous in terms of the story line and how quickly the couple fall in love. I think I will read it, but it's not exactly high on my TBR list!

  5. Sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy this one. I absolutely adored it, but that being said I was totally prepared for it to be overly cliché. I do agree that this one was a little slow. Jennifer E. Smith is one of my favorite contemporary authors and after reading more than one of her books I think cliché stories are just what she writes. I choose one of her books for when I'm in the mood for something light and fun. I'm guessing a lot of people gave it 5 stars for cute factor as opposed to story quality.

  6. I totally 10000% agree with you Amber, this book was really a major disappointment. I found myself rolling my eyes because it really was cliched, it had potential but unfortunately it just wasn't for me. I didn't understand how in one night they managed to fall in love and couldn't stop thinking about one another. I'd understand if they remained in constant contact and stuff but they didn't :/