Review: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

18295852Blurb from Goodreads

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.

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published April 15th 2014 by Little, Brown and Company (first published April 10th 2014)
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

My Thoughts

ARC was provided by the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

This is definitely one sweet YA contemporary story that I really liked, though it has at least two things I usually don’t like.

Meet Owen, a 17 year old boy who just moved to the basement of one of apartment building in New York. He was forced to leave his hometown because his dad, and he is also, couldn’t live at their home in Pennsylvania anymore, not after his mom’s death. He then met Lucy, a 16 year old girl who lives at one of the apartments in the same building, on September 1st at the elevator in that building.

Everything after they met feel so fast and certainty there is an insta-attraction between them. I usually don’t like this instant thing. I find it’s hard to believe things that begin in an instant. But here, in Lucy and Owen relationship, the insta-attraction also feels so slow, waiting to grow within pages and chapters. Thus, I don’t feel that it’s an insta-love or an insta-attraction, really.

“There are no open spaces.”
“There’s a whole park just a block away.”
“You can’t see the stars.”
“There’s always the planetarium,” Lucy said, and in spite of himself, he laughed

Owen and Lucy couldn’t be more different. The way they grow up, what they see and want for their future and they relationship with their parents are so different. They are like the opposite of one and another.

In line for the bus, Lucy daydreamed.
She was thinking of road trips and mountains and wide-open spaces.
But really, she was thinking of New York.”

In a coffee shop, Owen’s mind wandered.
He was thinking of castles and hills and cups of tea.
But really, he was thinking of that elevator.

But in their differences, there are also similarities. I liked the idea that despite the differences, everything eventually ends up at the same thing. And in the end, I think it can be interesting because of the way the author wrote it.

This story is written in two POV from third person. I usually prefer a story from first person. But here, I don’t mind with the way it’s written. It’s beautiful and can still make me see and understand Owen and Lucy as clear as if it’s from first person POV.

And with the way they sort out their relationship, their feeling with each other, and the distance between them, the story feels so slow, even if I compare with another Jennifer E. Smith book I’ve read, This is What Happy Looks Like. Yet, the slow-pace couldn’t make me less enjoyed it because in that slow-pace I understand that it isn’t just about their relationship. It’s also about their relationship with their parents,

“You knew?”
“Of course I knew.”
“I thought you were too busy.…”
“Being sad?”
Owen gave him a rueful grin. “Well… yeah.”
“You know what made me less sad?”
“Seeing you happy,” he told him.

about their friends and their thoughts of themselves
In New York, she’d stood apart, and in Edinburgh, she’d stood out; but here, she just stood alongside everyone else, and there was a comfort in that, in fitting in for once.
It’s about be braved to ask something in the first place to know the answer. I think that’s what I loved about this book. It’s not entirely about teenage first love but it’s also about something else, some bigger thing in their life.

Result: 3.5 out of 5 stars


Review: This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

15791430Blurb from Goodreads

If fate sent you an email, would you answer?

When teenage movie star Graham Larkin accidentally sends small town girl Ellie O’Neill an email about his pet pig, the two seventeen-year-olds strike up a witty and unforgettable correspondence, discussing everything under the sun, except for their names or backgrounds.

Then Graham finds out that Ellie’s Maine hometown is the perfect location for his latest film, and he decides to take their relationship from online to in-person. But can a star as famous as Graham really start a relationship with an ordinary girl like Ellie? And why does Ellie want to avoid the media’s spotlight at all costs?

ebook, 416 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Poppy
edition language: English
genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Thoughts
What happy looks like for me is reading a book, enjoying it and get lost in it. In some part reading this book was a happy moment for me but I also have a not-so happy thing.

I know that this will be a cliche kind of story so I didn’t expect anything from it aside of a sweet YA story. I like the main characters, Graham and Ellie, they are cute together. I really enjoyed reading their emails, especially in prologue. And when they finally meet, their emails feel a little bit different. I think it’s a good thing because in those emails I can feel that once they meet everything is different now they know each other. They encounter and feeling kind of a fairytale, he with his fame and she with her struggle to provide money for her poetry course at Harvard. Although Graham is a well-known actor, Ellie doesn’t feel insecure about herself. Despite the differences, she’s comfortable with her skin, believe in Graham feeling for her and she trusts him. That’s quite a refreshing in YA books I usually read hence I love her because of it.

But, I didn’t quite satisfy with Ellie and Quinn, her bestfriend, relationship. When they have problem and doesn’t talk for weeks, the closure is kind of awkward, I like and understand it but it feels too ordinary. I mean, they are bestfriend for a long time, doesn’t talk for weeks and it’s definitely the biggest fight they ever have I just assumed there have to be a lot of hard efforts to fix it. It also happens to Ellie’s father relationship. While I like the way she meet him, I didn’t expect her mother thought about him will be like that. I guess I just wish there will be more drama on those part, to make the story more interesting. I also didn’t quite enjoy its slow-paced. While in prolog and the beginning of the book feel too fast, the rest is slower than I can enjoy. In some part I didn’t feel like I get lost in the story therefore there’s a room for me to get distracted by other things.

So, there are things I liked and disliked from this book. I think it is okay book which mean I supposed to give it 2 stars. It’s the ending that made me think twice. I like the way Graham and Ellie’s relationship still unsure and just left it that way. It feels more real and made me wish there will be its sequel, so 3 stars from me for they flaw-sweet story.

Result: 3 of 5 stars