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

Book Talk: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. SmithThe Geography Of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
Published by Poppy on April 15, 2014
Genres: Contemporary YA
Also by this author: The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight, This Is What Happy Looks Like, Done Dirt Cheap
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
Amazon/Twitter
Goodreads

 

 

 

 

book synopsis “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.”

 

good books to read

I really enjoyed The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith. It was absolutely different than I thought it would be and in such a good way. I think Jennifer E. Smith’s books are such feel good books and while this WAS that it was a whole lot more honestly. I still think The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is still my favorite but this comes pretty darn close to rivaling it. It was really a beautiful story that really displayed what a talented author Jennifer E. Smith is. Let’s break it down:

1. I loved the idea of this book and, even though it didn’t go the way I thought it would, I loved it more how it DID go: I loved the idea of this chance meeting during the blackout and then the fact that circumstances would send them both away so they’d have this long distance relationship. First, I thought we’d see a lot more of their adventures through the blackout. Secondly, I thought it would be more of a long distance relationship where they were together and keeping the relationship alive through cutesy emails and texts and postcards and stuff. They did communicate through postcards and emails but they weren’t “together” and it wasn’t this constant communication. It was more of a story where these two people meet, feel this really strong spark but move to opposite sides of the world before anything can really happen between them and are left to deal with what to do with all those feelings plus what they were individually going through before they met. I LOVED watching this play out — them in their new environment moving on with their own lives but still having these lingering feelings for each other that nagged at them at certain point. That question of “what might have been” just dangling there because it was never able to really start! It was romantic but in a different way than her usual books — maybe not in such an obvious way.

2. As far as writing goes this is my favorite Jennifer E. Smith book: Another blogger, Heather, and I were talking on Twitter about just how BEAUTIFUL the writing was in this book. I thought her books were always well written but there was just something about this one where I really kept getting lost in the words and was just really impressed by the writing of this one.

3. I loved how the characters really learned what “home” meant in this novel: Both characters, when we meet them, have this really broken feeling of what home means. Owen’s mom passed away and him and his dad just can’t bear to be in their home without her so they just wander. Home for Lucy has been kind of lonely with her parents always traveling and her brothers away at college. I just really enjoyed watching both characters have to reconcile what HOME means for them and what and who it includes. It was just really beautiful to watch this happen though I think Owen’s story just really resonated with me more with losing his mom and watching him and his dad work through that.

4. LOVED all the travel going on in this novel: There were just these little moments that perfectly and quietly captured each location and I just loved seeing these new places through their eyes! At times I wish we could have gotten even more immersed in some places — especially New York during the blackout! I wanted to see more of Lucy’s New York!

5. I loved Owen and Lucy but I didn’t find them to be super REAL to me: I liked their stories and really connected with Owen’s but I never found them to be these super alive characters that I could picture and felt like I really KNEW them. They just fell a wee bit flat despite how much I enjoyed their stories and watched their growth.

6. I loved that this wasn’t necessarily all about the romance but the romance was still compelling: I so deeply felt that lingering of their one night in New York. There wasn’t an insta-love or anything like that but there was this SPARK that they had and they never got to examine that. I loved that they didn’t pine for each other when they parted but there was a very realistic feeling of wanting to know what COULD have been had they had more time together. Wanting to know more about the other person from the little bit you got. I loved watching them work through the other things going on in their life but could SO SO SO feel the pull of each other at times.

book reviews

The Geography of You and Me was just what I needed — sweet, romantic in a untypical way, reflective, beautiful, messy and just a really enjoyable read even if it didn’t go at all how I thought it would by the summary. I expected it to be a bit lighter and more of a long distance romance but I really, really enjoyed what I read instead.  I don’t think the characters were as full and real as I needed them to be to make this a favorite but I really enjoyed this nonetheless.  Really impressed with Jennifer E. Smith’s writing in this one and the refreshing plot!

 

 

short book reviewGeography of You and Me Jennifer E Smith

 

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one? What did you think of it? Did you think this one was going to be a bit lighter than it was or think certain elements were going to be different because of the summary..or was that just me? If you’ve read her books before where does this rank for you? I think I LOVED Stat a wee bit more but loved this WAY more than This Is What Happy Looks Like.


The Perpetual Page-Turner

 

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith | Book Review

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. SmithBook Title/Author: This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher/Year
: Little Brown 2013
Genre: Contemporary YA
Series: No
Other Books From Author: The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight, The Comeback Season, You are Here, The Storm Makers

Amazon| Goodreads | Twitter |

A friend let me borrow this one!

 

 

 

When Ellie accidentally receives an email meant for someone else she never could have imagined that the person she developed a friendship with is one of the biggest teen movie stars — Graham Larkin. They’ve kept up the conversation but have remained anonymous about who they are and their background. Graham decides he wants to meet Ellie in real life so he makes sure his next film is shot in Ellie’s very small town in Maine which happens to be the perfect location for the film. When Graham finally reveals himself to Ellie it seems like it is destined to not work. Even if Ellie really believed something could ever work out between an average girl from a small town and a famous actor, she knows she has to avoid all the attention and the spotlight to hide her past.

I thought this one was okay — cute, light and entertaining enough. I didn’t feel as much for it as I did The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight but it wasn’t by any means a BAD book at all. I enjoyed it in the way I enjoyed (ok, still enjoy) Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen movies like Passport To Paris, Winning London, When In Rome, etc. It was more of the cheesy cute romance variety where you’ll need to suspend some disbelief and there’s a bit of predictability. This actually would make a VERY cute movie on ABC Family or the Disney channel.

The romance is very cute and is the sort of thing that 13 year old Jamie would have gone gaga over since she always dreamed of chance encounters with the boys of Tiger Beat who plastered her walls where they would fall madly in love with her. It’s a really cute, fun premise that certainly was easy to get into.

The tension of the romance is in that Ellie, the main character who ends up emailing with THE BIGGEST TEEN MOVIE STAR, has absolutely noooo interest in fawning over a movie star. I loved reading the emails they exchanged between each other and how she had NO idea he was famous. It led to some crazy tension when he finally rolls into town and she finds out that HE was the person she had been emailing all along. Not to mention the fact that Ellie has her own secret and needs to keep her life private — something that dating a celebrity would not afford you with all the paparazzi intruding on their every moment. It’s the typical “we could never work out because our lives our so different” kind of thing and I really did enjoy watching them through those moments.

While it was very cute it just didn’t didn’t do a ton for me. I liked the characters but kind of found them to be a little dull though I did love reading about a nice guy though I wished he would have been a little more interesting. The story, at points, seemed to drag and I just never really felt invested in the story or characters to make me feel anything other “well, that was cute.” That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it because I definitely did just wasn’t super strong for me. Also, we read this for book club and it honestly didn’t lend to much discussion to be honest.

This Is What Happy Looks Like is a cute, clean romance that I thought was okay and enjoyable but I didn’t particularly love it. I enjoyed it in the way I enjoyed Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen movies. It’s filled with romantic tension as Ellie tries to fight her feelings towards the guy she has been emailing who she finds out is actually one of the biggest teen movie stars. It’s full of cute moments that I think 13 year old Jamie would have swooned over but it didn’t leave a huge impression on me though it was totally sweet and uplifting. I would 100% recommend this to tweens/younger teens though!

 

 

This Is What Happy Looks LIke by Jennifer E. Smith

 

Recommend if you like: The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight, Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen movies or Disney channel movies/ABC family shows, clean romances, cute & light books

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? If you have read it, what did you think? Did you feel differently than me! I would love to hear it!

three-stars

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Book Title/Author: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer  E.  Smith
Publisher/Year
: Little Brown 2012
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Nope!
Other Books From Author: You Are HereThe Comeback  Season, The Storm Makers, This Is What Happy Looks  Like  (Out Spring 2013)

Amazon| Goodreads | @jenesmith |

I bought this with my own cash moneyyy.

When seventeen year old Hadley misses her flight to London for her dad’s wedding to the woman he fell in love with & left her mother for, she finds herself stuck in the airport waiting for the next flight —  thinking about what awaits her in London, how she’ll actually make it to the church on time and unresolved feelings she has towards her dad. What she didn’t imagine happening as a result of those four minutes that prevented her from making her original flight was that she’d meet Oliver — a British boy studying at Yale – who happens to  be  in the same row  as her. Hadley & Oliver spend the entire flight laughing and letting the walls down and sharing some of the most important matters of the heart. When their flight lands they are shuffled off into different lines at customs and Hadley is against the clock to make it to what awaits her at the wedding while she wonders if she’ll be able to talk to Oliver again.

Why the heck had I not read this already?? Everyone had been singing its praises and saying that it would be a total Jamie book! I even BOUGHT it and got it signed at an event but  I don’t know…it got lost in the shuffle of books I own. In Mitali’s (former blogger at Alley of Books & lady who knows what books I love) words:

 

And THE WORLD WAS RIGHT.  In short:

I really enjoyed The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight! It was cute and swoony and such an addicting read that I finished in a single day. I immediately know I have to edit my End Of Year Book Survey to include this book and I already added her to my top ten favorite new-to-me authors that I’ve read this year and I’m dying to read off her backlist & look forward to her new release This Is What Happy Looks Like.

I think this concept of “love at first sight” has the ability to be really tacky and contrived but luckily what Jennifer E. Smith does is just pure perfection for me. It’s one of those things, prior being with Will, I always wondered if it would happened. If that cute guy and I would end up next to each other on the train or if that cute guy in the coffee shop and I would strike up a meaningful conversation and spend hours just talking. A girl can dream! Those chance encounters are always so fun to me and The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight will make your heart thump in your chest at Hadley & Oliver’s meeting and throughout their transatlantic conversation in which they learn the random and the important things about each other. The slow burning realization that there was a connection there was so sweet to watch and deviates far from the “insta-love” that I hate. This was two people who met and had great, honest conversation — it’s happened to me in a non-romantic way plenty of times! Sometimes you keep in touch and sometimes you don’t.

I loved learning about them through their conversation in the airport and on the plane in the first half half of the book and then I LOVED getting to see Hadley finally see her dad and meet Charlotte. There is a particular touching scene between she and her dad and I felt ALL OF THE FEELS. And I don’t want to give too much away but there was some pretty epic scenes that took place in London and I loved how you could see how Hadley realized perhaps her and Oliver meeting was more than a chance encounter that would dissolve into a vague memory.  While I kind of predicted what was going to happen, it did not detract at ALL from my enjoyability level. Hadley & Oliver’s story was sweet, touching and one to cheer for!

I absolutely and undeniably LOVED The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E.  Smith — an author I cannot wait to read more from! It’s a sweet and charming contemporary romance that will bring ALL OF THE SWOON and Hadley and Oliver are two of my favorite pairs this year! It’s a memorable and touching story about happenstance, forgiveness and opening your heart and it will charm the pants right off you. Perfect if you are in the mood for something lighter but with substance!

For Fans Of: swoony books, the movie Happenstance (umm hello Audrey Tautou, sweet contemporary YA stories, scouring the “Missed Connections” pages (oh yeah, I totally used to do this all the time — the thought of someone finding someone so memorable on a train and maybe chatting them up but then parting ways and hoping you can find them again! Le sigh!) , Just One Day by Gayle Forman

 

 

Let’s Talk: Have you read this one? Heard of it? Did you guess the THING about Oliver?? Which book should I read next from her? ALSO, have you ever had a connection like this with a stranger??

four-half-stars
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