The Geography of You and Me – Jennifer E. Smith

alternating narration, families, Female Leads, love, Middle Grade Romance, Safe Bets, Young Readers

geo

Ah, teens with opposite financial backgrounds meet in a blackout in NYC.  The financial formula that Nicholas Sparks loves, but written (pretty well) for teenagers.  How will these opposites attract?  Predictable, but nicely written with good development and a back-and-forth dialogue set for movies. Sort of witty, fast talking like John Green’s dialogue (but not as witty, or fast).  There’s a spark between Lucy and Owen obvious from the beginning, which is well developed within the first few chapters.

This book is pretty adorable.  Lucy and Owen aren’t the typical teenagers, and they don’t have the typical dialogue, but both seem more mature than any 16 or 17 year old actually would be (and both wander NYC alone more than any actual teenager would).  As they talk of their plans to go – somewhere, anywhere, everywhere, and nowhere they differ in views, but have the same need for a location connection – or perhaps a personal connection that they find with each other.

The book is broken up into five parts using the themes Lucy and Owen discuss while trapped in the elevator – to be Here, There, Everywhere, and Somewhere  — then finally Home. As they move and travel they still stay in touch and often think of one another.  A little dreamy, a little romantic, very teenage girl to stay focused on a dream and “what if”.

The rest of the story focuses around Lucy’s workaholic, uninvolved parents and Owen’s grieving, unemployed (but trying to remain upbeat) father.  Lucy’s family moves for work and Owen’s family travels across the country searching for a new sense of happiness since the death of his mother. As Lucy and Owen live in separate corners of the world, they are still drawn to the thought of the other. Unable to let the thought go, they both still question the “somewhere, anywhere, everywhere” thought of where is the location they truly belong.  Where is “Home”.

“Home”  is in the final portion of the story.  When not only they find happiness in their lives, but also reunite.

Its development builds throughout the middle portions to where you are reading it, picking up pace, and waiting for Lucy and Owen to reunite.  Well done, well written, and enjoyable. A happy ending not only for the romantics, but also for Owen’s grieving heart and Lucy’s need for a family.

So much adorableness.  Safe for all ages, especially those with wanderlust.

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