Friday, 25 April 2014

Second time lucky

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

After being a little underwhelmed by my last Bookbridgr book I'm pleased to say that I loved my second book from the scheme.

The Geography of You and Me is a lovely gentle romance for teens in a pleasantly old fashioned way.  The two main characters meet on the night of a huge power-cut in New York and have a magical evening, One is a New York native and the other a reluctant new-comer to the city.

After this event they are torn apart (okay gently separated!) by family circumstances and spend a year only being able to stay in touch through postcards, although the reader dips in and out of their new lives, until the very satisfying conclusion.

The book in many ways is very slight, and as an adult reader is easy to predict, but I found that none of this really mattered. As the pair travel they visit cities that I know (or will be visiting in the next few weeks!) and Smith shows her skill as a writer for these places spring to life without the book ever feeling like a travelogue. I could see, smell and taste all that she was writing about such was the vibrancy of the book.

The romance is gentle and realistic. Lucy and Owen know that they have a connection but are pragmatic and once apart continue to think of each other but don't pine pathetically.  Their family problems are also well written in that they are huge but do just form part of the story and don't overwhelm the plot.

It is hard to convey how much I liked this gentle book without making it sounds wish-washy but I know that if I'd discovered it as a teenager it would have instantly become a security blanket book - one I read and reread especially when feeling poorly. I've already put Smith's other two books on reserve at the library and can't wait to get stuck into them.

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