Monday, April 7, 2014

{ARC Review} The Geography of You and Me: Jennifer E. Nielsen

Rating: 5/10
Series: Standalone
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: April 15, 2014

Publisher: Poppy
Recommended For: Fans of Just One Day, Gayle Forman, The Distance Between Us
Page Count: 352
Format: Physical ARC 

Source: Little Brown for Young Readers via Giveaway

Goodreads 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.

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.

My Initial Thoughts: Overall, this book is a light, funny read that satisfies your every need for contemporary romance. I, however, was a little disappointed. This is the first novel I have ever read written by Jennifer Nielsen. I expected this to be a lot more....deeper and psychological, along the lines of The Fault in Our Stars, or If I Stay. Instead, what I got was a serious Just One Day vibe. I know some people that read this might try to pounce on me and say, "Just because there is traveling around the world, doesn't mean that two books are just like each other" While I do agree with that, I felt like this book really was too much like Just One Day. There is also the factor that this book is purely romance. I have a little pet peeve against pure romance novels, because people aren't battling demons, surviving the apocalypse, or starting rebellions.  

Plot & Characters 5/10: I really just want to strangle this plot because of all the plot elements from other novels that miraculously show up in this one......or I'm being incredibly weird for making the connections between any of them. 

I didn't do the smart thing, which is writing this review RIGHT AFTER I finish the book. Even though writing the review right after I finish the book is a good thing for any organized, coordinated blogger, it also proves if the book can prove the test of time (three weeks later) as well as memorability. What I learned -as of now when I'm writing this review- is that the characters ARE NOT staying with me. I barely remember their last names, which I know is really bad, but it's the truth. 

The Distance Between Us: In terms of circumstance, Lucy and Owen are a female and male version of Xander and Caymen. Xander has unlimited means and filthy rich. While Lucy doesn't exercise her wealth, or acts like a stuck-up, arrogant snob her family is very rich and a world of possibilities are at her feet. Owen knows what it's like at the bottom of the food chain of society. While he wouldn't be considered impoverished, both he and Caymen both almost/had to move because of their financial situation. Caymen never met her Father and Owen's mother died. They both had missing parents. What more proof do you want!!!

Just One Day: Lucy went all the way around the world until she was reunited with Owen after a single day with him. Allyson went all the way around the world until she was reunited with Willem after 'just one day' with him. Somebody tell me that these aren't the same story with different names? Okay....I have to give both authors credit, Allyson spent a year trying to find herself after her day while both Lucy and Owen traveled over several states and countries trying the find the center of their universes. But still....the general outline is the same. Right?

The Underland Chronicles:    I know probably none of you have heard of this series because it is in Middle Grade novel in a totally different genre but Owen reminded me so much of an older Gregor from The Underland Chronicles written by Suzanne Collins. For those of you that don't know, Gregor's family had financial issues and he did everything he could to help lighten the load around the house which included sacrificing his time to amuse his younger siblings, working on the weekends, and lots of other little things....I almost forgot to mention, he also lives in an apartment in New York City, just not in the basement. While it is just Owen and his father, when Owen gets a job as a dish washer, he sneaks his money to his dad, he feels responsible for their money troubles, and is basically a model for good-son-with-a-single-dad behavior. 

Romance 6.25/10: I have to admit that these character's relationship is cute. In almost a Fault in Our Stars fashion, Lucy and Owen meet unexpectedly. On one hand that's all it takes for them to become interested in each other. I said interested....not insta-love.  Lucy and Owen both date other people in their multi-month process of falling in love.

Writing Style 5.6/10: If you take away the fact that the writing and characters weren't memorable, I LOVED the writing style. Each chapter was written in first person, told by either Lucy or Owen. There were also some really pretty line designs between the start and end of a new chapter because the chapter started on the other side of the page. The chapters weren't very long (a HUGE plus for me), and about 10 of them were single-sentenced ones going back and forth between Lucy and Owen, each sentence tweaked slightly for them which I loved.

Pacing 8/10: Like I said, the chapters were relatively short and sweet which I loved, and thought the rapid-fire back and forth was perfect for that specific turn of events.

Ending 6/10: The ending was the one that was expected. I don't want to spoil it, but I think every romance novel where the couple is separated by distance ends like this. What was unexpected, was that this ending wasn't "Happily Ever After" because the distance between them still isn't permanently closed   

Conclusion: The Geography of You and Me is basically if The Distance Between Us, The Underland Chronicles, and Just One Day were thrown in a blender and is a very sweet contemporary read.

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