Channeling the star-crossed love of Romeo and Juliet and the romance of An Affair to Remember, Jennifer E. Smith once again brings young adults a terribly romantic novel, The Geography of You and Me. Ms. Smith’s modus operandi in her last three novels is to bring two young people together through crazy chance, circumstance, or mistake. There are differences in the plot set-up and timeline, but that idea is always the genesis of the story. It is hard to argue with the romance behind the random connection that brings two people together; it makes anything seem possible. Ms. Smith is good also at keeping the story from becoming sappy. As much as I enjoy this author’s style and contribution to young adult romance, The Geography of You and Me was a victim to the initial set-up of this story–two people brought together, only to be swirled in different geographic directions. It is a dreamy concept that unfortunately put a drag on the momentum of the story. The separate characters’ lives felt gray and just a tad depressing most of the time. However, if a reader doesn’t mind wading through a little dreariness or has a preference for bitter-sweet/thwarted love, then The Geography of You and Me should fill the ticket.
Profanity/Language: 2 mild obscenities; 2 anatomical terms.
Violence/Gore: Report of death in accident; character says they have survived two muggings.
Sex/Nudity: Character reports making out, no details; characters kiss a few times, separate instances; characters embrace; character puts arm around another.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death of a parent, transient lifestyle, unemployment.
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Adult smokes; general reference to teenagers sneaking beer/whiskey; teenage character said she snuck champagne at a wedding; teenager said she had her first “parent-sanctioned” beer.