cover image The Geography of You and Me

The Geography of You and Me

Jennifer E. Smith. Little, Brown/Poppy, $18 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-25477-9

Owen and Lucy meet when they get stuck in a New York City elevator during a widespread power outage. They quickly connect, spending an intimate (but chaste) night looking at stars from the roof of their building. When the electricity returns, so do real-life complications: Owen and his father, devastated by his mother’s recent death, decide to drive west for a fresh start; meanwhile, Lucy moves to Scotland for her father’s work. At first, they stay in touch—Owen mails sweet postcards, and Lucy sends “slightly rambling” emails—but they begin to doubt the strength of their connection (“How long could a single night really be expected to last?” Lucy wonders). Smith (This Is What Happy Looks Like) has written a sweet, moody story that can also be deeply heartbreaking, as when Owen and his father return to pack up their old house, only to find “the real measures of the lives here were now well and truly gone.” There are plenty of romantic sigh-worthy moments, too, but it’s Owen and Lucy’s individual journeys that really hit home. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jennifer Joel, ICM. (Apr.)