The Geography of You and Me – Book Review

The Geography of You and MeThe Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was so excited to read this after enjoying “The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight”. It just didn’t have the same punch and because of that I was slightly disappointed.

The Geography of You and Me is a contemporary love story of two teens Lucy and Owen. They have a chance meeting one night in a stalled elevator during a blackout in New York City. They make a quick connection, but soon after, end up in different places with completely different lives. The rest of the book follows their separate journeys with both of them struggling to forget about the other. This gives the story a kind of melancholy feel. You experience their attempts to move on with other people, their continuous moves to new cities, Owen and his father grieving for the loss of Owen’s mother, and Lucy’s life which mainly centers on hands-off parents who jet set around the world without her. The classic rich girl, poor boy.

The premise is cute, but the characters didn’t pull me in. I found I didn’t love them or hate them. I think the reason I couldn’t fall in love with these characters was twofold. One, it felt like their connection was more like a friendship of kindred spirits. And two, they were pretty much miserable the whole book. That made it hard to want to turn the next page. The fact that they were apart for most of the book also made it difficult to make the romance believable because there was nothing there for them to build upon except for that one night.

I did appreciate one literary tactic used near the end of the book where chapters got shorter and shorter in order to convey emotion. That was rather brilliant.

I also love the fact that Jennifer E Smith writes clean teen fiction. She’s found a wonderful niche for young, hopeless romantics that are waiting for their own great love story.

View all my reviews

Vertigo 42 Book Review

Vertigo 42 by Martha Grimes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Fantastic Whodunit with a Literary Twist…

Imagine a mystery, a whodunit, which weaves in details found in classics like Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo and literature greats like Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the D’Urbervilles”, E.M. Forster’s “A Passage to India”, and poetry of T.S. Eliot. Now, add a Scotland Yard Superintendent, distinctively British settings that often involve a “cuppa”, and you get nothing short of what I can only describe as charmingly clever.

Superintendent Richard Jury finds himself doing a favor for a friend by meeting with Tom Williamson. Tom’s wife, Tess died in what was ruled an accident 17 years ago. The investigation at the time found her fall on their estate was due to her bouts of Vertigo. Her husband believes she was murdered. Muddying the waters, is the death of a nine-year-old girl on the couple’s estate five years before Tess died. In order to determine if there’s any connection between the two, Jury must investigate both deaths. If that isn’t enough, Jury is temporarily distracted by another mysterious death near Long Piddleton, where he has stopped to visit his precocious friend, Melrose Plant (love this guy). A woman in a red dress and heels is found dead at the bottom of a tower. Accident or murder? How all this is woven together and tidied up is the tour de force of Grime’s writing.

Be warned – Grimes is not for the casual reader. You will have to engage all your powers of reasoning in order to keep up with Richard Jury and his sidekick, Sergeant Wiggins. Grimes doesn’t waste one ounce of time on anything other than moving the plot along. Yet, the reader is never bored or bogged down in the never-ending search for answers. On the contrary, Grime’s characters are delightful, witty, sometimes quirky, flawed human beings. In other words, quite fascinating.

Being new to Martha Grimes (Yes, I know. How is that possible?), I knew I would need to read some back story on Vertigo 42’s main character, Superintendent Richard Jury. I immediately purchased and read, “The Man with a Load of Mischief”. I highly recommend “new to Grimes” readers to do the same before reading Vertigo 42.

I am officially a new fan of Martha Grimes. I enjoy being able to read a book that is intelligent and not laced with foul language that so many authors seem to employ these days. Grimes just gives you straight up good writing.

View all my reviews