Published by Poppy on 15th April 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Buy on Amazon US • Buy on Amazon UK
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.
Reviewed by Kelly
*I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
I love Jennifer E. Smith so when the opportunity to read TGoYaM came up I jumped at it. I have been desperate to read it since I saw the cover last year. Jennifer E. Smith’s covers are always soooo pretty!
Lucy was a lonely 16 year girl living with her parents in an apartment in New York. She didn’t have a big circle of friends and due to her parents’ travelling and her brothers being away at college she found herself left alone at home for the first time.
Owen was a lonely, grieving, 17 year old boy living, with his dad, in the basement of the same apartment block in New York. He was a new-comer to New York for the same reason he was grieving.
One fateful day the whole of New York, and beyond, lost electrical power. Lucy and Owen, who’d never spoken before, found themselves trapped in the apartment building’s elevator, stuck between the tenth and eleventh floors. Since Lucy’s parents were away and Owen’s dad was stuck somewhere in New York they formed an unlikely alliance to get each other through the black-out.
Things I liked …
Jennifer E. Smith has such a unique way with words. Honestly, I think I could be given a sample of writing, without knowing it was hers, and work out that she was the author of it. It’s just so … distinctive … and … poetic. She has a way of just drawing me in and keeping me hooked on the beautiful words and the way that they flow.
Lucy was a well written teenaged girl. In a lot of YA books money equals popularity and sometimes even bitchy-ness. This wasn’t the case for Lucy and I liked that. She was just as insecure as the next girl her age. Since her parents were always so busy and did a lot of travelling without her she worried about being an unnecessary spare part in the family. I liked how Lucy and her parents started opening up to each other, taking the time for each other and sharing their feelings. Lucy’s felt abandoned by her parents. They were ALWAYS travelling to far off places without her. When they finally started communicating with each other Lucy found out that her parents just assumed she wouldn’t want to go with them and be bored. The lesson here …? Communication is KEY!
Owen was such a nice guy. He’d been through a lot, and he was suffering because of it, but when he met Lucy he felt something change. There was such a powerful connection between them, although he was at a loss to explain why. Oh, and Owen’s dad? What a good guy he was. I wasn’t sure I’d like him at first but he really rocketed up in my good books (pun intended!) when he convinced Owen to send a postcard he was debating sending. And then the graduation gift … le sigh!
I really enjoyed the way these two kept in touch when their situations and living arrangements changed. So much in stories these days relies upon the technology and social media we have – email and Facebook to name two – so to read about characters sending each other postcards around the world? LOVED IT! Look out for the first time they send each other postcards … my heart just melted at that!
Above all else I LOVED just how sweet this story was. It’s been a while since I’ve read a YA book and TGoYaM reminded me just why I love this genre and Jennifer E. Smith. It was well written, full of detail, and just so heartfelt.
Things I didn’t like …
I really liked this latest offering from the author BUT I wasn’t completely satisfied with it. I finished reading it and I just felt … like it wasn’t really finished. I wanted more. I know I say that with a lot of books but, honestly, it was different with this one! I can’t really say why without spoiling it but I felt like there was so much I still needed to know before I was happy to leave these characters.
You could say that’s a sign of me loving the book so much, and you’d be right – I did love it – but being able to see just a few more years in to the future would have been great! I know, I know, I’m greedy!
Final thoughts …
If you’re a fan of Jennifer E. Smith then I definitely recommend that you look out for this when it releases next month. I really think you’ll love Lucy and Owen’s story.