Official Stuff –
Author – Jennifer E. Smith
Pages – 337
Publisher – Little, Brown for Young Readers
Series – Stand Alone
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 Rating – 3.75 of 5 stars
I received a digital copy of this book for free from Netgalley on behalf of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in exchange for a fair review.
Lucy and Owen happened to get trapped in the elevator of their apartment building during a massive blackout that knocked out electricity all along the east coast.
Lucy has lived in that building her whole life and Owen just moved into the basement with his superintendent dad. They strike up a conversation while alone in the dark elevator and it continues even after they are rescued.
Their blackout adventure takes them to the streets of NYC, where they get free ice cream and then eventually to the roof of the building where Lucy sees the stars for the first time. They spend the night talking and when Lucy wakes up the next morning, Owen is gone and she goes about her normal life, though constantly thinking about Owen.
Owen constantly thinks about Lucy as well, while he’s busy helping his father repair the building. Between school and other responsibilities, Lucy and Owen go days without seeing each other.
Lucy finds out that her family is moving to the UK and Owen’s father loses this job, and decides to travel across country with Owen until they can find work.
They keep in touch with postcards and the occasional email. They meet other people but Lucy and Owen never forget each other, even after they lose contact for a while. Lucy meets a cute Scottish boy who corrects her whenever she uses the American term for something (which annoys me GREATLY, she’s only been in Scotland for a few months, she lived her entire life in America).
Owen meets a free spirited girl in Lake Tahoe that doesn’t expect anything serious.
This book was cute and fluffy. Not generally my normal genre but it was enjoyable. My only real problem was the lack of chemistry. I just didn’t feel like their first meeting had enough of an impact for them to still be mooning over the other one, even after they were thousands of miles and an ocean apart. They even felt slightly guilty about dating new people.
They both go on interesting travels while separated. Lucy finally gets to live her dreams and travel a bit through Europe. And Owen and his dad take the road trip he’s always wanted to go on, across America from one coast to the other, seeing everything.
The only other small thing that bothered me was this –
In school, Lucy sat quietly at her desk, which faced west.
In between classes, Owen paused for a moment, his toes pointing east.
In bed that night, Lucy breathed in.
In the car that afternoon, Owen breathed out.
It’s such a small thing but I don’t like when chapters are like that. It just seems silly.
But all that aside, it was a fun book that I enjoyed and got through easily. A great beach read!