Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: young adult
Young adult RBC 2014: Free square
When Lucy and Owen meet, they’re stuck in the lift of their apartment building during a blackout that shuts down the whole of New York during high summer. Lucy has lived in New York her whole life, but this is the first time she’s been alone in the city while her twin brothers are at college and her parents have jetted off to Europe on holiday. Owen has just moved in with his father, the building’s new super. They left their house in Pennsylvania to start afresh after Owen’s mum died and he’s fiercely opposed to New York.
Though their time together is brief, they’ve made a fierce connection that transcends cities, countries and even continents and the course of events takes Lucy and Owen out of the city and apartment building that brought them together. From Scotland to San Francisco, Paris to Lake Tahoe, via postcards and the occasional email, Lucy and Owen learn the tough way about first love and that home might not be where they think it is …
This was super cute and as evidenced by my premature use of my ‘free square’ category, I’m getting quite desperate in trying to squeeze my completed reads into the categories I have left. Lucy and Owen might never have exchanged more than the courteous nod as they passed each other in the post room, had it not been for the power failure that trapped them in the lift. Lucy is a true New Yorker and proud of her city. She’s chosen to be a loner at school, isolating herself from her classmates and is at her happiest when roaming the streets and discovering new museums and coffee shops. Owen is highly resistant at leaving their home in Pennsylvania behind and having to put down new roots. Lucy, with her love for her city, teaches him to appreciate what’s around him.
Lucy has always wanted to travel, but her parents have always gone on their trips together, leaving their three kids to look after each other. This time, Lucy is left on her own and so she’s pretty happy to find a companion in Owen. She adapts pretty well to being continuously uprooted (I would be so mad at having to start a new school) and she’s the one that keeps their communication alive. For two people whose only connection was being trapped in a lift together, this was a powerful story of friendship as the pair moved ever apart.
I quite liked this. Enough to inhale it during my commute and possibly enough to read again, which I think is a pretty big commitment since I didn’t consider this a ‘wow’ read. It was a solid YA for my first book from Jennifer E. Smith, though I’ve heard of a few of her other titles before. I’m definitely interested in exploring some of the others and hope that her characters undergo the same development and learning curve as Lucy and Owen did here. I didn’t think much of Lucy’s parents, but that sort of added to the fun. The perfect read if you’re wanting something light and fluffy.
Image courtesy of Book Depository.