[ARC] The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

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When I made a request for this ARC I expected a cheesy YA, instead it resulted better than this: despite the centre of the novel is the meeting of Lucy and Owen, the two main characters, and the beginning of their relationship, the novel focuses also on other themes that determine the characters behaviour.

Lucy would like to have a stronger relation with their parents, always busy travelling without her, while Owen travels with his father trying to forget the recent death of her mother.

Lucy and Owen meet in New York during a general blackout but soon they have both to leave New York: Lucy for England due to her father new work, and Owen for a long travel without specific destination, direction California. That single night was enough to create a bond and a passion for postcards, useful to fill the geographic gab between them.

It’s a nice novel with main normal characters and normal parents, overall well-built and less cheesy than its cover.

Thanks to the publisher for providing me the copy necessary to write this review.

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* The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith ★★★☆☆

*I read this book in English

Persuasion by Jane Austen

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I have authors and novels impossible to comment on, for example The lord of the rings and Jane Austen (or at least Pride and Prejudice). This is a completely personal issue, I honestly think I’m unworthy to analyze and carelessly talk about great and wonderful works (see Tolkien) and/or novel I love unconditionally.

In the case of Jane Austen novels I end in comparing them to Pride and Prejudice, and this was also the fate of Persuasion. I skip over the plot details, if interest there is a

John Green and dying young

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Two times till now I wrote in a comment this thing about dying young, and both times it was about a John Green‘s novel – the only two novel of this writer I read for now, I honestly hope his other works being more happy.

The former I read is the well-known “The fault in our stars” that takes the title by a Shakespeare quote:

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

and that is being the inspiration for a movie that will soon come out; the latter is “Looking for Alaska” that in this case is not the State but a girl and that it should be read before “The fault in our stars”.

When I read them – but this reflection mainly concerns the former one – my review was enthusiastic (the review is the one below, only little bit less passionate than the original version), but after some time I began to think that maybe it’s a clever book that plays on emotions and empathy, so my whole opinion could be reviewed.

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Short fiction – ep. 3

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Third post (the first one is here, the second here) where I speak about some short but beautiful books.

  • Letter from an unknown woman by Stefan Zweig
  • Address Unknown by Kathrine Kressmann Taylor
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

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Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman

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Humans may experience different passions and meet different lovers, maybe only one of these is the most unique and special, an emotion full of joy and sorrow to be preserved in memory as the years go by. This novel is about this kind of Love and Passion.

Elio, son of a professor, spends the summer with his parents in their Liguria house and, as every summer, they host a young and brilliant researcher / writer editing his thesys.
The host is Oliver and between him and Elio something undefined starts sooner as a flirt and later as a love story.

The point of view is Elio’s who express his tormented uncertainties about love and being reciprocated; Oliver is always presented by Elio’s eyes and it’s impossible to know hos thinking.
It’s the story of a deep love and calling one by the other’s name it’s a manifestation of the fusion of dreams, emotions and souls.

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* Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman ★★★★☆

*I read this book in Italian

Backward Compatible by Sarah Daltry & Pete Clark

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A geek love story, as Backward Compatible title says, and there is the love story, with alternate point of view between Katie and George, who met the first time while both aiming to the last copy in store of Fatal Destiny X, the online game they play.

The novel tells a normal story: the only particular characteristic of the main characters and their friends is the fact they like a lot to play to videogames. In my opinion is a novel suited for who tried to live for a while like Katie e George: nights spent searching for keys, opening secret levels and gaining achievements; moreover the novel is full of quotes from other videogames (The cake is a lie etc…) and from fantasy culture.

Sometimes the main character were too extreme also for me (go see a movie in cosplay?), but the novel is nice, also thanks to the funny dialogues (Layton at the beginning is too much, but during the story it gains his place).

The last consideration: speaking about novels & videogames I recall Ready Player One, that I already commented on and that I did not like.
What is different between these two novels?

  • Backward Compatible tells a normal story with believable characters, in Ready Player One the author inserts the dystopic element, the characters are moved by serius issues and they are almost  umbeliavable in their evolution.
  • Ready Player One, in the end, it’s a great omage to the ’80 culture, and there are lots of (boring) reports of videogames and movies, here we also have the videogame, but the chronicle is dilute thanks to the nice dialogues.

Ready Player One aims to talk about a dystopic future and, impossible to hide, about how much the author did like the culture in which he grew up; Backward Compatible tells a nice story without aiming to speak about greater and more delicate issues.

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* Backward Compatible by Sarah Daltry & Pete Clark ★★★☆☆

*I read this book in English