The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Hardcover: 236 pages
Publisher: Poppy/Little, Brown
Release Date: 2 January 2012
Age Level: Young Adult
Buy the book: Amazon | Book Depository | IndieBound
Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.
A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?
Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a quick, fun, breath of fresh air. I didn't have any real expectations going in to this reading, other than wanting a bit of an escape. Being an extreme skeptic when it comes to the whole idea of love at first sight. I was worried there was going to be a horrid case of insta-love (in which I'd groan and gripe about later), followed by some lame story to build around it. What I found was a touching, surprisingly real story that was not only entertaining, but seemed completely plausible.
Admittedly, whilst reading I had flashbacks to a situation that was kind of similar. I won't go into details, but this is how I wish I had treated the situation. That sounds weird. Let me semi-explain. Well, I met a guy on a (rather short) flight. We had a great conversation, accompanied by some flying sparks. When the "moment" came, I chickened out and basically ran away. I don't know what would've happened had I jumped at the chance, but it haunts me to this day with how right it had felt and how wrong I was to let it pass. Hopefully I'll get another chance, but I'll never know now. So, like I said, I felt like this novel was a kind of peek at what could have been. Anywhoozle... back to the review!
Hadley, though reluctant to go to her father's wedding, is actually quite a relate-able and likable character. She was super close to her father, so it's really no surprise she feels so much anger and betrayal at his leaving and then getting remarried. I really felt quite bad about what she was going through. Then we have Oliver. We don't get to learn too much about him because the story is told from Hadley's point of view, but it's evident that there is something going on with his family as well. He's such a charmer, though. He's smart, friendly and funny. A real gentleman, too. I really found myself wanting to know more about him and his story, just like Hadley. The two of them have undeniable chemistry, though they both are a bit broken when they meet. I thought the progression of the romance was very natural and believable. It didn't seem rushed or fantastical in any way. That's quite the feat when you consider that this novel spans a mere 24 hours. Well done, Jennifer. Well done. I'm actually kind of glad she didn't set the whole novel in the 7 hour flight. It was nice to get to be with Hadley when she got off the plan and started to work through her issues with her father, coming to terms with the way her life is now. Though it is such a short period of time, we get to see her mature and grow right before our eyes. What a great treat! As for that boy I mentioned earlier, we do find out what is going on with him. I really, really like that scene, but I don't want to give anything away. As mentioned in the synopsis, Oliver and Hadley lose one another at the station. Do they ever find one another again? Will fate step in and help these two souls find true love? You'll just have to pick up the book and find out for yourself!
I just loved this novel. The pacing was spot on. The characters were engaging and realistic. The story itself was quite believable and touching. I just really enjoyed it. If you're looking for a quick, lovely read, pick up The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. You're bound to be swept away!
A favorite quote: “He’s like a song she can’t get out of her head. Hard as she tries, the melody of their meeting runs through her mind on an endless loop, each time as surprisingly sweet as the last, like a lullaby, like a hymn, and she doesn’t think she could ever get tired of hearing it.”