Book Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Before I get to the actual review, I have to take a second to thank Raquelin for recommending this book!
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.
When I first heard about this book, I didn’t think I’d like it. I always scoff at the idea of love at first sight, and I’ve read so many reviews bashing the insta-love prevalent in YA novels, so the very notion of this book did not appeal to me at all. I had no plans of reading this until a friend recommended it to me, saying that it was adorable. Since I’m always more willing to try a book after someone I know recommends it, I decided to give it a chance.
I am so glad I did! Adorable really is the best word to describe this book. I love Hadley and Oliver. They’re so cute together, and I found the entire thing believable, even the parts I know I would never do. I didn’t always agree with some of the choices that Hadley made, but I’m still glad she made them. I liked that they got to know each other really well in the short time that they spent together. I don’t know what it is about this book, but it convinced me that they felt a real connection with each other.
But the relationship between Hadley and Oliver isn’t the only focus of this novel. Really, this novel is about Hadley and her father. I’ve seen a lot of reviews of this book bashing this relationship. We learn early on that Hadley’s father fell in love with another women and abandoned his family to move to London, and most of the reviewers seem to find this unforgivable and hate the fact that Hadley’s going to the wedding at all. However, I loved reading about this relationship. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been on the opposite end of this – where parents stayed together and fought all the time – but I could understand his choice, and I was definitely hoping for a reconciliation. Parent’s aren’t perfect. They make mistakes, and try as we might, we can’t stop loving them (most of the time – obviously there are some exceptions). I should also mention that while Hadley’s never met the woman her father is marrying, Hadley makes it clear that she’s the reason they never met, that both her father and her father’s new wife wanted to get together.
This was a really cute book. It was a fast read, as I kept wanting to see what was going to happen next. There’s not a hugely dramatic plot or anything, but that’s true of most contemporary YA books. If you’re looking for car chases and mystery, this isn’t for you. If, however, you’re looking for a cute read about relationships and forgiveness and falling in love, you’ll probably really enjoy this book. I know I did.