Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith1
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Poppy/Little, Brown and Company
Publishing Date: January 2, 2012
Pages/Format: 236, Hardcover
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.
Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: Enjoyable.
When I first heard about this book eons ago I really wanted to read it. I thought it may be a super cute, fun romance, kind of like Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. After finally reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I will say that it is not quite what I had expected and it didn't wow me, but that it was enjoyable and I finished it with a smile on my face.
The book was short, simple, and kind of to the point--it does, after all, have "statistical" in the title. It takes place in a 24-hour timespan, with several flashbacks from Hadley, who is on her way to her father's wedding to a woman she's never met. The point of view, which is third person present tense, isn't a common one, but I didn't mind it once I got used to it. I felt like I was reading from Hadley's point of view or like a narrator was telling the story, and I kind of liked that.
My main problem, though it isn't really a problem, is that the book wasn't about what I thought it was going to be about: the quick discovery of love between Hadley and Oliver, the British boy she meets at the airport. A lot of the story was about Hadley, her claustrophobia, her father's affair and the divorce of her parents, as well as the dread she feels about going to his wedding. I would've liked more of Oliver, who's a character I'd like to know more about so that I can develop a crush on him.
However, as I'm writing this review, a lightbulb goes on. Maybe this book isn't supposed to be just about a girl and boy who fall for each other in an almost unbelievable--yet totally awesome for romance suckers--amount of time. Maybe it's about how you can meet one person--and meet that person by chance, since one little thing may have made you late for something, like a plane--and that one person can change everything. They make being on a plane not so bad and scary. They make going to your father's wedding a bit more bearable. They make you realize that the wedding, and the new stepmother, really isn't all that bad. They make your view on everything better and more clear. They make you believe in love, and the statistical probability of it happening at first sight.
Prior to meeting Oliver, Hadley was a bit of a grouch and was in no way looking forward to meeting her stepmother-to-be. She thought marriage was a doozy and she wasn't too fond of her father. However, on the day she was to board a plane to London, she did something wrong--or right--and didn't make her flight on time. Because of that she met a boy, a boy who changed her thoughts on so much.
After my lightbulb moment, I have to think about what I think of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I may have been too interested in this book pre-read that my opinions are affected. Yes, it didn't wow me. But it was a short and simple read that covered the bases from boy problems to family problems. It was cute and enjoyable, and I closed the book with a smile on my face. Plus, I stayed up late finishing it--that doesn't happen with every book. In the end, I'd say read it because your statistical probability of love at first sight--or read--may be higher than mine.
And I must say that a quote is sticking with me, and I must post it so I don't forget it: "The rest is just geography" (Page 215).
Did I like it? Yes.
Did I love it? No.
Would I reread it? Maybe, if I'm in the mood for something short and sweet.
Would I purchase it? If it was on sale, but I don't know that'd I pay full price.
Would I recommend it? Yes, to the right person.
About the Author
Jennifer E. Smith is the author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, The Storm Makers, You Are Here, and The Comeback Season. She earned a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and currently works as an editor in New York City. Her work has been translated into 28 languages, and her new young adult novel, This is What Happy Looks Like, is coming out in April 2013. Find her on her website.