Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Publisher: Poppy/ Little, Brown
Age: Teen
Species: Human
Rating: 3.5/5
Interest: CCC 2012/ cool title/ love that cover
Source: Bought

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. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that 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 in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.


I've had about a month to think about The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about it. I mean I know I liked it, but maybe not as much as I had hoped I would. Alright, I am a huge opposer of insta-love, it's fake, it makes me want to hit something and I do not enjoy it. So, perhaps reading a book that was seemingly entirely based on insta-love was a bad idea in the first place.

However, here's the kicker, I didn't have a problem with Oliver and Hadley's relationship. They didn't have that awful insta-love going on. Their speed was more instant attraction, good chemistry and a want to see each other again. While some of the circumstances seemed preposterous, SPOILER:(like Hadley running away from her father's wedding ceremony to find a boy she hardly even knows) END SPOILER most of the novel was actually pretty grounded and felt real. Hadley and Oliver were generally very likable characters, but I wasn't really on their sides. You're basically meeting Hadley on one of the most confusing and stressful days of her life and Oliver just pops up, seemingly to make it all better, but there's something off about him. While the two were very likable in general, I didn't feel much of a connection to them by the end. I think this would have been remedied by getting to see more of their relationship, really being able to know what happened, if they made it last. Then again, one of the more unique parts of this book is that it's only supposed to capture a snapshot of their lives. In just two or three measly days, they have to set the course of their entire relationship. That's a lot of pressure on a book or on life as a matter of fact.

Almost none of the side characters appealed to me. Her dad was okay, but he had made this huge mistake and it overshadowed any affection I tried to have for him. The mom, the impending step-mom, the step-mom's friend, all of them were just there for plot. What I mean by that is, the stepmom would say something, and it would completely blow Hadley's mind, but then the stepmom would disappear for like 60 pages until the next mind blowing thing she had to say. The only side character I liked, or really had any empathy for, was an old woman who told Hadley and Oliver about her and her husband's marriage lasting like... 70 years or something. (Which I really only liked because my parents have a very cute, spontaneous love story, and they've been married for 26 years.)

The settings were extremely wonderful. Though Hadley didn't get to see much of london and her reminiscing about home was minimal, I still loved all the churches described, the hotels, the people etc. I was also pretty surprised by how much I liked that a big part of the book being set in an airport/ on an airplane. It was incredibly isolated despite having so many people around at all times. Airports are strangely intimate for being so unbelievably crowded. Everyone is always very focused on their destination and their plans, to the point where they neglect everything around them and no one else ever notices. That's really creepy to me.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was a cute and quick read, but ultimately wasn't the love story I was expecting. I'd love to give it to someone going on a trip. Maybe it would inspire them to admire the journey as much as the destination. Perhaps they too could experience the elusive magic of love* at first sight. (There I go getting all corny again, stop me before I start singing Celine Dion!)

*love- I don't believe in falling in love at first sight, I believe in attraction and falling into lust with someone but not love.

P.S. This book title? As much as I adore it, way too long to be typing all the time. I've had to do it like 50 times and it is so difficult to get it right every time!

Teaser line: "It's not the changes that will break your heart; it's that tug of familiarity."

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Happy Reading,

1 comment:

  1. My daughter had to read this for her Junior summer reading program in High School so I ordered it for her because it was a easier and less expensive option. Not only was it on time but she loves this book

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