Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Published: January 2, 2012
Hardcover, 236 pages
5 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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.

As soon as I found out this book was going to take place over a 24 period, I knew I'd love it. I love books like that, where so much happens in such a short amount of time that you realize each day really does count for something. I immediately loved Hadley. She's been going through a lot - her parents have gotten divorced and her dad is getting re-married. She's running to get to the airport in time for her flight to England, where her dad now lives, and ends up missing it by four minutes. Now she's stuck waiting for at least three hours, worried she'll miss the wedding and nervous about seeing her dad and meeting her new stepmom. A chance encounter with the boy who will be sitting beside her on the plane changes everything she had planned for that weekend. Oliver is from England. He's sweet, has nice eyes and a killer accent. Hadley tries not to fall for him, but it's impossible. And before she knows it, he's all that matters to her.

Insta-love isn't always my thing, but I loved it in this book. I think it was how they met that sold me on it. I've been in airports, I know the feeling you get when you're alone and see someone cute across the lobby. It's easy to strike up a conversation with someone you may never see again. It's easier to fall for them and fear never seeing them again. Hadley and Oliver were adorable from the start. Both had their own issues to deal with and found solace in each other. Hadley struggles with a lot of family problems over the course of the book. We find out how her parents got divorced and how her life has been different ever since. She has a book that her dad gave her that she hasn't had the guts to read since it's the last thing he gave her. She hasn't seen him since he moved to England and she's not sure how well this weekend will turn out. 

Smith has created a story that makes me believe in love at first sight. There are real concerns mixed in with that fuzzy feeling you get when you meet someone you really connect with. Both characters were likeable, and everything that happens from their first meeting to their last is wonderfully written. I wanted to read this all in one sitting to get the full effect of the book. I wanted to play out my life along side theirs, feeling their feelings at the same time as them. It only takes a minute to connect with someone, maybe only an hour to know you want to get to know them better. Less than a day to realize you like them. This was one of the best contemporary books I read in 2013 and I'm excited to read more from this author. 

“Love is the strangest, most illogical thing in the world.” 

“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.” 

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