Monday, 13 February 2012
Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Little Brown
Publication Date: January 2nd, 2012
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
As Hadley races to JFK airport to fly to her dad’s wedding in London, she doesn’t feel prepared for what she expects to be the worst day of her life. Hadley has no interest in seeing her dad for the first time in a year or meeting his soon to be wife. Things become worst than she could have imagined when she arrives four minutes late for her flight and has to wait three hours for the next plane to Heathrow. Just as things couldn’t get any worst, the unexpected happens; Hadley meets a boy who could change her mind about love and relationships. As Hadley gets to know Oliver over the seven-hour plane ride, she comes to dread landing in London even more than she already had. After they lose each other in the airport, Hadley races across London to make it in time for her father’s wedding. When it seems like Hadley and Oliver meeting in the first place was an incredibly unlikely piece of luck, how will they ever meet again?
I’ve been looking forward to this book for a long time, and I thought it be the perfect book to read for Valentine’s Day. In the end, it was definitely worth the wait. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is different from so many other books I’ve read because it’s told in third person present tense and takes place over a twenty-four hour period. While the style of narration took a while to get used to, it worked quite well and I was impressed with the writing. This was a quick read that was easy to get caught up in, even if it isn’t exactly plot heavy. I loved Hadley and Oliver’s relationship, although I never really believed it was ‘love at first sight.’ I enjoyed Oliver’s wry humour and the way he and Hadley interacted with each other. While their relationship is the critical event of the novel, Hadley’s family problems were the reason they met, and that played a significant role as well. Hadley dealing with her father’s remarriage added a lot to the story. Smith succeeded in making me feel the same way Hadley felt about her father: frustrated and angry with him, but still loving him to pieces. This book is fairly short, and that combined with the fact that it takes place over a short period of time made it feels sort of incomplete. If felt more like a novella, or that is was kind of missing something. While I can see the books flaws, it didn’t really matter to me. I still loved it. I loved how it made me feel, I loved the title and how it tied into the book, I loved the central relationships (romantic and familial), I loved the setting and I loved the storyline. This is the sort of book I usually like: a YA contemporary novel with a realistic romantic relationship, witty banter and family playing a large role in the plot. However, I could understand why a lot of people didn't like this book because they felt like not enough happened. While this book is certainly not for everyone, I really enjoyed it. It actually reminded me a bit of the movie Serendipity. In the end, I couldn’t have picked a better book to read right before Valentine’s Day.
“She thinks of the way they stood together near the bathroom, how it seemed like they’d been on the brink of something, of everything, like the whole room was changing as they’d huddled together in the dark.”