The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Published: 02 January 2012
Poppy/Little Brown, Hardcover, 236 pages
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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.
First off, let me proudly announce that I’ve always believed in love at first sight. So imagine my excitement when my eyes landed on this book. To be honest, the adorable cover & awesome title was what hooked me. I would definitely say I loved this book at first sight.
However, I did have a few concerns. One being the fact that I usually don’t enjoy contemporary novels. There are a few that I do like, but not much because sometimes contemporaries can get over dramatic & cutesy. Also, for some odd reason, I almost always end up hating the protagonist. But of course, this book was flawless to me, which really is something, coming from someone who for the most part can’t stand contemporary books.
Jennifer E. Smith is like a master of perfect timing. Every single event in the book occurred at exactly the right moment, not a second too late or early. Hadley and Oliver’s relationship was also completely beautiful. I was literally transported onto that plane with them, feeling what they felt. Although technically they’ve only just met, the magical illusion of the suspension of time in the plane made it seem like they’ve known each other for forever.
The simplicity of the story telling made it all the more wonderful. There was no complicated, frivolous and uncalled for situations, which really let the story flow. However, don’t be mistaken into thinking this is just some fluffy YA romance, because it is definitely not and it actually made me cry. TSPOLAFS (sorry, the title’s kind of long & I’m lazy) is about forgiveness, moving on with life and knowing that holding grudges would do you no good. Hadley started off being pissed with her Dad for leaving her and her Mom. However, with the events in the 24 hours the book was set in, she discovered that there were worse things in life than having to attend your father’s second wedding to a lady you’ve never met.
Another aspect of the story that I loved was the fast pace that seemed timeless at the same time. It prevented the story from getting dry and created a subtly magical feel. I mean, what’s not magical when love at first sight is involved?
After finishing this book, it is definitely going on my “favourites” list and I would love to read more of Jennifer E. Smith’s books. My hope in contemporary novels have (sort of) been restored. I’m not sure about others who have read this, but after TSPOLAFS, I’m having an incredibly strong urge to just hop on a plane going anywhere right now. My impressions of airports and planes would also forever be changed. Lets just say, I’ll be more hopeful in my chances of love at first sight in those venues. After all, I am a hopeless romantic. Need I even say I strongly recommend this novel to all my fellow hopeless romantics out there?
6 thoughts on “Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith”
Great review! I just finished the book and also enjoyed it. Something you mention in your post, that I hadn’t even thought of is Jennifer E. Smith’s excellent sense of time and pacing. You are so right! Time obviously plays an important part of the novel – it takes place in 24 hours and the time is listed before each chapter – but her mastery goes beyond that. The right things happen at the right time!
Thanks! Yup, she made me realise how much good pacing can improve a book!
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