Saturday, March 10, 2012

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

Publisher: Poppy
Pages: 256
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
SummaryWho 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.

This one has been on my radar since I got it at the Little, Brown booth at Book Expo. Of course, I fell hopelessly behind on reading the galleys from that event, so you'll be seeing more reviews of them in the future.
Jennifer E. Smith's The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a contemporary love story deal, if you couldn't glean that from the title, which I'm sure you all could. Hadley missed her flight, so she is stuck at an airport waiting for the flight that will hopefully get her to England in time to get to her father's second wedding ceremony. She spends her time in the airport and on the plane getting to know Oliver, an English boy that happens to go to college in America. They make a strong connection. I don't think I really want to say more for fear of spoiling it, so review time!
I liked Hadley as a character. She actively attempts to punish her father for leaving her and her mother, merely by not making a greater effort towards him. I've heard people say that she was a bratty teenager for what she was doing, but I thought it was believable and understandable behavior for the circumstances they were in. The family drama is what added depth to this story--I was expecting a totally fluffy love story (not that there's anything wrong with that, I just like to know when I'm reading them) but Smith created a deep story. The anger that both Hadley and Oliver had for their fathers in their different situations made them real. It also made them realize that neither of them, despite developing feelings for one another, knew everything about the other one. They were characters before they met! Always important. I dislike when characters are defined by their feelings for another character.
I'm going to give this one some bonus points for being a travel story--I love me some adventures. I'm a bigger fan of the road trip than the plane ride, but obviously this story worked waaaay better with the plane ride. Short of a flying car, I don't think they'd really be getting anywhere in a car.
The drawbacks for me? I wish Oliver had been a bit more memorable. He was a cool British boy, but short of his family drama I can't really remember anything about his habits or his speech. Also, the lesson about love being unpredictable probably should not have been presented by someone other than Hadley's father, who cheated on her mother. That right there is less than ideal.
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was a good quick contemporary read, even if it was a mouthful. Check it out if you like travel, the idea of randomly meeting a cute British guy, or just straight up contemporary YA.

Rating: 3.5 - good.

1 comment:

  1. I'm excited to read this book, I've heard a lot of good things and I do enjoy a contemporary YA!