The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Poppy (Part of Hachette Books)
Pages: 256 pages
Publication Date: January 2, 2012
Target Audience: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover gifted to me by the lovely Magan.
Why I wanted to read it: An airport, a chance meeting, London, and that gorgeous cover.
Summary: When she misses her flight by 4 minutes, Hadley wants to take it as a sign from the universe that she is not meant to be at dad’s wedding (to a woman she has never met). But things start to look up when she meets Oliver, a cute British boy who ends up sitting next to her on the long flight…
I love an airport. Even after all the long lines and the pat downs and the random people who cut in line, there is something about an airport that I love. Maybe because it’s the in-between, the connector, between where you are and where you want to be. It’s almost mystifying — all of these different people rushing and sitting and passing through one space. You really never know what could happen.
When it came to The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I was afraid. I had anticipated the release of this book for a long time and the last thing I wanted to be was disappointed. But it was far from a disappointment. Far, far from it. Sure, it was a simple story with common themes. A young girl upset with her father for leaving their family. She meets a guy on a flight, they talk for hours. What happens once they meet their destination? This could have easily fallen under the realm of cliché. Been totally superficial. But it was the meat of the story, the flow, and its pacing that made it a solid piece of writing.
Oliver is basically the epitome of any guy you would want sitting next to you on a long flight to London – he’s sweet, funny, thoughtful, swoon-worthy, likes Dickens and has an accent. He’s a good listener and he’s willing to “borrow” whiskey. I immediately could understand why Hadley felt so comfortable with him and was taken with him at first sight, basically.
But I was almost more invested in Hadley coming to terms with her father cheating on her mother, and marrying the woman he left them for. There was a lot of heavy stuff for her to sort through. I like the way Smith weaved present day with these past scenes that helped us to better understand why Hadley felt the way she did. Hadley could have easily been a character that was obsessed and driven by this sudden romance with Oliver but the procession of events felt extremely organic to me. I think I would have made all the same decisions.
Hadley was always braver and gutsier than she gave herself credit for, and even though the book only takes place over a period of 24 hours, it’s jam-packed with mini-adventures and character growth. For many of these characters, they are simply taking the first step in moving forward; while wonderful, it was also bittersweet because I wanted their stories to keep on going!
For me, The Statistical Probability of Love at First sight is just made up of a million elements I love in a great YA. An adorable yet smart male lead. A thoughtful leading lady who is struggling to understand her family and change. An immediate connection between the two people. An airport. Some time in London. And how sometimes horrible timing can be the best timing.