Thursday, March 20, 2014

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

Pages: 236
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: January 2, 2012
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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. "
Hadley's father has left her and her mother behind for not only a teaching position at Oxford, but also for another woman.  He is starting over in London with new friends, a new job, and now a new wife. Hadley's mother encourages her to attend his wedding and Hadley reluctantly agrees.  She misses her original flight and is rebooked to a later flight making it a close call as to whether or not she'll make the wedding in time.  Hadley is pretty much miserable now as she's stuck in the airport (she has claustrophobia) on top of the fact that she's dreading this weekend.  A young Yale student helps her in the terminal and then ends up sitting next to her on the flight.  His name is Oliver and he's good looking, funny, and they hit it off instantly. He's her bright ray of sunshine on this trip and she finds herself opening up to him about her precarious relationship with her father. They form a strong bond while on this trip, but are separated once they land in London.  Readers can't help but wonder if they will find each other again? Jennifer E. Smith's The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a charming read that examines love, big life changes, and family ties.  

Hadley is one anxious girl and although I felt for her (claustrophobia while on a plane!), I felt like she was whiny and hyper-focused.  And did I mention she's really whiny?  I understand she is bummed about going to her dad's wedding, but she has had a lot of time to process all of this. It seems that Oliver really helps her come to grips with things and makes her think a little more deeply about her situation, especially when she figures out why Oliver is heading to London. I felt like her change of heart was a little quick, but nonetheless, I could appreciate her struggles in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight examines just that and I liked reading Hadley and Oliver's discussions and witty banter while aboard the plane. It just goes to show you that love can happen in an instant and connections can be formed quickly. As a teenager, I am sure that I would have swooned for days after reading this book, but as an older reader, I was only mildly amused. There's no doubt Oliver is charming, good looking, has an accent (swoon!), and is a tad mysterious.  Yes, I enjoyed him, but unfortunately, I didn't find myself LOVING him or his relationship with Hadley like many other readers have.

What I do like about The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is not only the idea of fate, but also forgiveness. Even though I had issues with Hadley's quick change of attitude and heart, I liked that she chose to move on, forgive and ultimately allow herself to be happy.  Many teenagers today face the same situation of a parent remarrying and I liked that Smith examined that important issue.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. It's entertaining and a quick read that I know many people love, but for me, it was just a little better than ok.  


14 comments:

  1. I had a similar reaction to this one Christina! I liked it, I enjoyed reading it, but I didn't swoon all over it the way I thought I might going in. Maybe it's because I'm a bit older like you said, maybe my high school self would have been drooling:) Still, it was a cute and fun read!

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    1. Yes. My high school self would have absolutely fallen in love with this story, but I guess I am a bit too cynical now that I'm "old." haha. Thanks for visiting, Jenny, and I'm glad we agree!

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  2. Great review! I've been wanting to read this book but I get the vibe that I might feel the same as you. Maybe someday I'll have a chance to pick it up and read. :)

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    1. It was really cute and I enjoyed it, but like I said, it didn't wow me. So, it would be a good, quick read while on vacation. Thanks for visiting, Danielle.

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  3. I once tried reading it, but somehow it didn't grab me in the beginning. I think I will try reading it again though, because it does seem like a cute story.

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    1. Yes, the beginning is slow and I really didn't connect with the main character at all. Once I got past the slow beginning, I found it a bit more enjoyable. I hope you can pick it up in the future. Thanks for visiting, Rochella!

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  4. Count me among the people who really, really liked this one (I've not liked any of her subsequent books quite as well, though). I mean, it wasn't life changing or anything, but I liked the travel, the sweetness of falling in love against all probability, and the moment when the main character truly realizes for the first time that her parents are people with lives beyond their relationship to her. And as you say, forgiveness is all too uncommon these days, so seeing a book whose character embraces it? Okay by me.

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    1. I'm so glad you really enjoyed this one! The premise seems like something I would LOVE, but I just wasn't connecting with the main character, so I think that threw me off. I do really like the theme of forgiveness in the novel as well as the fact that parents are people too, make mistakes, aren't perfect, etc. There were so many things I liked about it, but in the end I sort of felt in between about it all. Oh well! Thanks for dropping by!

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  5. Sounds good but I'm very sensitive to whiny. Thanks for the warning. :)

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    1. Yes, me too apparently! I just couldn't connect with the main character very well. Thanks for visiting, Juju!

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  6. Too bad this one wasn't super amazing for you. I have a hard time with whiny characters, so I might skip this one.

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    1. Other people have really liked it, so I urge you to try it out for yourself, but if you have some of the same pet peeves as me, then definitely skip it. Thanks for visiting, Megan!

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  7. I read this one when it was first released and VERY publisher hyped an I just couldn't get into it at all. It was a very so-so read for me. I loved the premise of the story, but then, it just didn't work out. I am going to try out Jen E. Smith's new book, though, and hope that one works out better for me.

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    1. I knew we would agree about this one! I am going to try her other novels too. This one, while it was entertaining, didn't wow me to say the least. Thanks for dropping by, Leanna!

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