A Sweetly Satisfying Look at Love at First Sight
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
by Jennifer E. Smith
Original Publication Date: January 2, 2012
Paperback Reprint: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown / Poppy
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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.
Timing is everything. In life, love, and even reading. I picked this up late, but I suspect, just as Hadley Sullivan was fated to miss her flight, I was meant to read this book now. Around the time The Statistical Probabilty of Love at First Sight hit shelves, I was sick, in a slump, and considering aborting my first blog. But last night, the stars aligned. I was reading another YA Contemporary Romance and not liking it. I abandoned that title and reviewed my other options. It felt like the right time to finally read this book, do right by the publisher (better late than never!), and leave feedback. Suffice it to say that I made the right choice!
We meet seventeen-year-old Hadley at the airport where, for the first time in her life, she’s just missed a flight. After a crazy string of mishaps and bad timing, she was four minutes late for a plane that was supposed to carry her to England for her father’s second wedding. Not that she wanted to go, mind you! And though she’d even imagined scenarios that would have resulted in her not being able to attend the ceremony, Hadley absolutely did not miss the plane on purpose. Because she’s angry with her father, who has been relegated to “The Professor” on her cell contacts, her plan had been to fly in for the wedding and fly back home the next day. But here she stands with a suitcase that contains little more than her bridesmaid’s dress, watching the plane taxi away realizing that she’s going to miss the wedding she didn’t want to attend in the first place.
Her bad luck soon turns good. There’s another plane leaving that night. It’ll be a close call, but she just might make it in time for the wedding. Then she meets Oliver, a cute eighteen-year-old English boy studying at Yale. Smith conveys their instant connection in a way that feels natural. It’s a pleasure to have an unobstructed view as the two bond over the course of the seven hour flight. Their conversation alternates between witty, flirting repartee and serious, nuanced exchanges about marriage and family. You’ll be smiling and rooting for the pair as they relate stories and share thoughts and feelings. And by the time the plane touches down, you’ll be feeling pangs of separation just anticipating Hadley and Oliver’s goodbye.
Though much of the book centers around Hadley’s chance encounter with Oliver, the emotional focus is much broader. Hadley has unresolved grief over her parents’ divorce and unsettled anger at her father for his role in making it all fall apart. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight explores love, family, and forgiveness, and all the incongruencies therein, packing in a surprising amount of character depth while maintaining reader interest and investment throughout. Jennifer E. Smith covers a lot of ground — emotional and geographical — in just over 24 hours of narrative time. And as Hadley learns, although 24 hours is a short span, it’s long enough to change your life.
— Dawn Teresa
4 of 5 Hearts. A Sweetly Satisfying Look at Love at First Sight.
With The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight, Jennifer E. Smith gives her readers a glimpse into Hadley Sullivan’s life to remind them that though life and love can be scary and unpredictable, the rewards are always worth the risk.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank NetGalley and Little, Brown for providing me access to this title. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”