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A Reader of Fictions: Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Pages: 236
Publisher: Poppy
Source: Library

Description from Goodreads:
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 Sentence: "There are so many ways it could have all turned out differently."

Review:
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, henceforth to be referred to as TSP for brevity's sake, is a sweet, quick little book. The story has a similar feel to Love, Actually, with the sense that while everything doesn't turn out as hoped, love will ultimately conquer all. In fact, TSP has a very cinematic quality to it. This book has high ratings pretty much across the board, and I can certainly see why.

I have been on so many flights, but I've never ever gotten to flirt with a cute guy in the waiting area or sit next to one on the plane. Can I just be a character in a novel already? Seriously? Hadley misses her flight to London for her father's wedding by just four minutes. Had she not missed the flight, she never would have met the sweet, charming, silly Oliver. Had she not met Oliver, she might not have grown up enough to bond with her father again.

Smith's writing is incredibly interesting. TSP is written in third person present tense, which one does not see particularly often. I really did not have a problem with that at all, though I've never been as particular about tenses as most readers, but some of the flashbacks and memories had some awkwardness with tenses. I did love her writing, though. There were a lot of quotes that reached out and grabbed me.

On the surface, this book seems entirely about the romance, about a girl and a boy meeting and falling in love over the course of just a day. However, fun as that can be to read, I maintain the book had more depth than that, and, for that reason, I rate it more highly. At least as much focus is put on Hadley's relationship with her father as on her blooming relationship with the adorable, British Oliver, who actually doesn't have a huge role in the second half of the book but for cameos.

Oliver really steals the show, though, particularly with his absurd lies about what he's studying at Yale. Their interactions are adorable and I especially loved their surprisingly deep conversations about love and marriage. They do not fall under my heading of instalove. The two form a real bond while flying on that plane, and I could see them actually going back to Connecticut and becoming a real couple. They're super into each other, and certainly feeling starstruck by the serendipity of everything, but their interactions are not cheesy or full of protestations of eternal tender devotion.

TSP joins the illustrious list of YA novels with present parents. Both Hadley's mother and father love her and want to do right by her, despite the chaos of the divorce. Hadley has not seen her father since she found out about Charlotte, his soon-to-be wife. The realization that her father has moved in also results in Hadley developing claustrophobia. This element seems tacked on to me, disappearing except when it benefited the plot to have Hadley freak out. For how big of a deal she makes of her claustrophobia in the early chapters, it seems not to affect her much later.

I liked the way her interactions with Oliver convinced Hadley to give her father another chance. Her own crazy actions and excitement over meeting a new boy lead to her reevaluation of her father's affair with Charlotte. While that was well done, I still could not forgive him as easily as Hadley does. While I did think she and her father were on a good path, I felt that her forgiveness was too complete to be entirely believable in such a short time frame.

If you are looking for a quick read with a sweet romance, you cannot go wrong with TSP. I know I will be reading more Jennifer E. Smith books in the future without a doubt!

Rating: 3.5/5

Favorite Quote: "He was giving her the most important thing he could, the only way he knew how. He was a professor, a lover of stories, and he was building her a library in the same way other men might build their daughters houses."

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18 Comments:

Blogger Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Reviews said...

I don't really know what it was about this book that didn't work for me, but I couldn't finish it. As you said, the characters were great and the writing was good - even with the weird tenses for the flashbacks. But I just found myself not caring. There's nothing wrong with this book. I think it was just me.

One thing you didn't mention but I want to say is that the design of this book is so pretty! I love the chapter breaks and the tiny details added to the pages. It's a cute book cosmetically.

December 22, 2012 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Renae said...

I've been pretty against reading this book, mostly because the title just screams INSTALOVE. Of course, you do mention a bond and stuff, which is totally good and more up my alley as far as acceptable portrayals of super-quick love go. Still a bit leery of it, though, to be honest.

But the characters do sound fantastic.

*strokes goatee thoughtfully*

December 22, 2012 at 3:51 PM  
Blogger Christina (Christinareadsya) said...

I have been on so many flights, but I've never ever gotten to flirt with a cute guy in the waiting area or sit next to one on the plane. Can I just be a character in a novel already? Seriously? <-- UGH, ME TOO.

While that was well done, I still could not forgive him as easily as Hadley does. While I did think she and her father were on a good path, I felt that her forgiveness was too complete to be entirely believable in such a short time frame. <-- Also yes.

Basically I agree with you about everything in this novel. Except you wrote your review better than I could have :P

December 22, 2012 at 5:45 PM  
Blogger Brandy said...

Interesting...I didn't see her forgiveness as being complete in any sense. We totally read that in different ways. I always find it fascinating when that happens. It proves how much are moods, life experiences, etc. play into how we respond to a book. Overall I liked how her dad was a guy who pulled a classic jerk move, but wasn't totally a jerk.

Oliver really steals the show, though, particularly with his absurd lies about what he's studying at Yale. Their interactions are adorable and I especially loved their surprisingly deep conversations about love and marriage.
I agree with you absolutely on this paragraph. I loved their interactions.

December 22, 2012 at 7:32 PM  
Blogger KM said...

Well I'm glad you liked this one fairly well! I agree that it's very "Love Actually"-esque! This was one of the first books I read in 2012, and I'm now desperately waiting for her next book, which was pitched as "You've Got Mail" meets "Sleepless in Seattle." Umm...IS THIS REAL LIFE?! I know some people are sorta weirded out by the blurb, that they meet online and form an attachment that way, but I'm ready to throw any sort of responsible thoughts and worries for teens getting exploited by online sexual predators and just freaking loving that book. lol

December 22, 2012 at 8:39 PM  
Blogger Bookworm1858 said...

I just picked this up at the library, hoping for a quick read for the holidays and it sounds like that is what I'll get. I'm not too particular about tenses either so I anticipate loving this fun cute read!

December 23, 2012 at 9:39 AM  
Blogger Estelle said...

I started my year reading this book + it really set the bar high. I read a ton of Jen books after that, and I enjoy her books so much. I do like the surprise depth here. I think that makes JES stand out for sure.

December 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Hmmm, well, I think it's maybe just not your thing. There was a little bit of darkness, but really not much. It's a bit idealized and all that. You prefer your contemps darker, I think.

*tries to remember*

December 27, 2012 at 8:24 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yeah, it's definitely got some instalove feel to it, but it's not a super offensive one.

I think it's worth reading, especially given its brevity.

December 27, 2012 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

For real. I see them on planes sometimes, but usually with some Barbie-looking girl. Sigh. Of course, I'm not at my best when I go to the airport either. It makes me extra grumpy.

Oh good, I'm glad you agree with me about her forgiveness coming too easily, because I know not everyone felt that way!

December 27, 2012 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Well, complete, maybe not, but she goes from being all "I HATE MY DAD AND MY STEP-MOTHER" to telling her mom she and her dad are cool, wanting to visit them and admitting the step-mother is nice. It just seemed like too quick of a 180 for me. I did like the dad's role.

Oliver was adorbs! And they got along so well, but did have some of the real life awkwardness!

December 27, 2012 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Aren't You've Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle basically the same movie? I'm trying to figure out what it means to be a combination of the two, haha. I think it sounds interesting. I mean, it's not like teens don't do that. I know a girl who married a guy she met in an online chat room as a teen, when they met up years later. So who knows!

December 27, 2012 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Awesome, I think you will like it, as it definitely is cute and fun!

December 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yeah, I'll be very curious to check out her other books after this one!

December 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM  
Blogger Kayla Beck said...

I think that I could read this one with it being quick and all. Perhaps I should before I turn back into Normal [Contemporary-Hating] Kayla. :-D

December 28, 2012 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger The Writer in the Background said...

Hmm, intriguing! I'll have to pick it up somehow!

December 31, 2012 at 11:14 PM  
Blogger Tanja - Tanychy said...

I totally agree :) This is a really quick and sweet read :) I've read it few months ago and I enjoyed :) Great review :)

January 5, 2013 at 5:06 AM  
Blogger Anne Consolacion said...

A romance novel with more depth. That is great! And the cover is adorable.

Thanks for the honest review. :)

January 14, 2013 at 2:54 PM  

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