The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
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. 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.
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It’s not often that you come across a YA book set over the course of 24 hours. You would think that not a lot can happen in 1 day, especially when half that day is spent waiting at the airport and taking a 7 hour flight to London. Boy is is wrong to assume such a thing.
Hadley is a 17 year old girl about to take a flight to London for her dad’s wedding. To say she’s not looking forward to it is an understatement. Over the course the novel, Hadley’s issues are placed out in the open, troubles aired for all to see. I loved being present for Hadley’s transformation. Seeing her voice pent up issues of neglect and anger at her father’s new life and learning to accept the changes in her own life – you can’t help being moved by her fears and her eventual effort to overcome barriers that have been in place since her parent’s divorce.
Love is obviously an important theme in this book. You would expect love to be mentioned at some point and ‘The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight’ does not disappoint. Not only is it explored through Hadley finding Oliver – Oh, funny and claustrophobia-distracting Oliver – but also through Hadley coming to terms with how uncertain love can be. This book highlights that there are no set rules for how, or who, you love.
I adored Hadley’s flashback scenes, exploring her reactions to love and her relationship with her father. Comparing them to her present life was heartbreaking. But it was also such a power journey.
The way the text was written interests me the most. I think the technical term is third-person subjective, where you’re pretty much inside one person’s head, hearing only their thoughts, but still use “he”, “she”, “it”, “they” and never “I”. This is my favourite form of third person; you sometimes forget that you’re not actually reading in first person. The text flows so well, you’re captured in the moment and it doesn’t have that distance you sometimes find in third person narratives.
My only issue with this book is that I wish it had been slightly longer. I didn’t want it to end; although, realistically if it had been any longer it wouldn’t have fit over 24 hours.
An incredibly sweet, touching contemporary novel that everyone should read.
(Originally posted on Goodreads)