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


Release Date: January 2, 2012
Publisher: Poppy
Format: Hardcover (also available in eBook format)
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Pages: 236
ISBN:
0316122386
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary (taken 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. 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.
Review:
This is a story that makes you ponder the idea of something being fated. All the minor problems that made Hadley four minutes late enabled her to stumble across the path of Oliver, a handsome British boy who missed the same flight. Through meeting this adorable Brit, Hadley spends the next 24 hours learning more about herself, confronting some of the issues she has just been letting simmer, and falling in love. But what would have happened if she made the flight? What would have happened if she was not sitting next to Oliver on the plan to England? Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?
I was super excited for this book. I felt like I had been waiting ages to finally get my hands on a copy. It was a fairly quick read, and the story was light, cute, and romantic. I enjoyed reading it, yet I felt a little underwhelmed at the end. Sure, there were cute moments where I laughed, but that was about it. I think one of the problems was the point of view. This story is told in the third person narrative, yet it purely focuses on Hadley. If only one character is going to be in the limelight, why not just use first person narrative? I feel like if the story was told from Hadley’s perspective in first person, the story and the characters, especially Hadley, would have been fleshed out more.
The characters were decent, but I had a hard time to really connecting with them. They felt superficial to me, and try as I might, I just could not find it in myself to really care for them. In the beginning, I could not stand Hadley. She was extremely rude to her mom before she left for England, and she is even more callous and abrasive towards her father. I found her to be selfish and overly stubborn, acting like a stuck-up princess who deserves everything served to her on a silver platter (when in actuality, all she deserved was a royal beating). She did get better at the end, but I think who she was at the start of the story stuck with me a little too well. Oliver was the one character I can say I liked. He is a nice, funny guy, but I felt like his character was undeveloped. I really wish we got to know more about him, since he seemed like a really interesting fellow. Hadley’s mom was on the periphery the whole time, and the only thing I can really say about her is she seemed nice and kind-hearted (and she also should not have had to put up with her daughter’s attitude).
And then we get to Hadley’s dad. He is going to get his own paragraph since his character really angered me. He has a wife and daughter that he leaves behind to go and teach at Oxford for a while, and while there, he finds a thinner, younger woman (who happens to be TERRIBLY superficial) and decides to end his marriage. Really? Could he try any harder to be more of a jerk? Who up and abandons the family and life that they had FOR YEARS for a superficial woman they have known for less than a year? I am sorry, sir, but you are nothing more than a cheater, and your new, shiny wife is a home wrecker. I really despised his character. He wanted his daughter to be happy for him and his new wife. His reasoning behind leaving Hadley and her mom is that love is ‘illogical.’ Is that the best you can come up with? No, Professor, you are illogical! All you have left in the wake of your divorce is an emotionally damaged wife who is afraid to connect to men and a daughter who has turned sour since you left her behind without a word. Come and talk to me when you actually develop a conscience (and ditch your new wife).
I feel bad for giving a less than positive review, but it is the truth. I am going to follow the advice of Mulan and be true to my heart. Overall, this book was an easy, quick read, and it does have a few nice moments. This is a good read if you are looking for something uncomplicated and cute! However, it is definitely no Anna and the French Kiss or Where She Went, so do not expect to be blown away. 
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