All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight – Jennifer E. Smith

on March 29, 2012

The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight
Jennifer E. Smith
Little Brown
2012, 256p
Read from my Mt TBR Pile of Doom

Hadley is 17 and stuck at JFK airport after she misses her flight to England by 4 minutes. She’s going to London for her father’s wedding and to say that Hadley is reluctant would be something of an understatement. Her father got a job teaching a semester at Oxford… And never came back. He and her mother separated officially, then divorced and now her father is remarrying. If not for her mother, then Hadley wouldn’t be going at all. But her mother is sure that if Hadley doesn’t go, she will regret it, later on in life. And now Hadley has missed her flight and although they have gotten her on another flight departing in a couple of hours, it will cut it very fine for her to get to the wedding in time.

She meets Oliver, a boy a little older than her when he helps her with her bag. Feeling claustrophobic, Hadley escapes the waiting area for the food court and Oliver tags along. They discover they are on the same flight together – in seats 18A and 18C to be exact. Oliver, an Englishman, is returning to London as well. Although Hadley isn’t really interested in having someone to talk to right now, Oliver sneaks in under her wall and although after their meal, they lose each other in the crush of people, once on the plane Oliver swaps seats with the person in 18B so that they can chat together.

Hadley finds herself really warming up to Oliver, confiding in him her family situation and her reluctance to attend this wedding and her feelings for her dad. Oliver though, is more guarded in what he reveals about himself, quite obviously changing the subject several times and smoothly reverting the topic back to Hadley. Side by side on a plane for 9 hours, Hadley shares more with Oliver than she’s possibly ever shared with anyone, and when the flight lands in London, they are separated due to holding different citizenships. Although they had plans to meet up once they are through their respective custom queues, it doesn’t happen and Hadley has to race to the church to make it in time for her father’s wedding. She can’t stop thinking about Oliver though – she doesn’t know enough about him to be able to find him once she returns to America, but then she overhears something one of the guests at her father’s wedding says and realises that she has to take a chance.

Oh wow. I’m on a roll reading amazingly well written books at the moment and this one – it is everything good that everyone has ever said about it and then some. I loved this book. I read it in a couple of hours, or maybe a little less as it’s not a long book but it manages to pack a lot in. Firstly, the characters.

Hadley is hurting. Her father was supposed to go to England for a couple of months and instead, he never came home. He divorced her mother, and Hadley had to listen to her mother crying in bed, night after night. Whilst Hadley’s mother has come to terms with it and managed to move on, Hadley hasn’t. Previously close to her father, she resents him now and distances herself from him, particularly when she realises that he has found someone else and is seriously about them. If not for Hadley’s mother basically forcing her to attend the wedding (in a display of parental maturity and goodwill that is awesome) then Hadley wouldn’t have gone. She is a bridesmaid but hasn’t even bothered to read any of the emails that the bride or other bridesmaids have sent her and really doesn’t care at all. She’s going to the wedding, doing her part and then coming home and probably never talking to her father again.

And then there’s Oliver…. Oh Oliver I’m too old for you but I love you anyway! He’s 19, British, studying in America and open, funny and warm, making up amusing things for Hadley about what he’s studying in the US. He’s awkward sometimes, in that inherently British way and slowly he smooths a prickly Hadley until she relaxes and unwinds around him and starts to really talk to him. Although he coaxes information out of Hadley, he is quite cagey about the reason he’s returning to London (Hadley assumes wedding he’s reluctant to go to, same as her) and abruptly changes subjects whenever parts of his family come up, or when she asks him what he really wants to do with his life. In fact he was so cagey that at one stage I wondered if the wedding he was apparently going back to attend was his own, which would’ve added to the YA drama (it isn’t). I certainly didn’t guess the real reason Oliver was on that flight.

Sometimes you just click with the particular way an author writes or a particular story that’s being told and that was this book for me. I loved everything about it, from Hadley and Oliver’s blossoming friendship, to Hadley’s awkward and believable relationships with her parents and her feelings on all that had happened in the last couple of years in her life. It takes place over a time period of just 24 hours, with minimal supporting characters and distractions, which lets you focus on the characters of Oliver and Hadley, which really shine. The only real complaint I have about this book? It was over all too soon. I could’ve read about Oliver and Hadley for a lot longer!


Book #50 of 2012

5 responses to “The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight – Jennifer E. Smith

  1. VeganYANerds says:

    This book really is quite short, isn’t it? I enjoyed it too and I also was convinced Oliver was on his way home to attend his own wedding! Great review 🙂

  2. megsays says:

    Definitely putting this on my “to read” list!

  3. Another one on my list! Sounds like I will keep this one in my TBR pile!

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