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

Publication Date: January 2nd, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 236 Pages
RATING: 4 out of 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.

Hadley’s trip to London started out like a day from hell. She didn’t want to go in the first place. After all, who wants to see your own father put the final coffin on his marriage with your own mother? Who wants to see the soon-to-be stepmother take your father away from you? A lot of arguments has been had about why she had to go. But a lot of her reasons for not going fell on deaf ears anyway. Claustrophobic, she was already on edge with the thought of the seven-hour trip across the Atlantic in the seemingly tiny cabin of the plane. To top it all off, she missed her flight. But serendipity seems to be at play as she meets a Brit boy who manages to calm her nerves and distract her from all her distress. Time passes and in the blink of an eye, their plane lands in Heathrow. Hadley’s anxiety doubles as the thought of not seeing Oliver again gives her something else to be nervous about.

The thing is, I’ve always been the type of who cannot be emphatic to men who cheats and unfortunately, Hadley’s father is one of those men. I don’t know why, but stories that involved a broken family never fails to squeeze my heart as if it were on a vise-grip. I wanted Hadley to stick it to her old man. I wanted her to throw that book in his face and tell him how much of a selfish person he was. Jennifer E. Smith did a fantastic job of convincing me that Hadley’s hatred is well placed and the downside of this was that she did it so well that she was also unable to convince me to forgive Hadley’s father quite as easily. By the end of the book, I was feeling sour and raw with the lack of confrontation between Hadley and her father. And I cannot, for the life of me, reconcile Dicken’s Our Mutual Friend as his father’s way of explaining all the reasons why he left or if it was his way of asking for her forgiveness. Have you ever wanted to face punch a character so bad? That’s pretty much how I felt about her father.

Anyway, on to brighter things. I was in awe of Oliver’s reason for his trip back home. I never saw that coming. For some reason, I was under the impression that Oliver and Hadley were going to meet at the same wedding. Predictable, huh? But I was dead wrong. The emotional heavy came from both Oliver’s and Hadley’s respective family situations. It was a one-two punch. So much so that the romance actually took a back seat. I thought that it was brilliant; initially selling the fluff only to find that this novel was so much more than a boy-meets-girl romance.

Oddly enough, this book is deceptively heavy. Expect some swoon-worthy moments between characters but be prepared to be taken for an emotional ride. My opinion is that this book is far from fluffy as I initially thought it would be. Nevertheless, this book was still an enjoyable read. The witty, yet ridiculous banter between characters was few and far between but it was still entertaining.