The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
Published: January 2nd, 2012
Publisher: Poppy/Little Brown
“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.
Hadley is on her way to a wedding she doesn’t want to go to- her father’s. What could make her day any worse? Well, missing her flight across the Pond by four minutes, of course. Thankfully, Oliver, the British boy who helped her with her suitcase, proves the perfect distraction, comfort, and airline buddy for Hadley in her time of need. Though they share a special connection on their long flight, the two accidentally part ways in London, spelling the end of their short bond. But how could it have ended so suddenly and resolutely? How could their beginning have ended so fast? Jennifer weaves an undeniably exquisite story of timing, forgiveness, new beginnings, and, of course, love.
I cannot stress how much I loved this book. It has a power of wrapping you in its pages and engulfing your heart with both its sadness and its beauty. It makes you believe in those coincidental meetings that happen often on planes. Those meetings where you have a completely confusing, illogical connection with the person who just happens to be seated beside you, and you can’t explain it, and it’s so unreasonable that it makes you doubt its existence, but it’s there all the same. And you hate to see it go away. Unfortunately, most of those times are lost, and those connections do fade away as the two people walk in different directions down the airport concourse, but Hadley’s and Oliver’s connection isn’t lost. They don’t ignore its existence or push away those thoughts of “What could have happened?” As crazy as it was, and as upset as both of their lives were, on opposite sides of London, they pursued each other, fueled by the bond they both felt on the 7-hour flight. And I’m telling you, you just have to read their story, because it’s nothing short of beautiful.
I won my (now very treasured) copy of SPOLAFS (yeah, I’m abbreviating for the rest of the review, because I might possibly be exhausted by the end if I don’t) from a giveaway, and by the time it got here, I was so eager to get started. I hadn’t heard one negative thing about this book, and all I kept hearing was “it’s the best love story since Romeo and Juliet” (which in my opinion, isn’t that great of a love story in the first place, but I digress). If you’re presently staring at the title and thinking, “That is probably the gushiest, sappiest book I’ll ever lay eyes on” you are so wrong, ma friend. Don’t let the title or the kissing couple on the front deter you, no no. This book has its share of sadness. It has its share of pure, heart-wrenching emotion. I don’t want to give anything away, but don’t think that this book is all kissy-kissy lovey-dovey. The romance is so unquestionably real that you’ll find yourself checking to see if this really is fiction. And it’s not overdone, either. It’s spread out and so perfectly portioned that it makes me want to hug the author. *hugs Jennifer*
Ok, I promise not to gush anymore (for now, at least). Hadley was a great character. All the characters were great, in fact. All were well-thought out and relatable in some form or fashion. Maybe not all of us have had a parent up and leave or be unfaithful, but Jennifer somehow made sure that her readers could still relate to Hadley and Oliver. Mentioning Oliver- oh my word, what a guy. He’s just amazing. He’s not exactly strapping or sexy or anything, but he’s a gentleman, he likes good literature, and he has a cute accent. He’s real and funny and he’s definitely going on my list of fictional crushes. J
This book felt incredibly short, probably because 1) it takes place within 24 hours and 2) it’s not that humongous to start with, which is perfectly fine. I love the author’s voice- she uses her words to make the most beautiful descriptions and ideas, and I just love her writing. I can’t wait to read her other books. So, in conclusion, SPOLAFS was an unforgettable read, and I highly recommend it to any and all lovers of romance (and/or cute British boys). If you haven’t read it, you’re missing out- be sure and grab this amazing book and let it sweep you into its beautiful story.