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The Statistical Probability of Love at First…

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

by Jennifer E. Smith

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This is the first book by author Jennifer E. Smith that I've read, and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last.

The premise of the story is quite simple:

- girl misses flight by 4 minutes
- girl rebooks her flight
- girl meets a cute boy at the airport
- boy’s plane seat happens to be near the girl’s
- they end up getting to know each other more while on the flight
- there is evident mutual attraction
- they are separated after they land
- will they be able to find each other again?

However, what makes this story shine are the details behind why Hadley (the girl) and Oliver (the boy) are both travelling to London, their inner struggles and how each character eventually come to terms with their predicament. The author’s strength is her skillful use of descriptive language, how she is able to realistically capture the character’s emotions and how she effectively paints a picture of the scenes. I found myself getting sucked into those emotions, transported into those settings, perhaps because on some level the story mirrors some of my own experiences. And this, I think, will also resonate with other readers, for most of us have experienced love, loss, longing for things that will never be and finding the strength to move on.

Hadley and Oliver are both likeable characters, although I felt there was more character development with Hadley. it also seemed like Hadley was more invested in a possible relationship, but her tenacity is admirable. I loved the flashbacks to Hadley’s memories with her Dad, especially because they are both bookworms. I also loved how their relationship evolved as the story progressed. I like it that the author didn’t go with the usual route of how Hadley and Oliver will eventually meet. I did guess though early on the significance of the title to the story. The only thing that I would’ve wanted to know was what happened after they landed at the airport. Did Oliver wait for her?

The story happens in 24 hours and is Sleepless-in-Seattle-romantic (hands-down my favorite romcom). I also liked how the story ended, all the characters had some kind of closure – Hadley, Oliver, Hadley’s parents and even Charlotte. The ending wasn’t a clear-cut happily ever after, it was more of a promise of a beautiful beginning.

I love the cover! Actually, I love all the covers of Smith’s books and I enjoy her writing style. This is What Happy Looks Like and The Geography of You and Me are on my tbr pile. I also want to get my hands on her other books.

I bought my copy of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and give it 4 1/2 stars. It’s so hard to write a review without giving spoilers, but I hope that at least you got a sense of what this book is about. ( )
  VavaViolet | Aug 27, 2015 |
The book is one day in the life of Hadley Sullivan who seems to define the term, “teen angst”. As the story opens she has missed her flight by exactly 4 minutes because she spent most of her day wasting time with paper cuts, lost phone chargers, etc. Fortunately, she is able to catch the next flight which will get her to her destination – her father’s wedding in London on time but with very little time to spare.

Hadley winds up sitting next to Oliver on the flight and despite that fact that she is shy and catastrophic (the worst possible combination in a seatmate for a transatlantic flight) Oliver takes a shine to her and distracts her with his charm and wit – fortunately he has enough for both of them. Oliver is a British student studying at Yale who is returning home for family reasons. Hadley, ever the narcissist, thinks he must also be going to a wedding. He is, in fact travelling to his father’s funeral. Which he doesn’t tell her lest he interrupt the flow of her whining.

Long after they’ve parted ways, while at the wedding she puts two and two together and figures it out. Like any self-absorbed person she runs out of her father’s wedding during the photos (leaving everyone worried sick) and interrupts Oliver’s father’s funeral – still in her bridesmaid dress. Somehow Oliver, perhaps owing to his youth and inexperience doesn’t recognize her for the spoiled and selfish girl she is. Instead he falls in love with her. The statistical probability of any of this actually happening in real life – 0%. ( )
  knitwit2 | Aug 16, 2015 |
I was a bit reluctant to read this because 1. it's a young adult novel 2. it's a love story and 3. it's chic lit and this spells lots and lots of CHEESE, cheesy story, cheesy lines, a perfect gentleman and a damsel in distress. However, I was wrong. I actually enjoyed the book. Its just not about romantic love but also daddy and daughter love is also present. The book actually made me cry. Readers everywhere has to pick this one up. I recommend it! ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Aug 10, 2015 |
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (that's a long title!) was a great book to start my year. Quick, but entertaining, it makes my inner romantic sigh. Jennifer E. Smith not only created a great story, but also inspired me in a way.

Firstly, this book has intensified my longing to visit the UK, to see everything there is to see over there. I guess I've been inspired to go on an adventure- no tour guides, just me, with a backpack hung over my shoulders and a map, traveling all across London (and many other travel sites in Europe, of course). I'm glad that the author didn't just focus on the love aspect of the story, but that she also focused on creating the perfect setting.

Many authors of this particular genre, just focus on creating what's most popularly known as "instalove". Seeing as the book's events transcurred in only about 24 hours, you'd think this would be the case, bu it wasn't. We see both characters spring from an acquantaince to an attraction to a steady "oh crap I think I'm in love" phase. That's what I really liked about this story. This story made you believe in love at first sight. Do I think you can fall in love at first sight? Absolutely not. But I do believe you can sense when someone is just right for you.

This book also made me believe in forgiveness. Seeing the main character, Hadley, go through something extremely challenging and difficult to forgive makes me believe that forgiveness does heal.

Maybe I'm reading more into this book that what I'm supposed to, but if the book can make me think this way, then it must be pretty good.

I enjoyed reading the quirky conversations between the main characters and I loved the simple way that their "love" evolved. Every character was enjoyable, and even though the story was from Hadley's point of view, I felt as if I got an insight into each important character.

Now, would I read this book again? Maybe not. But it's not because it was bad, but because this is a book that you can easily always remember. ( )
  mariannelee_0902 | Jun 18, 2015 |
RGG: Sweet romance. Just a few kisses. The romance may be what sells the novel, but it is also a nice problem novel about handling parents' divorce and remarriage. Reading Level: YA.
  rgruberexcel | Apr 13, 2015 |
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"And o there are days in this life, worth life and worth death." ~ Charles Dickens, Our Mutal Friend
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Prologue: There are so many ways it could have all turned out differently.
Chapter 1: Airports are torture chambers if you're claustrophobic.
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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 18B. 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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Hadley and Oliver fall in love on the flight from New York to London, but after a cinematic kiss they lose track of each other at the airport until fate brings them back together on a very momentous day.

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