The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Statistical Probability of LoveBy Jennifer E. Smith

Publisher: Poppy
Publication Date: January 2, 2012
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Source: Purchased

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.

Goodreads Summary

Hadley hasn’t seen her father in three years, not since she discovered he’d found someone other than her mother to be with while he was teaching overseas at Oxford. While her mother’s moved on since the divorce, she hasn’t and being a bridesmaid for her stepmother-to-be is the last thing she wants to spend the weekend doing. She barely misses her flight to London, giving her a few hours to wander the terminal until the next and to meet a quirky boy who just happens to be heading to London on her flight.

I was really disappointed that this had almost no romance in it at all, especially since the title of the book sort of, you know, leads you to expect that there’s some sort of “love” waiting someplace, right? The ingredients were there – a girl, a boy, seven hours on a plane together and then the possibilities in London – but it just didn’t happen and honestly, the author really didn’t even try very hard in my opinion.

When Hadley first meets Oliver back in Connecticut at the airport, she’s having a panic attack and he pretty much just follows her to calm her down. He’s the kind of cute guy who says some weird stuff to distract her – and he is a little strange. I didn’t find anything offbeat or endearing about the way he’d distract her with silly answers to the most basic questions she’d ask. If you’re seventeen and alone in an airport with a college boy who won’t even tell you what he’s going to school for, it’s not a good beginning. On the flight to London, Hadley spills her guts about her dad and the wedding and Oliver shares some things about his dad, who sounds like a jerk. They nap a bit. Go to back to the bathroom together. A kiss, then they disembark and separate before they can exchange information. After seven hours. Seriously, were there no pens or paper on that plane?

More than half of the book – I’m guessing on the length, it may have been longer if you count the time she spent talking about him to Oliver – is about Hadley and her dad and it’s the better story, even if it’s not what’s advertised in the title. Hadley’s dad completely mucked things up, from the time she found out he was cheating on her mother, through the time they were estranged and he just let it go, staying in London rather than bothering to come to Connecticut to actually try to see his daughter in person. Hadley is boiling with emotion – and she can come across as whiny, selfish and childish but I was looking at her as the girl whose dad basically abandoned her, as good as telling her that his life in London was more important than she was. And now he’s expecting her to forgive him and love his new wife?

There are only twenty-four hours to make this story work in, so an ABC Family movie of the week ending is called for, stat! By coincidence, a guest at her dad’s wedding mentions something that jogs Hadley’s memory and leads her to Oliver where she learns his secret and finds out he’s not Silly Oliver, he’s Emo Oliver. I don’t think I need to mention her dad and new stepmom situation, right?

My Summary: I wanted so badly for this to turn into something romantic and it just never fell into place. There wasn’t enough Oliver in the book – when he was with Hadley he was either being evasive, silly or overly dramatic and I never found him that appealing because I didn’t know who on earth he was. I think I got Hadley due in large part to my own experiences but she made some puzzling choices for a seventeen year old. I wish this hadn’t been stuck into the gimmick of a twenty-four hour time constraint since it made so much of what happened seem silly and improbable.

My Rating: C



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