16 January 2014

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

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author(s): Jennifer E. Smith
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Publisher/Date: Poppy/Little Brown / January 2, 2012
Series: Stand Alone
“The idea that their paths might have easily not crossed leaves her breathless, like a near-miss accident on a highway, and she can't help marveling at the sheer randomness of it all. Like any survivor of chance, she feels a quick rush of thankfulness, part adrenaline and part hope.” -Hadley Sullivan
Case Study
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. (synopsis from Goodreads)

The Game's Afoot
Anyone who knows me knows that I scoff at the idea of "love at first sight." I'm sorry but I just don't buy it. Insta-love = insta-turn-off. I guess I'm cynical like that.

So if that's true, you're probably wondering why on earth I'd read a book like this. Well, I'll tell you why. Because I was once a single, young girl who traveled on a plane and met a nice, single, young boy. Between our time in the air and a lunch date at the airport, we spent 6 awesome hours together. We connected. No, it wasn't love and we never had a happily ever after. We did keep in touch online for about a year but that was all. It was merely a connection and a memorable story. So when a book comes along about a girl meeting a boy in an airport, naturally, I was eager to check it out (and maybe compare it to my own experience).

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is more than what it seems. Though it may be a love story upon first glance, there's so much more to it if you're willing to dig beneath the surface. It's a deeply personal story about maturity, growth and forgiveness. It's a story about between a daughter and her estranged father. Honestly, I was more taken with the relationship between Hadley and her father than I was with the one between Hadley and Oliver.

Sure, I enjoyed watching the journey unfold between Hadley and Oliver. Their romance was cute, a far cry from insta-love. But Hadley's journey towards reconciliation with her father was much more touching and relatable. To say their relationship was tense is an understatement. It was downright hostile. Divorce is hard, especially when one parent seems to be moving on more quickly than the other. As a kid, it's a difficult thing to experience so I can really appreciate how tough a journey acceptance can be. I think Smith handled the topic with honesty and grace. Both Hadley and her father made mistakes along the way but I liked that, by the end, they were able to reach an understanding and start forgiving one another.
Hadley realises that even though everything else is different, even though there's still an ocean between them, nothing really important has changed at all. He's still her dad. The rest is just geography.” 
There you can really see just how much Hadley has matured. And for someone as cynical as me, that personal journey was so much more satisfying than the romantic one. How great is that!? I went into it hoping for a small reminder of times past and came out with so much more.

Summary Prognosis
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a quick, cute and easy read. Though the romance may be what initially draws you in, it's the compelling and troubled relationship between a girl and her dad that will keep you there. Full of poetic prose, it promises lots of quote-worthy quips and sound advice. I recommend it for lovers and cynics alike!

Rating: ★★★★

Read It: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible
Discuss It: Goodreads | Author's Website


  1. You made me laugh with the gif! I know what ya mean, insta-love irks me sometimes. I vaguely remembering reading this one, it was one of those before blogging books so it is a little blurry but I do remember enjoying it as well.

    Ashley @ The Quiet Concert

  2. I totally know what you mean! I read it partially because I felt left out that I HADN'T read it and also because I'd heard wonderful things about Smith's writing. Admittedly, I am a little wary of the love stuff but I was pleasantly surprised with this one. I thought Smith crafted a quirky but meaningful story that didn't solely focus on the love parts, which is why I think it worked for me.

  3. I really need to read this. It has been on my TBR pile forever and although I'm not a big fan of insta-love either (although you say it isn't like that so yay!) I still want to check this out. That is super interesting that you met someone at an airport like in the story! That is really cool and thanks for sharing that fun fact about yourself. Anyway, this sounds like the perfect book to read when I just want something light and fast to read. :) Great review!

    1. I was certainly unsure of this one at first but it proved to be a really cute read! It's light and really fun so I totally recommend it.

  4. I liked everything. There were a couple of good funny lines. I could picture this book getting converted to a movie.
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