Friday 6 January 2012

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

Product details:
Publisher: Headline.
Hardcover, 224 pages.
Release date: January 5th 2012.
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Ages: 13+
Source: Received from publisher for review.

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.

Ever since I read and fell in love with Stephanie Perkin’s Anna and the French Kiss last year I’ve been on the lookout for another contemporary novel to make me swoon. I actively seek them out, these swoon making books, and when The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight popped through my mailbox, I thought, Bingo! This is it. This is the book to make me swoon like I swooned for Etienne St. Clair. Better still, almost all the early reviews of this book were positively glowing. Everyone was swooning! So, I was all ready to settle down with a heart-warming, feel good, romantic read and while The Statistical Probability of Love at First sight is all of those to a certain degree, it didn’t really make a lasting impression on me. And it didn’t make me swoon.

Hadley is running late. She’s running late for the plane that will take her to her father’s wedding on the other side of the Atlantic. She doesn’t want to see her father, and to say that she’s not happy about the fact that he’s remarrying, is an understatement.  So she doesn’t care if she’s late for her flight, doesn’t care if she misses it. But when she does miss her flight by just four minutes little does she know that this will set in motion a chain of events that will change her life forever.  While she’s waiting on the next flight out to London, she meets Oliver, a British boy who is waiting for the same flight. Hadley is immediately drawn to Oliver, and when by another stroke of luck they find themselves sitting next to each other on the Heathrow flight, good things start to happen.

I love the premise of this one. I love chance meetings that lead to something more. I believe in instant connections and instant chemistry that can quickly turn into love. One of my all time favourite movies is Before Sunrise, which is all about fate and falling in love and is set over a similar time period as this book. But while I wanted to love The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I just didn’t. For me it was a forgettable read.  Mostly this was due to the fact that I didn’t connect with the main character. I always find character connections difficult when books are told in third person point-of –view like this one is, and here I immediately felt distanced from Hadley. She’s got a lot going on in her life.  She’s angry and bitter, and not the easiest character to grow to like at first. Oliver is a different matter. There is nothing not to like about the guy. He’s smart, handsome and his charming behaviour made me smile. He’s a consistent character, too, with such a likeable personality that I immediately loved his presence in the book.

Hadley, though, changes a lot from when we first meet her. Since the book is such a quick read, I found the changes in her character a little inconsistent, contrived even, at times.  Hadley’s quick change in attitude towards her father and his new life didn’t sit too well with me.  I don’t even want to start on what I didn’t like about Hadley’s dad, because I might never stop.  Everything about him irked me. From the way he treated Hadley and her mom, to the Briticisms he constantly dropped into his speech. Seriously, dude, you’ve only been living in England for a couple years. It’s still a diaper! Ugh!

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight didn’t pull at my heart strings and it didn’t make me swoon, but it did make me smile from time time to time. It’s one for total romantics, believers in love at first sight, and a fun way to while away a few hours.


  1. I think enjoyed this one a bit more than you did Leanna, but I agree that it didn't make me swoon either. I really liked Hadley and thought she handled the situation maturely, but I almost wanted her to scream at her dad just once because he pissed me off to no end! I wanted to reach in and throttle him:) Loved reading your thoughts!

  2. I haven't read this yet, but I just wanted to say that I adore Before Sunrise too! Now THAT made me swoon.

  3. @Jenny - We may not have felt the same way about the book, but I think we felt the same way about the dad!!

    @Anya - Before Sunrise makes me swoon every time I watch it! (and I've seen it many times!) :)

  4. I've been wanting to read this one ever since I heard of the title.

    It's one that I'm sure I will get round to at some point but I just have way too big a TBR pile at the moment (and I just bought a few more books yesterday :))

    Great review as always!

  5. I finished the book and it's three stars for me too. I'm with you on looking for great contemporary novels (I have high hopes for The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen!) and I thought this one might hit the spot. In some ways it did and some ways it didn't. I REALLY liked that you made the comparison with Before Sunrise because it's such a good one. Hadley was okay for me but yeah, the turnaround was so quick. I was expecting more from that. Ahhh yes, the dad! I am really upset at that bit, it just made me so frustrated!!

  6. I tend to like aspects of romance in my books, but I frequently avoid books where the romance is the major plot point. They just rarely cut it for me. I've heard a lot of hype about this one, so I've been considering it, but now I'm having second thoughts. Hmm...

    Thanks for the review though! It's given me some things to think about.

  7. Thanks for you review! I am so looking forward to read this book!

  8. I've always been leery of books that seem to rely on insta-love, but everything I've read about this book argues that it's worth the read. And, well, I'm a sucker for British characters, so there's that, too. ;)


  9. I think yours is the first review I've read that captured my feelings exactly! It wasn't a bad book, but it was a total let down. Everyone else, however, seems to love it.

    No swooning here, sadly :(

    Amy @ Turn the Page (YA)

  10. Sorry that you didn't get swooned away with this book, but a smile from time to time is also a good thing. Right? :) Great review.

  11. Sorry to hear this wasn't the swoonworthy read you were looking for, but I'm glad you still enjoyed it! And oh my gosh. Yes. Stephanie Perkins? Freakin QUEEN of contemporary romance! I'm not sure I've ever swooned quite so hard as when I first read Anna and the French Kiss *happy drug-induced sigh*

    Anyway, great review! :)

  12. Aw, I'm sorry you didn't love this one! I have it on my tbr and have heard loads of good things about it, but it's a shame you were disappointed. I'm slightly worried about the fact everything happens in 24 hours, but who knows. Great review, thank you :).

  13. It's a pity you didn't love this book as much as you wanted to. I'm still waiting to get my copy. Great and honest review nonetheless.

  14. I did like Spolafs very much, but I can understand that it's not the best read for everyone. It's very short and sometimes I felt like there still could be more. Somewhere during the read it got to me though, very cute read!

  15. When I read the blurb I instantly though of Before Sunrise (by far one of my favourite movies, I have seen it probably 100 times) and had to do a double take when you mentioned it! That is too bad that this book didn't quite live up to your expectations. It does sound really interesting and I definitely want to read it.

    I really enjoyed your thoughtful review!

    Bonnie @ Hands and Home

  16. Oh, no, you didn't like it very much :( *pouts* That stinks! I MEGA LOVE this book, so this saddens me. But, I'm SOOOOO HAPPY that so many people ARE EXCITED AND THRILLED by this book!!! I loved it so much that I can't imagine anyone NOT loving it. Even so, awesome review, L :)

    - Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

  17. Oh no! I really loved this one and swooned all over the place! Wow, we seem to be loosing our book twininess!

  18. ^^ Oh no! Let us not lose our book twininess! :(

  19. Oh yes, I have a hard time connecting with characters with third person narratives too. I just don't ever feel like I really get to know them or get inside their head. Anna and the French Kiss never really made me swoon---even though EVERYONE else loves it.


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